It’s weird that our generation’s popular culture has such a strong emphasis on love but for some reason it seems there’s to not enough to go around. Our songs, our movies, our literature, our hashtags are bombarded with love but it seems love has become more of an abstract understanding rather than a lived experience.
The concept of love plagues a large majority of the cultural products of westernized, western-influenced, western-colonized, contemporary communities and societies. When all we sing about, watch about, hear about, talk about, learn about is love, you would think that we knew how to love very well. Yet more than ever we experience an increase in mental illnesses, more cases of depression, the rise in numbers of bullying and cyber bullying, body shaming, etc. We are having sex because we want to feel good, not because we want our partners to. We are getting married because we don’t want to be alone, not because we want to be with some one else. It’s all about ourselves - me, myself, and I.
We live in a society where love is only measured by how much we feel loved rather than also being measured by how much we are actually in the act of loving. Love is being measured by how many likes, views, reviews, sales, raves, invites, etc. that we receive over invisible, wireless signals from people we don’t know or people we haven’t actually spoken to in ages. Love is being measured by how often others make us feel good about ourselves.
We feel loved in comparison to others. We love the products made from the hands of child and contract labor but we don’t want to vacation in the impoverished ghettos of exotic vacation hot spots. We love our trimmed, manicured lawns that our immigrant laborers craft but we don’t support immigration reform and complain that our jobs are being taken away from us. We go to great lengths to feel loved and it leads us to deny others love in hopes that we will feel even more loved.
Maybe the reason why we are so obsessed with the concept of love is that we don’t know how to love. Maybe we’re hoping that through talking, singing, writing, learning, hearing, file sharing about love is so that we can learn how to love. We are so focused on ourselves and receiving love to fill our empty hearts that we forget that giving and giving back love to those around us are a part of filling the holes of our hearts.
When we cannot give love, we can’t seem to properly accept love either. Our well-being suffers because we expect to be loved and when we are are not experiencing the completeness we are told love offers and we begin to question if we, ourselves, can be loved at all. We create illnesses for ourselves that we cannot begin to comprehend and spend millions of dollars to have some one else explain to us how to love ourselves and our partners. How can we feel loved when all those who are supposed to love us are just like us, expecting to be loved without loving?
Love is a very desirable, indescribable life experience that we all want to indulge in. But we do not really experience love, even if it is handed to us, unless we reciprocate and love in return. Receive love willingly and humbly. But also love so that you put others before yourself. Love by wanting to do good for the people that you love. Love by always trying to become better for another. Be willing to love and you will be loved.
Sometimes you just gotta stay silent cause no words can explain the shit that’s going on in your mind and heart.