(This blog is part of a weekly series for Know Thyself 2019, a 365 day journal project. Start here!)
This Week’s Journal Topic: Love
In English, the word “love” can refer to anything from pleasant regard (“I love your blouse.”) to deep interpersonal affection (“Your love completes me.”). Although the word is frequently used, many of us, when asked, would have to think about what we really mean. Why bother defining love?
Prevent misunderstandings: An instance of the word “love” may be casually misunderstood because of the variety of meanings it takes on, dependent on context and individuals involved. The meaning is often taken for granted by the hearer and speaker.
Clarify expectations: If you’ve defined your own usage of, “I love – “, then you’ll be ready to ask another person what it means to them when they use the sentence.
Deepen your debate: Some people reserve the word “love” for strong emotions; other people use love often and easily. What’s the true meaning of love? Everyone wants to know.
How many ways do I love thee?
The Greeks are well known for classifying love, and they came up with at least eight distinct types.
Eros – passionate, sexual love
Ludus – playful, non-committed love
Philia – friendship, congenial regard
Mania – unhealthy craving of another to fulfil or cure your psychological needs
Storge – empathetic, familial or instinctual love
Agape – universal love, spiritual love, metta loving-kindness
Pragma – love based on duty, interest, or intellectual commitment
Philauta – healthy self-love, self-esteem
- Review the types of love listed above. With whom have you experienced each type of love?
- Do you think love is a pleasurable experience, or a torturous one?
- Is it better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all?
- What kind of love is most important for a child?
- What kinds of love did you experience most memorably as a teenager (with whom)?
- Do you think that Eros can ever be an undying, everlasting love?
- Does one kind of love can transform into another, and have you experienced this?
How to Get the most out of Know Thyself 2019:
Don’t rush through the questions. Try to do only one question every morning, leaving space to add thoughts that might come up later during the day. The journal is designed to help you develop a consistent, daily practice of self-reflection.
If you liked this week’s post, please like or comment! I appreciate the feedback and use it to choose future topics. If you want to see more posts like this one, let me know!