BrainBy Intent Blogger Betsy Chasse
Have you ever looked up LOVE in the dictionary? I did tonight. How interesting one 4 letter word can have so many meanings. There are at least 9 different definitions of LOVE. My favorite being a score in tennis, by the way. I also find it interesting that it's firstly, a noun, when often it feels like a verb or an adjective. It can be considered all of the above, which seems sort of fitting for this particular word, don't you think.
Such a powerful word, love, yet we throw it around like a football on Thanksgiving. I love that sweater, I love sushi, I love you. It's used for so many things it seems to me to have lost all it's power.
It's so easily purrs from our lips, "I looooovvvve youuu". It's so easily posted in our Facebook status. I'm starting to notice that there is a direct correlation to the number of times a husband or wife posts about their love for their companion in their Facebook status and divorce, I'm not kidding. This week alone I've seen three supposedly perfect (well according to Facebook anyway) marriages dropping like hot cakes. And really, that sweater, if you love it so much why don't you marry it. (As my 7 year old would say, come on we're all 7 still aren't we!) Sometimes I wonder if I should have just married my sweater.
But then I remember how I felt when I uttered those words that day I got married. I truly meant it. I felt love with every ounce of my being. It felt powerful to say.
So I guess the question becomes is love permanent? Can we love something forever? I am guilty of uttering the words "I will love you forever," and when I did I truly believed I would.
But the truth is that kind of love wasn't sustainable. I truly felt love, in the moment, years even! And the chemicals in my body released made me feel as if I would "love forever." But as with every chemical high our body gives us, eventually we reach a point where gravity takes over. For every high there is a low, for every beginning there is an end.
There are certainly many types of love. I know I will always have love for my children (maternal love). I can see how maternal love is ever lasting, the chemicals released and the part of the brain that lights up is completely different then friendship and romantic love. Love for friends and romantic love, hmmm those two are tied to so many things. So many expectations and attachments to the past. There are at least a dozen specific parts of the brain that are activated when we feel romantic love, which leads to a release of all sorts of good juices! (Peptides) These yummy juices influence certain behaviors ranging from pleasure to sadness. I guess that depends on if the love you feel is returned!
That brain can really wreak havoc can't it! When we are in romantic love we are blinded by it, logic is often thrown out the window. Those voices in our head can have quite a party with our emotions. And the chemicals- well we love our chemicals don't we! We throw caution to the wind and fall fast and hard! Blame it on the brain and those pesky peptides.
So what happens when the chemicals fade? How quickly we forget them and replace them with others. For some, friendship takes over and it can be sustained, but statistics sadly show otherwise. A whole new release has come our way, those chemicals in our brains attached to regret, sadness, anger, hurt, disappointment come cascading in. Until we repeat the pattern all over again. Love-Pain-Love-Pain
Yikes! How do I get off this crazy train! How does the cycle end?
As I reflect back on lost loves, old loves, and those I thought I didn't love anymore, I see. Yes, I truly loved you then and there is a love for you now, albeit different, but it's there. Still trying to figure out which is the score for tennis. Seriously, Love remains. It's in the memories of those moments when I felt loves kiss throughout my brain and body, the moments we shared and the experiences which brought me to today. Even if I have moved on, even if I am angry with you, and even those of you I loved so long ago I can't even remember you, I remember the feeling you gave me.
So with this I've come to two revelations:
- Once you love, you always will. It just won't be the same as the first, so stop trying to recreate it. And even when that LOVE is over, you should still love, don't ever stop loving that someone, because they gave you a gift even for a moment which should be treasured.
- You can choose to get off the love train, but that's no fun. So go ahead and LOVE LOVE LOVE baby, and when it's over be grateful you felt it and go right out and do it again.
Did you know when we kiss we swap 278 different bacterial culture (Don't worry 95% of them are not dangerous!) But in that kiss we also swap chemicals that tell our brains whether or not the person we're kissing is a good mate! When we kiss we get close enough to swap pheromones which signal our brains with a YES this guy is a good hunter or NO this guy can't hurt a fly-in which case our DNA might say it's a deal breaker. So you might think your in control of who you love, but your brain and those pheromones have other ideas.
Betsy Chasse is a single mom, author, film maker, radio host and blogger. Co-Creator of the film "What The Bleep Do We Know?!" and Producer of "Pregnant In America" You can find out more by visiting her website. You can listen to her show "Life Unscripted" live every Thursday from 9am-10am PST. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook as Betsy Chasse You can purchase her new book "Meta-Noia - A Transformational Change of Heart" (print and Kindle editions) here.