In Ramblings on February 14, 2005 by Cody McComas

After watching The Wedding Planner, starring J-lo’s booty, my freind Darin and I had a conversation about “love.” We discussed if it is something that has been completely invented by Hollywood and love-songs. Is it some arbitrary, third-party force that takes-hold of its subjects and forces them to do irrational things. Or is it something more like this:

“Love isn’t a state of perfect caring. It is an active verb like “struggle.” To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now–and to go on caring even through times that may bring us pain.”
-Mr Rogers-
(thanks Emily Price)

What do you think. Is it stardust and moonlight, or is it labor and work, or is it Cupid, or does it even exist? Give me your thoughts. It is Valentine’s day after all.


31 Responses to “Love?”

  1. If love is not real than nothing is. Love is something we all need and strive for. Sure it can be hard, painful and something you struggle at but all in all-its worth trying and having than not at all. A great friend once told me-“I think one of the main purposes of life is to love as much as possible, despite the increased risk of pain. J.M. Barrie ( the guy who wrote peter pan) said: ” Let no one who has loved be called altogether unhappy- even love unreturned has its rainbow. ” Amen and Amen again.

  2. I agree that it better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all, but what if the struggle is so incredibly exhasuting that you are just incapable of doing it? What if the struggle is so overwhelming that you just can’t funtion? What then?

  3. What if the struggle of trying to love just absolutely drains you to the point of inability to do anything, including love?

  4. Love certainly exists. But like anything Hollywood feeds us, it’s not quite as plastic, perfect or fantastic. (Hollywood has to make love entertaining, fun and easy.)

    It’s actually much better than that. A film has 2 hours. Love develops day-by-day, over years, decades, a lifetime. Love has stages, and Hollywood reflects an artistic take on a certain portion of the beginning stage, but love must be experienced, not viewed, or even fantasized about, to be identified and understood.

    And I can say without reservation, that the most rewarding, profound and meaningful parts of my life, have love at their center. And these parts eclipse all other parts into insignificance.

    Sadly our vision of love has been confused by Hollywood’s paradoxically innacurate “selfish love.”

    Love does reward the lover, but only because it rewards the loved. That’s the essence of love.

    And romantic love is the beautiful union of rewards that come as both the lover, and the loved.


  5. What if the struggle of trying to love just absolutely drains you to the point of inability to do anything, including love?That totally depends on the circumstances.

    If you are talking about your child, for example – there is no such thing as an inability to love. That’s not an ability that can be taken away, worn away, or exhausted.

    If you are talking about romantic love… if that is the experience associated, then I’d say that’s a cue that you’re barking up the wrong tree. 🙂

    Romantic love, especially in the early stages, should never feel like drudgery, should never feel exhausting, should never overwhelm us to the point of not being able to function. If that’s the experience, I’d say one is either directing love to the wrong recipient, or that love is taking the blame for something else.

    If romantic love, in the beginning especially, isn’t engaging, exciting, rewarding, uplifting, and horizon broadening, then I’d say that’s not love at all, it’s an unhealthy fixation.

    One-sided love has it’s place, don’t get me wrong. Mr. Rogers is right. But romantic love should make your days brighter, not darker. It should uplift, not overwhelm. It should energize, not exhaust.


  6. If love drains you of the beauty of life then it doesn’t fullfill it’s purpose.

    Maybe it takes time for us to realize this. Maybe if it is so exhausting it isn’t worth your time and you are barking up the wrong tree.

    But, there are those rare exceptions to these so called “rules of love” where out of it all, it ends splendidly.

    What does the heart tell you? What does the mind tell you? That is where we often times confuse ourselves to where we can’t see what we used too.

    If we live the way we should. (Not saying there is one way we should but you get the idea) If we do all we can to do the things we are here for. We will be guided as to what we should do. But it might not always come to you in an instance.

    But none the less take action in the things you know… in your heart and mind.

    I agree, though, that if it is to the point of not being able to funtion something must change. And maybe its that person on the other end or it is ourself.

    Not meaning we have to change ourselves in order to love but, something is in loves way. Something needs fixing if we are incapable of existing, breathing and living fully- Loving.

