Pillar 3: Love

A part of me doesn’t even know where to start here, while another part of me is overflowing with things I want to say about the wonderful topic of love. This is one of the main reasons why it has taken me quite some time to write this entry, but I will make a real effort today to put down my thoughts on this. At least an initial scratch on the surface.

In order to do this, let me define love a bit so we are on the same page. I want to do this mainly since love comes in so many different formats that a narrowing down of the topic is needed, as well with the aim of sticking to my definition of the five pillars of happiness. So therefore, for this particular pillar I have put my focus on romantic love, as I think the other pillars contain their own varieties of love, whether that is family oriented, platonic, materialistic or the love and appreciation one should have for oneself. So here we go.

I find love one of the most wonderful as well as mysterious things in the world. Ever since I was little I have had a bit of a tendency to wear my heart on my sleeve, something that to some extent I like (since I think that if you like someone you should show it and I enjoy the feeling of happiness that it brings me most of the times) but to some extent I find really annoying (since it does tend to mess with my emotions and it is oh so easy to get hurt while having your heart on display like this). Due to this love has always fascinated as well as frustrated me, mainly since I never seemed to get the balance right.

Too much vs. too little. Too intense vs. too mild. Too physical vs. too emotional. In order to be true to myself as well as balance these issues out, I have always put a lot of emphasis on the fact that I had to be attracted to the other person both physically and mentally in order to really fall for someone. Even if that hasn’t happen very often, it has made it oh so worth it when it does happen.

Without saying too much about my personal experiences, or going too much into a general analysis about the wonders of love, I think this pillar is so important to me exactly because I still tend to wear my heart on my sleeve a lot and it does affect me on a daily basis. Thanks to that, this has been a pillar that has been a bit volatile at times, but at any time, it has still stood strong thanks to the support of the other pillars in times of need.

Following my somewhat volatile path of exploration of the matter, I have slowly established my opinion on the matter and I think my view of love is actually very nicely summarized by one of my favourite authors, Louis de Bernières in his famous book  “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin”. And to finish this entry off, I think I will let that quote do the talking:

Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being in love which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.

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