Love Is

Last Saturday was Valentine’s Day, and I wanted to write a little about love. I really haven’t written about it in a long time, so I figured it was situationally appropriate.

Before you read on, please fill in the blank.

Love is ______.

Seriously. Stop what you’re doing and take a second to really think about it. What would you say if someone asked you that?

Honestly, I’m a little stumped. It’s not that I don’t feel it, try to show it, or get excited about it. But I’m running into a little bit of a creative wall because I keep saying the same things over and over again. I searched for the word on my site, and the search engine brought up 85 posts. Out of 144. So about 60% of my posts, I use the word “love.” In what context and how frequently within those 85 posts is a question I don’t want to answer and no one cares about.

Search 1: Greatest Love Songs
Anyway, to spark the love fuse, I decided to turn to Google in search for inspiration. So I searched for “greatest love songs” and I clicked on the first answer that popped up into my search results. It was a Billboard article that claimed to be listing the top 50 love songs of all time. Important disclaimer here: it’s 50 of the best songs with the word “Love” in the title, and the priority is determined by how well they did on the Billboard Hot 100. I did not read the disclaimer before I actually read through the article, so my expectations were way too high going into this.

Number 47, right after Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” at 48, was Stevie Wonder’s “Part Time Lover.” I’m a fan of Stevie Wonder fan, but the song “Part Time Lover” is basically about how he hooks up with this girl on this side, and at the end of the song, he finds out that his girl also has a dude on the side. This is a song in the “Greatest Love Song of All Time” category.

Right after that is Minnie Riperton’s “Lovin’ You,” which I realized is lyrically underrated. In the second verse, she sings, “Cause lovin’ you has made my life so beautiful.” She’s not saying that receiving this love is the best part, but actually loving is making her life great. It’s either that or she’s talkin about bonin’…

Round out the lower 30s with UB40 (Can’t Help Falling In Love), Savage Garden (I Knew I Loved You), and Foreigner (I Want to Know What Love Is). Like a senior prom playlist. I would dissect all of the songs, but that’s not what I want to write about today. You can read through the rest of it, but be prepared to see Beyonce “Crazy In Love” and Leona Lewis “Bleeding Love.” Spoiler alert, the top ranked song is “Endless Love” by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie.

Search 2: What is Love
Alright, first search didn’t work that well. So I searched for “What is Love” which was an immediate mistake. Take us to the next search, Butabi boys

Search 3: “Love” on Pandora
Then I tried to tune into the “Love Songs” station on Pandora. I got back Sam Smith, Christina Perri, John Legend, Howie Day. Lifehouse. I got Lifehouse, for shit’s sake.

Search 4: Definition of Love
Fourth time’s a charm. I searched for “Definition of Love”, and clicked on two links. The Wikipedia version of love and the 8-step Wiki about how you define love (with photos!). The Wikipedia article is extremely informative and comprehensive, but not what I think I was looking for/too long for me to do a good job of accurately summarizing. And the Wikihow article was clicked just because I wanted to see what was in there. Let me save you the trouble and just show you one of the “photos.”

Search 5: What is Love
Fifth time’s a charm. I went back to “What is Love,” got passed that awesome song, and found this Guardian Article that reviews 5 different views of love: A physicist, psychotherapist, philosopher, novelist, and nun. I would sincerely recommend taking 3 minutes to read through this article. All of them have great points, but I think the nun actually summed it up the best.

Love is more easily experienced than defined. As a theological virtue, by which we love God above all things and our neighbours as ourselves for his sake, it seems remote until we encounter it enfleshed, so to say, in the life of another – in acts of kindness, generosity and self-sacrifice. Love’s the one thing that can never hurt anyone, although it may cost dearly. The paradox of love is that it is supremely free yet attaches us with bonds stronger than death. It cannot be bought or sold; there is nothing it cannot face; love is life’s greatest blessing.

After reading all/any of these articles/this post, would you still keep the same answer? If it’s still hard to explain, then that’s probably a good thing.

Thanks for reading.

– The Freely Bound Butabi


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