  7. My thought is that love is started, created, and is only capable of going foward because of Jesus Christ. He teaches, gives, creates, and embodies true love. I think love has a life of it’s own. It is perpetuated by the act of loving. Who started that perpetuation, Christ. Who does one go to when that love is empty or lost? Christ. How does a person regenerate the love that was once so full, when we are so empty? Christ. How then is it given? If we are fulfilled by the love we receive from Christ then we are able to turn to others and give that love away. So, in essence we are just holders of that love for a little while. In so doing this “favor” for Jesus Christ to pass that love along, we are never in a bad place, or don’t get a little on ourselves, because we can fill up the emptyness of that love if it is taken from us improperly, which leaves us feeling empty. That is were our Natural man thoughts come in and we dwell and focus on the pain when all we simply need to do is to turn to the creator of the love and refill what someone has taken and left pain.

    This is what I have come to learn. Not that I’m even close to using this tool and process at all.

  8. I am really learning a lot from these comments, thank you so much for sharing. Keep ’em coming.

  9. Is love worth it? If you feel that way? What if it is a bunch of mixed and misused undestandings that causes us that pain? What if what we have been looking for is there but we fail to realize this because we failed to see what was underneath… The real meaning, in essence. It happens. Its sad. How do you realize that? How do you make things less complicated if you feel you only make things worse? Love is complicated.

  10. My love for Rick is just so simple. I love him. He loves me. That is the sum and total of it…we don’t have to WORK it to death…we don’t analyze it to death. It is just there simple true the same. He says he loves me every day when he comes home from work. He hugs me when I am fixing supper. That is it…simple simple simple….Arlene

  11. Contrary to popular belief, exercise doesn’t deplete energy but rejuvenates it. I’d say the same is true of real love. I don’t have less when I give more. It’s not as though I’m pouring out my glass. It’s quite the opposite in fact.

    Elder John H. Groberg in Fall 2004 conference said, “God’s love fills the immensity of space; therefore, there is no shortage of love in the universe, only in our willingness to do what is needed to feel it.”

    As far as romantic love goes, I have no experience.

  12. “there is no shortage of love in the universe”…..
    Makes me think we have all the pieces available and the puzzling thing about love can be that we can’t always see the big, huge picture to see where the pieces all fit.
    I think love, true love, does its own thing; giving, taking, leaving, finding — but not without people. People are the capsules, the transports of love. God so loved the world through a perfect person. We can assist love in spreading to others (can we sometimes get in the way?) because love is for humans to have and to give. But, a human doesn’t have to accept love.
    Romantic love? I think really is selfish…. Maybe it is the facet of love that reflects differently for and through each person. That is why we fall for some and not for others. That is why some fall for us and maybe the feelings aren’t returned. That’s the love we hold the reigns of. Does that mean we can steer it? Does that mean it will get us anywhere? Again, no person has to accept love from another, especially romantic love.
    But that makes me think of a twist on what I first said. If true love does its own thing and by choice you don’t have to accept it, 1)can it still invade or penetrate without your consent? and 2)should we work on accepting true love from others when it’s offered?

  13. I would like to say that love is simple. It is for many. But it isn’t, for many, as well.

    Some do have to work for it. Some do not know everything. It can be rough. Yes, maybe not to the extent of not being able to adapt or live

    BUT love for some is simple and love for some is harder.

    Most all of us dream of “just knowing.” We dream that it comes to us so easily but I know and have seen many people who did have to work for it HARD and it took a lot of time but it still ended up right.

    So yes, I agree it should be easy (being that I and the rest of the world want that as well) but I also see and agree that love can be quite hard.

    I guess you have to choose for yourself what you will and will not do. If you want easy and its hard or if you can handle the hard if in the end its worth it.

  14. Love isn’t something you can chain up and throw in a lake. Thats called Hudini. Love is liking someone a lot. –Jack Handy.

  15. Jack Handy, what a classic.

  16. Love. There have been so many great things said. I’m not sure what my stance is on love, or that I can rest on any conclusions I have yet come to, but Emerson said “Speak what you think to-day in words as hard as cannon-balls and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day.”

    We talk about love as a thing. But maybe we should look at it like this: Love is a word that we have created to describe a unique quality of relationships between people, things, deity, conditions ect. Love is an abstraction. Love itself doesn’t exist as an independent force, finite or infinite. When we talk about the “love of God” what we are really saying is Jesus Christ suffering for sins in our stead. (Of course there are other instances but that remains the key example). When people say love is a verb, they are begging to unmask this abstraction. What is the difference? If the word love means whatever it represents, why not just use the word? I’m all for grammatical simplicity, but when we look at love as an outside force that creates our relationships, we are left looking for a third, foreign ingredient.
    I once was in a relationship that wasn’t what I wanted it to be, I was waiting for love to come and take over and make things right. What was really happening was that my needs (and probably hers too) weren’t being met and the relationship wasn’t going to become strong enough to last. I think this sheds some light on why some people think they have “fallen out of love”. The magic was just gone or whatever the excuse. The truth is that the relationship was suffering and the fallen lover was waiting for some outer-magic to come and save the relationship. No need to do anything, no one is accountable. It’s loves fault. This may seem to rob us of romance, but I don’t think so. Two people in a relationship of love that they have created and worked for together is much more powerful a picture than two people in love because of some mysterious power.

