Here you find additional text about what love is and how it works within relationships. Consider this as a foreword to the book How to Love the Other.
What is Love
One often wonders about love, most often in connection with a partner and family. The question of love is fundamentally related to the relationship to oneself and to the other. Love often transcends words, as we typically perceive it as an emotion that overwhelms us, so the description of love is often transcended. Love is that part of us that we cannot do without, we think it is worth living for and it is the basis and condition for healthy relationships.
All too often, love is associated with suffering, as if love is not possible without pain and is the result of pain and suffering. By no means can I agree that suffering leads to as positive and good as love. What causes suffering and pain is the human ego, the bloating and conceit of the mind. The human ego does not give space to a fellow human being and suppresses love. Pain is caused by a conflict of egos when we are not ready to stray from our right and we experience every stimulus too personally as an attack on personality. The fact is that life is in constant change and confrontation with people and environments and circumstances. We cannot ignore the events of life, but we can change our attitude towards life, towards the way we live.
I often find that love is sacrifice, self-giving, and alienation from the world. Again, in the other extreme I catch that without ourselves we cannot love the other, that the most important and the first is love for ourselves. Neither the first nor the second approach is Love. When we talk about Love with a capital letter, that energy and excess that connects us all and makes us human, then we are talking about Love that always appears in duality or trinity. Love is always in a relationship, to oneself and others. Love means to be a Human who loves both himself/herself and others, to the same extent, in moderation. If you believe in creation, then Love is reflected in the triple relationship of the Supernatural, the self and the other. In both cases, Love is the life force, the excess energy that connects and brings us together.
Love is energy
Love is not an abstraction, an ideology far from us, but an energy present in the whole self – body, mind and soul. Love is an integral part of a person who receives and gives it, both to himself and to others. Each person has their own field of energy that nourishes and reflects in others. People who live Love are heartfelt, calm, radiant, sometimes even mystical. They have a calming and positive effect on others. Beside them, the world is more beautiful. People who live Love are free and know how to forgive. They are merciful and always listen to the other, give him/her time and a good word. Others always perceive this energy of Love and describe it as well-being and peace.
Love flows into us and through us into others. Love is in us, part of our character, how we live, what relationships we build. Love is not limited and lives for any human being, whether close or stranger. To love means everyone, even those we do not know personally. It is certainly a challenge to love everyone, especially those who are not in favour of us or are even hostile to us. And the same challenge is to love yourself. However, this does not mean self-love and self-worship. It means loving your uniqueness, the wonderful uniqueness that is revealed in your relationship with yourself and others. This inner love is that energy that flows into others with every encounter, touch, word, thought and action.
When a person loves himself/herself, he/she also loves others, and this is always perceived by others. Yet loving yourself is not enough. To love ourselves at all, we must first know Love and be loved. Like any energy, the energy of Love is mutual, flowing and intertwining. Thus, Love is always in the I-you-you-me relationship, and it is this ever-changing mutual relationship that conditions our life.
There is no room in love for calculation, nor for renouncing the happiness of the other. Love knows no conditions (John Powell) and is the purest form of being. Love is. This means that it is present in itself and that we humans are not the ones who create it at its core. As Martin Buber says: “Man has feelings, love happens. Feelings live in man, but man dwells in love”. It is up to us to choose love or turn a back on it.
Love is found in touch and word, in the full presence of a human being. Love does not only call for a partnership and family relationship, but is all-encompassing, to the entire universe and especially to humanity. To love means everyone and yourself. It means loving the same, in the same healthy measure, where there is no complacency or altruism. Love means knowing yourself and knowing others. This, however, requires an encounter, a constant acquaintance that takes place in word and touch. Love lives in an interpersonal relationship, a reciprocity that takes place in dialogue. Love does not live without dialogue, just as dialogue does not live without love.
In love, virtues such as respect, justice, modesty and humility, openness, sincerity, trust, and honesty come to the surface. We are intimate in love and the most self and free of ego. Love is not an emotional stimulus, infatuation, or chemical reaction, but trust and devotion to life, human and surplus. Love carries not only a physical and emotional dimension, but also a spiritual dimension. The latter is the one, which makes Love good, mysterious and magical and opens the door to a happy life.
Love is a gift
To give love, we must first know it. Love must touch us and the whole Self must meet Love. When Love is Me, when it is an integral part of me, then we live Love and give it unselfishly and in compassion. Of course, in giving, we must not lose ourselves and give up ourselves, because then it is not Love. Love is coexistence and harmony with oneself and others.
Giving means expecting nothing in return. To give means to give oneself in all one’s beauty. Giving is a gift of oneself to a fellow human being in the purest form of humanity. Giving is without expectations, without longing for the return of love, and without blackmail. There is no room in self-giving for selfishness nor for egoism. We give because we want, because our interest is an inner motivation for others to know us in all our majesty and uniqueness. In return, we do not expect anything. We are simply – unique, beautiful and good – this is true Love.
In order to give ourselves, we need to know each other well and accept ourselves in all its greatness as well as our shortcomings. We need to forgive ourselves for past non-actions and recognize ourselves in our uniqueness and excellence of character. Then we love ourselves, others and our surroundings. Then we give of ourselves and Love lives.
Love is a way of life
Love is us, our character and our daily behaviour. Love is the way we live life, in whatever environment and relationship we find ourselves in. Love is like a question of integrity, whether we have it or not; whether we are consistent with ourselves or not. Either we love everyone and we are Love, or we love the selected and we are not Love.
Love is the highest good, transcendence and reality at its core. We are gifted in love. We live love, give it and receive it. Love is a human-to-human relationship. Love is the relationship of a human being with the universe. To love oneself means to love one’s essence, pure heart, unique beauty. To love another means to see and accept his/her essence, pure heart and unique beauty. Seeing your most beautiful and the most beautiful of others is living Love, Love in giving and receiving. Love means that human being simply Is.
Kaja Kosec ❤️