Love under the microscope

odeon of herodes atticus
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According to the blogging ‘rules’ I do everything wrong. I jump topics, I don’t use enough passive, or I use too much passive voice – it’s a headache. I can see the value in SEO and I am making a real effort to learn more. The truth though, my truth is that I never know what comes next. I get inspired by what I read. For instance, this blog was inspired by another blogger who reminded me about love and Ancient Greece.  

Lately I have been getting comments from readers and I love it. It makes me nervous though to change things. I will but perhaps not today. I think when someone ‘gets’ what the writer is trying to say then the feeling is euphoric. Come to think of it this applies to life in general when we feel understood. Love has many faces but understanding plays a part in all of them. Ask Ancient Greece.

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Andrew, a blogger I follow, recently focused on the term Agape in his blog Pointless Overthinking. For those not familiar with the term, it is a Greek word for love but a particular type of love. In fact, the Ancient Greeks had seven specific words for specific behaviours involving love. Eros, Agape, Ludus, Philia, Pragma, Philautia, and Storge are all equally fascinating. However, I understand why Andrew chose Agape as his focus. Selflessness is an interesting concept and opens up endless discussion. My enthrallment though was with all seven. It led me to writing the poem below entitled Love – it takes all kinds.

When I wrote the poem, I challenged myself to weave the meanings into the poem. Andrew’s reminder through his post brought back that initial fascination, the discoveries to be found when love is put under the microscope. We gain an amazing clarity into behaviour, the kind displayed around love. If you are interested the poem can be found in my books, Emotions in Evolution and The Emotions Anthology Box Set.

silhouette photo of couple standing outdoors
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Love –  it takes all kinds

The bane of our existence.

The reason for our evolution.

The reason for human persistence.

The emotion that lacks solution.

The Ancient Greeks gave us insight.

Separated views of love, have might.

Eros was erotic and sexual.

Agape selfless and sacrificial.

Ludus played, flirted, seduced.

Philia to friendship, platonic was reduced.

Pragma we all hope to obtain

for Pragma is shared love and

the one we all hope to retain.

Why not, when it means

long-standing, a couple’s refrain.

And now we move to self-love

or Philautia by name.

A puzzle, often a nuisance from above

when narcissism is the game.

But then self-love can be enabling

giving us a noble redemption

when we lose the ego labelling

with caring as our intention.

And when Storge deems to reveal

we find the best is last

for familial has nothing to conceal.

For parent and child, love holds fast.

What now, we ask?

Do divisions ease the task?

But love remains the eternal mystery

controlling lives all through our history.

adventure backlit dawn dusk
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Naively perhaps, I believe that love is the most important thing for us as a human to feel, to share and to be a part of. I believe it is the inability of some to understand love and display it that renders damage on a local, regional, national, and then global level. 

As a reader and writer, I tend to cross genres. I write women’s fiction with romance as a main element but not necessarily the most important one. Contradictory. You have to read what I write to decide. In the last four years I also published four poetry books (some good pieces I hope and some I know I need to re-think) and am working on a psychological thriller. The common thread is always love. All my characters in my Unexpected Love Series, draw strength from love, understand their lives, their needs through love from others and for others. They consciously or unconsciously seek love, seek the sharing of soul, of the self, of the family and the wider community.

In Unexpected Obsession my male lead tries valiantly to ignore all forms except for Eros (sexual love). He fears Pragma (shared love) and Agape (selfless love). Nico believes thinking in terms of Eros, thinking only of the sexual connection protects him from emotional consequences. When he accepts emotion, his life opens up and includes the unexpected – Storge (love of family). My female lead Alexia, in Unexpected Passion is all about Agape but like Nico’s mate Lia is also wise enough to blend Eros and Philia with Agape. It nets both women their HEA despite the odds.

Love is multi-faceted. It requires us to understand the individual strands and then combine the threads. The Ancient Greeks separated for better understanding but blended back for true connection. Why is it we can’t do the same? We had the knowledge back then. We have it now. The knowledge has survived the centuries.

Yet, in our current world, we are so determined to separate everything in our lives into compartments and nit-pick each word we utter. Increasingly we are creating factions whether cultural, sexual, or whatever else instead of unity. Yes, we need our identities, but we need each other more. Yes, we need the sense of self but sharing brings greater joy.

Consider the parts of an engine in a car. Pulled apart and left apart, the car is rendered useless. We can be different. Must we be separate though? The car works better when the pieces are together.

Is it really so difficult for us to understand this?

What do you think? I’d love to know.

Ciao for now,

Barb

Questions for me? Want to share your views and ideas? I’d love to hear from you. A like and a comment will keep me working harder and if by any chance you have read my books or a book I have featured I would love it if you left a review. It helps writers become better writers. Consider leaving one on Goodreads

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8 Comments

  1. I really liked the analogy of the car. We need to connect with others to make the whole function. But, like you say in your poem, we also need self-love amd support to be able to connect with others in a healthy way. I loved the line,

    But then self-love can be enabling

    giving us a noble redemption

    when we lose the ego labelling

    with caring as our intention.

    Perhaps more authentic self-care would lead to more connection in our culture?

    • Yes, exactly. But we can’t do much if we don’t recognise/understand. I am optimistic most days but I do falter for brief periods when I look around. Thank you for connecting.

  2. I usually plan my blog post topics in advance, but sometimes life happens. Like you, Barbara, I feel like I break all the blogging rules. Too many words. Not enough words. Can’t find appropriate photos to illustrate. I blog too often. I don’t blog often enough. Yadadadada. I’m trying to follow too many fiction-writing rules, so I don’t really want to be burdened with blogging rules, too. Perhaps it’s my age. I’m reminded of one of my uncles. When he was 97 years old, his wife nagged him about eating too much ice cream because it wasn’t good for him. My sister and I promised each other that day that if we live to be 97 years, we’ll let each other eat as much ice cream as we want! No more rules at 97!

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