Cleopatra and the Dying Mark Anthony 1763 Pompeo Batoni

Have you ever been in love. I mean REALLY in love. The kind that leaves you breathless. The kind that men spilled blood in war over. The Mark Anthony, Cleopatra kind of love. Or is it nothing more than some kind of Sumerian mythology?

I think to get a better understanding of love we need to look into what the various religions define as love. Buddhist believe sensuous love to be an obstacle on the path to enlightenment. It is perceived as selfish. Love should be for all mankind and not just focused on one.


Christian faith sees love differently. It says that “Love is patient and kind, Love is not jealous in anyway. love does not envy or boast, it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way, it is not irritable or resentful, it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” Now that is a mouthful. looking at that, how many people can honestly say they have ever felt true love?


Islam believes that love is only for God. They teach that marriage is intended for the sole purpose of procreation. They believe that it is the duty for the woman to tend to the needs of the man and that she must be submissive to his desires. But love never comes into play. You can not love another human being, you can only love God. (Hey they may have something here).


Hindu believes that true love is a passage. It’s a sacrament that one gives up selfishness in love and expect nothing in return. Similar to Kabbalah which teaches that in the quest for true enlightenment one must find love. They teach that there are true life partners or soul mates that remain through time and that we might search through many lifetimes before finding them. But transcendence and grace can not be achieved without it.


What do you see as true love? Do you see the expression of the warmth, the excitement, the desires that become aroused and a chemistry that creates a euphoric bliss? That is not a sign of love. On the contrary, a sign of love is something so simple that you just know it’s there. You just know you don’t want to be without this person for one moment. It’s the washing away of all your sins with the single caress of a hand.


We can fall into love so easily. One look, one smile, one laugh and we are captivated.

When we fall in love, our brains respond to a chemical reaction similar to what happens when taking cocaine. We crave it, can’t get enough of it. Love can motivate our actions and reactions. Love can make us blind.

William Shakespeare might have been on to something when he wrote this for “Romeo and Juliet”.

“Love is smoke made out of lovers’ sighs. When the smoke clears, love is a fire burning in your lover’s eyes. If you frustrate love, you get an ocean made out of lovers’ tears. What else is love? It’s a wise form of madness. It’s a sweet lozenge that you choke on.”


Maybe Adele is just delusional when she wrote these lyrics.

“Whenever I’m alone with you
You make me feel like I am home again
Whenever I’m alone with you
You make me feel like I am whole again

Whenever I’m alone with you
You make me feel like I am young again
Whenever I’m alone with you
You make me feel like I am fun again.”

I mean is she saying that she is nothing without this person? That has to suck for the other person, I mean what does she have to offer him if he is her whole life?

Here is my personal take on this crazy little thing called love.

Love should be a constantly progression of growth. It should never stand still. You should constantly strive to better yourself so that you can better the love your in. Does that make sense? I don’t want to be someone’s whole world. I want to grow and learn from the one I am with. Insecurity and doubt breed in still water. If your not traveling down the river than your not going anywhere.

I do believe that love is not jealous. There is no green eyed monster. Jealousy is for the teenagers who don’t know any better. You can not have a deep love for someone if your feeling any kind of animosity or resentment towards that person. If you are then it’s time to do a little soul searching. Before I was married I lived with this woman. One evening she came home upset and crying. She told me that she had something to tell me. She said that she was very sorry but a few days prior she had gone out to dinner with a co-worker and one thing led to another. They ended up in bed together. I told her that she shouldn’t be sorry for doing something that she wanted to do. Love should be free not restricting. She got even more upset and told me that I didn’t love her because I wasn’t mad about this. But the reality was that she just had a different outlook on love. I don’t want someone to not do something they want to do because they don’t want to hurt me. I’m a big boy, I think I can handle it. I want them to not do something because they don’t want to do it. Her sleeping with another man did hurt, and it weakened the strength of our intimacy. But it never changed the way I felt about her. I was grateful for the time we spent together, whether it was a year, a month or just a moment.


I believe that love has to be equal in order for it to exists. You can love the smell of a Gardenia in Spring, but you can’t be in love with it because it is incapable of loving you back. You have to be willing to give without the expectations of receiving, yet understand when it’s not received. You can’t give your love to someone and then just give up on yourself. I mean you want to be desirable to the one you desire, otherwise your asking that person to settle. You can say, “Well if you love me you will love me no matter how much I let myself go”, and they just might, but is it fair? You should love so much that you want to give that person the best of you, otherwise it’s not love at all.

People tend to get caught up in the whole “Rules” of relationships and the “Laws” of marriage. It becomes a game of control and power. You with hold sex, you refuse to share in the chores, you stand in the middle of a pond going nowhere at all. Sinking in the mud. Love is not complicated. You do or you don’t. It’s not avoiding reality or fueling insecurities. It’s the creation of something beautiful. It’s intimate and passionate and desirable.

It’s the constant search for Freya. The Valkyrie. The Norse woman who risked everything for love. The love she left behind was so bright that the story is told it became the Northern lights. That’s what love is, a light so bright it is absent of all darkness.


Love should not be blind, or binding, or complicated. It should be Eden, not the cross.


About paulsdahlman

Born in Southern California, raised on the road and now growing roots in New England. I am on the journey of my lifetime. May the footprints I leave behind form the words to my story.
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