Love is — full stop.

I read an article last night that ruffled this Rooster’s feathers. The author made a case for only being able to love one person at a time. He did quantify the love he was speaking of as romantic love, as opposed to maternal love or love between friends & family. His reasoning was that love is work, love takes time and energy. Therefore, one can only truly invest in one other person if he/she wants success. The author took love, morphed it into a relationship, which then became work, likened to a job. This belief that love equals relationship and that there are love types has been adopted by many in our culture, including myself. I see things differently now, and I’ll share some thoughts as an opposing viewpoint.

Love is easy, relationships take work. Somewhere along the line, however, love became synonymous with relationship. Since relationships take work, then love takes work. Since relationships can be hard, love is hard. Since relationship success rises when having undivided attention, love must. However, love is not relationship. Relationships, at best, are a manifestation of love. You may think this is just semantics, but I believe it’s critical to make the distinction and stop trying to sell love as something it isn’t. Instead promote it as what it is, or what it should again be.

Love is energy, energy that resides within every one of us, energy that wants to flow freely. It’s an energy that results in an intense feeling of deep affection. A relationship is the way in which two or more objects, or people, are connected.

As I see it, we’ve gotten in love’s way. We’ve compartmentalized it into nicely defined quadrants, and into the resulting rules that we assume make our world move along more smoothly. Rather, it results in ownership, expectations, and loss of freedom. The freedom to feel and experience what is natural to our core, our souls. So, love becomes work. Love becomes a burden. When the expectations of our relationships fail, love has failed us. I suggest love is still there, always, but because we’ve so tightly woven love into relationship it can no longer exist outside of the relationship.

Our compartmentalizing into love types, and redefining one type as an ideal relationship, has us stumbling in the dark searching for what is so clearly in front of us when the match is lit. The flame burns hot and illuminates what laid dormant within until outside expectations snuff it out like an indistinct breeze. Then, again we stand alone in the dark.

Yet, love has enough energy to illuminate the room, burn down the walls, and set the world on fire. If we stop trying to contain it within ourselves and capture it within another how would the world appear?

So, perhaps we should stop letting our false definitions and expectations ruin the most beautiful and natural gift bestowed upon us. Experience love fully, in whatever capacity you feel compelled. Let it swirl unimpeded around and above, swallowing up one another, expanding in capacity and intensity.