Love is a non-negotiable force that can drive us to do crazy things.
It is said to be one of our most basic and fundamental needs. We have this intense desire, as humans, to feel loved and nurtured. This is true in the form of spousal relationships, friendships, and the relationship between parent and child.
As babies, we are not taught to love, it is simply an act we need for survival. Science has shown that babies who are deprived of contact comfort, especially in the first six months after birth, are proven to grow up with psychological damage.
Love is not confined to romance, it is subjective and simply a phenomenon that is proven to enhance ones happiness.
Scientists say that the most exhilarating of all human emotions, love, is nature's beautiful way of keeping the human species alive and reproducing.
Unfortunately with love, comes heartbreak.
I recently found myself fascinated by the idea of love, which brought me to question why we continue to fall in love, sometimes many times over, if it means subjecting ourselves to the inevitable shattered state of mind that follows.
I personally believe we are in control of our own happiness. If this is true, then why do we consistently succumb ourselves to heartbreak?
Why do we consciously allow others to abandon, abuse, cheat, and hurt us?
Of course this goes both ways. Why then, when love is at our fingertips, do we self sabotage? Is it because we feel we don't deserve it? Perhaps it has been absent for so long that we refuse to accept it?
Another thing to consider is the loss of love. How do we recover? The truth is, I don't think we ever fully do.
In many cases, love fades. Sure, you aren't likely to find this to be true between parent and child but consider your friendships and romantic relationships. As time goes on, we lose that excitement we first experienced. Why is this?
I have recently read many articles about love, in an attempt to capture the essence of it.
Love is like a drug.
Dopamine is a compound found in the body that functions as a neurotransmitter. Essentially it works as a chemical messenger that sends signals to other nerve cells. The presence of dopamine ignites a euphoric feeling in your body that is responsible for the pitter-patter in your heart when you fall in love.
You won't be surprised to learn that dopamine is also activated by the use of cocaine.
Cocaine users say that excessive use of the drug causes a desensitization in the body, meaning the more frequently it is used, the more of it you need to successfully feel that desired high. Could this similarly be related to the feeling of love when dopamine is released in the body? Perhaps the reason love fades is due to the constant surge of dopamine that accompanies this blissful feeling.
With that being said, it's no surprise that love can drive us mad. Have you ever heard the saying 'madly in love'? It's proven that love can sometimes be difficult to differentiate from mental illness.
If this chemically altered state induced by romantic love is comparable to mental illness-- shouldn't we avoid it? Shouldn't we want to save ourselves?
The fact is absolutely not. The reason for this is because in the end, it's worth it. It's worth the stress, frustration, and yes, even the heartbreak. Without it, we are catastrophic.
My final thought is this:
We are human. We are flawed. In the end, we all want to be loved. From the poorest to the richest, the youngest to the oldest, and even the kindest to the cruelest. Our job as humans is to love intentionally and with that we can't go wrong.