  17. I would be interested to hear what Darin has to say about love.

    I have a difficult time, not in believing in the existence of love, but rather in accepting the notion that romantic love is what my ideal should be. While romantic love is amazing while it lasts, it often ends in heartache–and for what? Is the experience one has with romantic love really any more valuable than the experience one might have with a good friendship? When I make friends, I make them for life…when I have a romantic relationship, it always ends. Why should this, then, be my ideal?

  18. I like what Nate just observed. I don’t kknow if I totally agree, I’m not sure he totally agrees, but I like the observation. As for Darin: I shall not speak for another, however I will encourage him to post a comment.

  19. 2 comments:

    1) Bravo Nate. Bravo. I don’t think there’s much more to say about it. The same goes for Arlene’s comment. Bravo. If love is anything, it is a name for a type of relationship between two people. No need to freak out about whether or not a particular relationship is or is not “love.” It is what it is, which is whatever the two involved are making of it. It’s like discussing for hours whether a tomato is a fruit or a vegetable, or whether a starfish is a plant or an animal. In the end, the name will not change what it was to begin with.

    2) To “anonymous 11:00 pm”: We live in a monogamous society — we’re only allowed to marry one other person; in other words, we’re only allowed to “fall in love” with one person and then stay with them for the rest of our lives, or until we decide we’re not in love with them anymore. If that were different — if we were allowed to stay with multiple lovers — then I think we would develop many romantic loves, and they would all last for varying periods of time, they would overlap, they would vary in intensity of commitment and depth of communication, etc.

    I am not suggesting that this would be a better way of doing things. My point is that the observation made by “Anonymous 11:00 pm” only applies within current convention, but does not identify anything intrinsic to love itself.

  20. In response to Nate and Jared’s comment number 1)Here, here! I second that.

  21. I love it when someone can articulate what I am thinking or feeling better than I can

  22. The previous comments have all been on love. However, I am assuming that most of us have been taught or learned for ourselves that while love is good, what we must be striving for is charity. I thought these scriptures might stem some interesting conversations. For while love can become corrupted, and may exhaust the bearer of it, we have been promised that “Charity never faileth”.

    And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 1 Cor. 13:2

    And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail— Moroni 7:45-46

    But there’s a catch. In order to truly have charity, it must be for everyone. It is easy to love your new boyfriend who has not yet shown his faults. And it is easy to love the thought of future children. It is much harder to love a husband who has said something hurtful after an argument, or love a child who in response to that love has just screamed “I hate you” and slammed the bedroom door in your face. And what about loving our neighbors and our enemies. We can not exclude them so easily from our discussions on love. While romantic love is hard, it is much harder to give our love to those who seem undeserving. We may love many, but we must love all.

  23. Just a thought:
    I have been told that I don’t have to respect someone, I don’t have to trust someone, I don’t even have to like someone, but of me it is required to love every someones.

    But my question, and it has been a long time loitering in my intelligence so maybe you could help me out — Have you fully forgiven someone if you still do not trust them after forgiving them?

    It seems like an easily asnwered question, and maybe it is for you, but I come to it again and again when I am around someone every day that I feel I cannot trust with personal items of information. This feeling of mistrust makes me feel like I have not forgiven the person. The foreboding sense that if I told them something they would abuse the information keeps me from trusting them. Obviously, you don’t sleep with the rapist, but let’s say you’re just with the rapist every day? Can you forgive and love them without trusting them/with having those feelings of mistrust inside?

  24. Emily F.- Forgive, but don’t forget. I’m not even sure exactly what that means, but I feel it is applicable. If someone murdering my younger sister, I wouldn’t allow my younger brother alone in a room with them…EVER. I could theoretically say, “I forgive you for being a murderer, I no longer hate you for murdering my sister, but that doesn’t mean that I trust you.” I hope that helps.

  25. I think Jared misunderstood the comment I posted last night (I am Anonymous 11:00 pm).

    I am not implying that monogamous relationships should not be our ideal; I am questioning whether “romantic love” is really necessary. Obviously, romantic love exists so that we can find the person we are supposed to spend eternity with. This type of relationship should be our goal. However, I believe that many people find romantic love in and of itself to be the goal…when in my opinion, it is an artificial form of love; a vehicle that should lead to pure love, or charity.

