Love is the outreach of self towards completion.
RALPH W. SOCKMAN
When we love someone or something, what exactly is happening?
Can you define it?
You might start by saying that you are feeling an intense feeling of deep affection towards someone or something. But that is not actually defining what is happening. That is describing what you are feeling. So what actually is happening?
Baba Ram Dass shares, “Only that in you which is me can hear what I am saying.” I interpret his statement to mean that in the connectivity of people, we find the commonality between us in the connection of our communication. But that, in and of itself, is not the full answer to this query.
Ralph Sockman’s point is that in our passion to love someone or something, we are self fulfilling our own need and desire. We are discovering in other things, people or animals, the unique variables that help us to define whom we truly are.
For example, when you love another person, be they family, friend or lover, you feel a deep connection between you both that is undefinable. You know in your heart that you feel more complete. This is symbolized by two lovers wearing opposite halves of a symbolic heart. We find ourselves sharing with another that when we are with them, we feel like we are complete. We lovingly refer to them as “our other half.” In sexual terms we describe the mutual climax as nirvana, a state of perfect happiness; an ideal place.
When that love is for a pet, we find ourselves sacrificing various variables in our lives such that we may do things for that animal that make us feel more whole, more complete in our overall happiness. We describe the benefit we get from dogs as “unconditional love,” because they seem to demonstrate these feelings for us at all times. They make us feel as if we are the entire center of their universe and they demonstrate their appreciation of this, in every way that they know how to express.
When the love is for an inanimate item like music, movies, sports, books, artwork, traveling, and countless other activities, items, experiences and engagements, we find an even deeper reinforcement of that which Mr. Sockman speaks. These are all acts of the self finding a deeper sense of wholeness, or completion.
Is there a piece of music, or a scene from a film that can move you to tears? Why do you suppose that happens? Perhaps it is directly related to our inner being feeling a longing deep inside. These longings are not always on the conscious level. The emotional release that comes from watching such a scene or listening to such a track, triggers this response in us, leaving us on an emotionally different plane than the one we are on at the outset of the experience.
I close this musing with the thought about why the most popular of all musicals are based upon an unrequited love story. A love story in which the two lovers are not able to be together at the end because of larger than life circumstances. This could be due to death, honor, duty or any other reason. But we are all subject to that intense sorrow in watching a story where we want the two to end happily ever after and yet, they cannot. These stories work because they make us feel that deep intense desire and then force a disconnect that is not personal, it is external and it hurts like hell, because we want desperately for it to be different.
Hence, the true meaning of love. It truly is an outreach of the self towards completion.