Saturday, December 30, 2006
Thursday, December 28, 2006
What is love? Now, some of you are going to immediately think of the song "What is love?" made famous by the movie "A Night at the Roxbury" and the Saturday Night Live skit. Well actually no this essay is not about the great comedic movie staring Will Ferrell and Chris Katan, it is about us human beings ultimate quest for love and companionship. I started to write this essay sometime ago and I have not finished it, I would like to think of it as work in progress. I invite any one reading to post a comment or email me your thoughts.
Love can be a wonderful and probably the greatest emotionally taxing. With all its highs and lows Love take us on the most incredible rollercoaster ride that we humans know. It can be absolutely terrifying and completely exhilarating. Love can be the ultimate in happiness and then the ultimate in sadness. Love can make us better people and it can leads us to do terrible things that we say we do or did out of love. If love is all these things then why do we keep on falling in love even after we have fallen out of love?
Merriam-Webster defines love in the following way:
Love – Noun
1 a (1): strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties
Love - Verb
1: to hold dear: CHERISH
2 a: to feel a lover's passion, devotion, or tenderness for b (1): CARESS (2): to fondle amorously (3): to copulate with
3: to like or desire actively: take pleasure in <loved to play the violin>
4: to thrive in
Love is both a noun and a verb. The words that mainly describe the meaning of love are; devotion, affection, devotion, attraction, unselfish loyalty, G-d, the act of sex, to desire and it is also the score of zero in tennis. Zero? Is love a Zero sum game?
Where does love come from?
Biblically love comes from G-d. G-d loved and loved man so much that G-d gave man the freewill to worship him and love and be devoted to him in return. That’s amazing! G-d loves us unconditionally but gave us the freewill to love him. Obviously G-d wants us to love him but it is our choice. G-d could have just been satisfied with the Angels who love G-d without any conditions their faith and devotion is unquestioned. But man’s love, devotion and faith are questioned and are constantly questioned. We question everything. How could G-d give us free will to decide our faith? He gave us the free will because G-d wants us to love him on our own accord, sure G-d has given us a blueprint to follow and commandments and mitzvoth as to how worship, devote ourselves and love in return but its up to us to take this blueprint a use it. Obviously, man does not always follow the ways that G-d has set out for us. G-d is like our parents they love us unconditionally, they give us our life, they gives us shelter, they give us education, they give us the lessons of life that are necessary for us to go forward into life and be good contributing people. But in the end it is up to us to do what we feel or see fit with all this love and lessons that G-d and our parents have given us. Even though, G-d and our parents have given us rules for life we can still throw them away and not follow. I would imagine that in someway it is to our benefit to follow these rules and return the love that has been given to us.
Getting back to G-d and his love for mankind. When G-d created Adam, Adam was alone and G-d saw this and it made him sad. G-d knew that Adam should not be alone even though Adam was in the Garden of Eden and could not want from anything. However, the animals, bushes, flowers and all the trees in the Garden could not possibly provide Adam with the comfort and companionship of another human and yes the love of another human. So G-d creates Eve from the flesh of Adam and then Man is no longer alone. What does the creation of Eve do for Adam? It gives him companionship and the ability to love someone else. This is a great and unselfish act by G-d. Now Adam can love someone or something other than G-d. Essentially, G-d gave himself competition? (I am not sure about this explanation myself then again it is my own.)
The questions I have are; is the love between Man and Woman an act of free will? Is Love predetermined? Destined? Fated for us? Why do we fall in love with the people we do? Why do we love them? How did it happen? Does love choose us or do we choose love? The possibilities of love are mind-boggling. How do we/I know when I am in love? Like I wrote earlier, love is an emotionally taxing act that we search for, find, lose, regain and ultimately submit our minds, bodies and souls to.
Monday, December 25, 2006
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Over the years I have attained the perception or belief by the people I know (i.e. friends, family, co-workers and past intimate relationships) that I am a highly secretive and private person. I do not deny nor do I do anything to dispel this belief. I in fact, do all that is possible to cultivate the persona of being an intensely private/secret person, sometimes it is just out of habit and others it just out desire to continue the perception. I probably would be a great secret agent. Hmm...Maybe, I am a secret agent? So secret that I do not even know that I am one. I think, my friends who consider me to be close to them do not even really know who I am or what is going on in my life. It is a strange dichotomy to be so private yet have friends that I consider close and in reality I am not that close to them.
My friends usually have no problem telling me all about their lives and what they are thinking, doing or even fear. I suppose this comes from the fact that they know they can trust in me and I would not divulge to others, hence my nickname "The Vault".
Being "The Vault" is not an easy name or burden to carry. There have been times when some information has leaked out but for the most part it has remained shut and sealed (Peach Schnapps does not unlock the vault). Sometimes, I feel burdened by being "The Vault" and I just want to burst force with all the things or confidences people have told me over the years, but yet at the same time I actually enjoy the role of "The Vault". Imagine people think of me in such a way and with high regard that they know they can trust me with their secrets or issues and I will not tell anyone else.
I suppose this entrusting of trust (does that make sense?) comes from my own personal behavior of not talking about myself. Maybe its that they know that I will not gossip, but we are all human and the excitement of the vicarious rush of hearing about peoples lives or secrets is kind of fun and we are all guilty of talking about people or friends even when we should not. I think my desire for privacy comes from that I do not want people to talk about me, but the reality is that people talk about me. This happens because I do not let any information about myself come out. I know this, because a friend of mine has told me as much; people actually think that I lead some grand or clandestine life. I really should lead such a life, I have seen enough James Bond movies and the secret life that he lives does seem kind of fun and exciting.
Even with the women that I have had intimate relationships with, I am and have not truly been intimate with. The intimacy that I speak of is not in the physical sense but on the intimate level of sharing and telling each other what we are feeling, thinking, fears or even problems. If I cannot be open and allow myself to vulnerable to the woman I care about and even love then with whom can I be?
I always feel that telling/talking about my problems/issues, fears or just about me “Matthew” with my friends or girlfriends would be a burden to them, expose me or even that they would not be interested in listening to what I have going on. Thus, I continue to cultivate my persona of being intensely private and secretive. My friends do not even know when I am dating someone. This comes out of not wanting people to meddle but the meddling actually comes about from my not telling them about my dates or the woman that I am dating. I am also doing the person I am dating a disservice by not telling my friends about them. What am I keeping secret? What ends up happening with my being private/secretive about the woman I am dating is that I end up being closed off and not open with her, this a recipe for failure in a relationship.
Obviously, I know my secrecy and privacy in the end is not healthy for myself and leaves many people whom I care about and I hope care about me wondering and creating their own ideas of my life and being left out of it.