    For this reason, I don’t necessarily believe that it is “better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all,” at least in the romantic sense. When a higher form of love is not obtained, what purpose does romantic love serve, except to bring pain?

  26. Anonymous 11:00,

    My point in bringing up monogamous relationships was to show that romantic love often ends in heartache (as you said) because our monogamous society only allows us to “keep” one romantic love. The others all have to end. What I’m saying is that ending or ending-in-heartache are not necessary properties of romantic love, but rather social constructs. If we were, hypothetically, allowed to keep multiple romantic loves, then they wouldn’t have to end at all. As it stands, however, they all have to end except one.

    I should also say that I agree with your more significant point: that romantic love is not our best ideal. Romantic love is fun and exciting, in my experience. Sometimes it has been more or less fleeting or meaningful than other times. But ultimately we are trying to develop something more; we are trying to develop a more accepting, caring, nurturing, protecting, committed, etc., relationship with someone else — what I think you mean by “friendship.” And I do agree that that is our higher goal.

  27. Another thought:

    In my philosophy of language class last semester, I learned that it is not correct to say that a relationship “exists.” That is misleading. The correct term is “obtain.”

    To say that a relationship “exists” between two things leads easily into the mistake of understanding the relationship as something above or in addition to those two things themselves. Saying that a relationship “obtains,” on the other hand, makes it easier to think of the relationship as nothing more or less than the manner in which the two things relate to each other.

    Having said that, I think love is a type of relationship that obtains between two people. And we have made it abundantly clear here that there are many different types of love relationships, two of which are 1) romantic love, and 2) committed, friendship-based, or “true” love.

    Most of us seem to agree that romantic love can often be shallow and/or transient, while “true” love is more stable and deep, and therefore better – it’s what we really need to develop in our lives. I assume most of us would also agree that true love can and probably should include romantic love, especially between spouses, and that romantic love can be made into true love. In other words, the two types are not mutually exclusive.

    Of course I haven’t captured everything, but thanks for letting me sum up.

    Now what?

    I like what Anonymous 4:55 said about loving enemies, etc. Assuming it isn’t acceptable to be selfish in life by making spousal love is priority #1 (which I do think can be selfish, no matter how much emphasis the LDS church puts on “right person, right place, right time” – and we will all be/be prepared to be better spouses as soon as we learn to care less about our own needs), over love of the people of the world (bold-and-beautiful, as well as down-and-out), community service and shoulder-to-cry-on activities become just as important as “finding true love.” I don’t think Mother Teresa ever married. Didn’t have time – too busy loving.

  28. =)”Too busy loving.” Fabulous, absolutely fabulous. The Savior taught “As I Have Loved You, Love One Another.” How has He and how does He continue to love us?

    That having been said, spousal love and community service are not mutually exclusive either. I would say spousal love IS community service and community service can strengthen spousal love.

  29. love isn’t a feeling, its an ability.

  30. So I’m a bit behind here…if anyone is still reading this 30th comment…Did you know BYU once (and maybe still does) offered a semester-long course on love? They spend the semester reading about it and trying to define it. Classic BYU.

    Best definition I’ve heard yet: Love is my commitment to your success regardless of the cost to me.

    My co-worker’s thoughts: All of my single friends said there was no such thing as a soul-mate. Then they found theirs.

    There is pain in growth, and love is the final standard. We grow in this life so we will have pain. Scripturally: Read the last hours of the Savior’s life and notice the number of times he was in pain and still loved those around him. Even in his greatest pain, he loved. I would dare say it is what got Him through it. Love for us. Love for his Father. One of my life’s quests: to always love, even in my pain.

  31. a noble quest, daines. I think everyone especially myself, should work on that.
    Sometimes I think to myself, what is a sin? and then I think, “in any case, it taints our souls and possibly sets farther away the distance we must reach to eternal glory. So, the atonement offers the cleansing of sin…. What can take away sin?”

    Really, think about it! Nothing on earth can actually take away sin. Only the atonement of Christ accessed through true repentance can fully obliterate sin. And what is the atonement? Well, I think it’s love. The purest, most refined, most powerful version available. So to go through natural pain and come out conquerer, there had to have been love in there somewhere. To subject yourself over and over to pain-inflicting (failing relationships or situations involving sin, or whatever else you can think of) doesn’t seem to contain much love. But, even if the pain we endure is caused by ourself, it can still be overcome through the atonement. That is one powerful chunk of love we all need to take a bite out of.

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