Posted by: grantahelms | January 21, 2014

Just for Sam

Today my son made a post to Facebook. To be honest, I don’t know if I am qualified to answer. But I knew the space on Facebook was not big enough to go into it. So here is what he posted:

So, here’s my one and only post for the month. Of course, it’s about something that EVERY one does – including myself at times. The use of the word “love”.

Now, Webster Dictionary defines “love” as: ‘unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another’. So, my question for you is this: how can we say that we love someone dear to us and turn around and say that we love cake, a perfume scent, or an event (something that cannot show us concern for our own good back)?

Also, if we truly love someone, would we want for them to do wrong? According to Webster’s definition, then no we wouldn’t because we would be unselfish and show loyalty and concern for that person’s good. So basically, that means we would do what is right – even if it means that we lose something ourselves.

I find this definition to be inadequate. And , when you look at Webster’s, you will find that it is only one of numerous definitions. Such as:

In the noun classification:

1) Strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties (ie a parents love for their children or your love for siblings)

2) Attraction based on sexual desire (ie affection and tenderness shared by lovers)

3) Affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests (ie friends, classmates, church members)

4) An assurance of affection (ie I give you my love)

5) A warm attachment, enthusiasm, or attachment to or for (ie love of the sea, love of chocolate, love for the Carolina Panthers)

6) An object of attachment, devotion, or admiration (ie Baseball was his first love)

7) Unselfish, loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another (ie The love for humankind that persuades us to help others when we feel there is a need that we can fulfill)

8) A zero score in tennis.

Then there are three verb definitions for love also. But I will refrain from posting them to keep this shorter. As I said earlier, I’m not an expert at this. No one is, but many claim to be. On countless shelves in bookstores around the world, you can find any number of authors telling you how to love on different levels. Bondage, sadism, masochism. How to get the love of your life through service, through romance, through devotion. How to trick others into loving you. It’s all out there.

Then we have therapists and psychologists who seem to know where things went wrong and what you need to do to fix it. Assuming that you want to. We have love tests on Facebook. We have pastors preaching on love and many seminars how to make your love stronger and how to make it more satisfying. And what does it all mean? Nothing if you don’t love yourself.

Yes, you heard me right. You MUST love yourself! It is imperative to love yourself before you can truly love others. Well that sounds kind of vain! Not at all. Loving  yourself is not thinking that you look great or that you are a great catch. Loving yourself is knowing what you want from life, and reaching out to grab it. It’s taking care of your body. Not working out. Not dieting all the time to stay 165 pounds( for my BMI anyway). Taking care of your body is eating healthy, real food. Not pouring gallons of carbonated drinks down your throat. Brushing your teeth. Bathing on a regular(daily) schedule. Reading if that is what you like. Listening to music. Dancing. Your body responds to all these stimuli, and therefore it becomes happier and more relaxed. This is my idea of healthy.

Three day intermission

Though I realize none of you missed me in my three-day absence, I had to walk away to do some soul-searching. Now it is 3 a.m. and it has just come to me. For three days I have been asking myself what love is. I’ve run the gambit just like my son. Is it an emotion? Yes. Is it a feeling? Yes. Can everyone find it? Yes, definitely. Even I have found love. I love my children. I love macaroni and cheese. I love Mt.Dew! And in answer to some people’s recent doubts, I love God. Is it possible to “love” all these things? Yes, depending on the definition that you use. That is of course if you are using the English language. So through all my thoughts, and contemplation about the question at hand, it occurs to me that “love” should be considered a slang or generic word. I guess that seems like it came out of left field, right? Let me explain. The word love is overused by a society that is too lazy or ignorant to find a word that better describes something. As a friend of mine says,”Call a spade a spade”. So what word would best fit the relationship between people, or with their higher being? In my estimation, it would be:

Adore     transitive verb      \a-‘dor\

1) To worship or honor as a deity or divine.

2) To regard with loving admiration or devotion.

3) To be very fond of.

So, what do you think? I know “I adore you” doesn’t sound as normal as “I love you”, but isn’t that the point? That the word love is too generic. I think so. And, according to the definitions, adore takes the admiration to a higher level. Isn’t adoration what we give to our children? How many times have you heard someone say “I don’t care what my child does, even though they may not be welcomed in my house, I will always love them”. They say love, but if they didn’t adore that child, it would be a lie. If I didn’t adore you, would I constantly endure years of heart ache, mental and emotional abuse, over looking wrongs and lies, just to come back home after a long day of work to try to salvage another day? Well, maybe not. That may be a topic for something else. Maybe it would be better adapted to insane or depressed. But whatever the case, love is over used, not over rated. True love comes in many forms. It may be letting a friend cry on your shoulder at the death or loss of a loved one. It may be bringing someone breakfast in bed. Or delivering meals to the elderly. It may be washing people’s feet at a church function. It may be giving your last dollar to someone who is less fortunate than you. It may be standing up and walking away. The list goes on forever. Whatever your take on it is. Some of the things I think of as love are:

Missing someone when you’ve only been apart for 10 minutes.

Taking someone coffee in bed.

Long hot baths together washing off the days cares.

Being quiet and listening to what someone needs to get off their chest.

Not being judgmental.

Holding hands and saying nothing.

Showing someone they are appreciated by helping around the house.

Being there for someone when they need you the most.

These are just a few. I’m sure you can come up with many more. So for now I’m signing off. I hope that I made some attempt to answer the question asked, though I got side tracked. So until later, I love you all. Or adore you. Which ever the case may be.

” What is your definition of love?”

” In what ways do you show others that you love them?”

” Do you ever wonder if the word love gets lost in the mix?”

Thanks to my son for posing this soul-searching question. Just for the record, I adore you Sam. Later.

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Responses

  1. Grant, this is really well done really well considered. I believe your thoughts on this subject is difficult for all of us. We all struggle with our definitions and how we approach love. You have pushed the envelope perfectly.

    I love mac-n-cheese also, someday you will need to visit and I will make it for you.

    • Hopefully sooner than later. Even though it’s not on my diet now. It, along with Mt.Dew and several things, are on my love list. However, I have found that just because I love something doesn’t make it healthy for me. So many of these things I have chosen to walk away from, as you well know. Keep writing and keep moving forward. That is my plan.

  2. In a post to be written later…

    All of the above and cognitive preclusion of adverse events.

    Everyday.

    • Can’t wait to read the post.


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