Bipolar. That’s the first thought that comes to mind now when I think of the journey of relationships. Maybe this is a personal thought that others can’t relate to, but I think when we really dig deep and get honest with ourselves and the reality of it, Bipolar fits the descriptions. Like bipolar, there are extreme highs, lows and those in-between moments in a relationship where the momentum has come to a standstill. Sometimes, you’re both on the same page, and things are going so great that you question why people even think twice about being alone over having a companion. You feel on top of the world like finally, all your prayers have been answered, and this person is giving you all the happiness you’ve ever asked for.
Then there are the low moments where everything becomes a struggle, a mountain climb where the top becomes a little blurry, and the laughter and happy times become distant memories. And let’s not forget the “not much” moments when literally not much is happening or going on, and you can go for ages without intimate conversation.
Wow, I’m sorry, but just getting into that was tiring, so I hear you and feel you if you’re currently experiencing or have experienced it.
But isn’t it still so beautiful? Just the idea alone sends people into desperate states, hours on end swiping right on various dating apps either to boost their ego, stimulate adrenaline, and I almost sympathise with the hopeless romantics that search on and on for “their true love” or someone with whom they can have a complete relationship. Something and someone that they can call theirs, especially in this world of false or exaggerated characteristics and media-driven brains.
So What’s The Difference Between Love and Lust?
This is a hard one, right? Or maybe not because we all think that lust is just wanting to have sex with someone, and love is wanting to actually be with them, but a lot of people think they love, lust, even without knowing it.You’d be surprised to know that more than half of the population mistake lust for love simply because we don’t listen to our brains. Essentially, our brain knows the difference between lust and love due to chemical releases and triggers. According to a study published in ‘The Journal of Sexual Medicine,’ a scientist said that the part of the brain triggered by lust happened to be the same area activated by pleasures like sex and food, while the area of the brain activated by love was more associated with behavioural conditioning and rewards.
What does that mean in general people talk? Well, lust is driven by pleasures, desires and thirsts. Like eating food and good food is something I love but only because it benefits me and satisfies my need and pleasure. So, a lot of us say we ‘Love’ someone, but if we realise it’s mainly down to how they benefit us and complement our lives, that’s actually more of a lust we have for them, rather than genuine love.
When we love others without lust, we’re actually opening ourselves to being vulnerable, conditioning ourselves to be selfless and putting their needs before ours to see the reward of them being happy. We want more from ourselves rather than them, so we go through a behavioural pattern of change, becoming what our friends may call ‘mushy’ or ‘romantic’ as we want to become the best person in their lives. You become a better version of yourself to help the other person do the same or to be there for them in a Godly way, which is loving, caring, generous, kind, patient, forgiving and self-controlled. That’s the beauty of love; you start to change and improve.
To love, you have to learn to grow and trust. For others to love, we must love them first. It’s not just by words but by actions, time and letting your guard down for them to see the child in you, small vulnerable and naked. Love knows that in the end, this person could walk away from you, but you still love them anyway because you choose to.
Love and Loss
When you love someone and lose them, whether physically (through death or separation) or emotionally, this doesn’t mean that the love is lost unless you choose to see it that way.
A particular love I’d like to talk about is the love for my Grandma (Mother’s mum). She died in 2016, and I felt like she died before I got to show her how much I loved her. She protected me, fed me and looked after me when I was back in Africa. She was a big woman with a heart and strength I’d never known but came to know through her perseverance, determination and faith that all would work out in life, even in our darkest hardest moments. I wanted to make her proud, show her that all the sacrifices she’d made for us as kids had paid off. I wanted to go back and help her look after the children by setting up a proper orphanage, health and educational systems in our village, but I wanted her to be alive to witness it.
When she died ,it was like time had taken that opportunity away from the both of us, but that was so wrong. As months went by, believe it or not but my love for her grew.I thought of her more and all the memories I had of her filled my mind with happiness, I knew she was guiding me and protecting me more now than before as she could actually see me living my life. The more I thought of her great traits and qualities, the more I wanted to become the woman I knew I should be and one that she’d be proud to call her Granddaughter.
I learnt how to love others more by not giving up on them because she never gave up on me or anyone in the family. Her values live on in my mind and through me because our love wasn’t lost through her death; that’s not how love works. Love is never-ending, even when the person is no longer physically there. The love only gets stronger because you begin to love without expectations, without fear, rejection or misunderstanding.
Their loss becomes a test God gives you, a test of your loyalty and your own understanding of love by how you continue without them.
I would love to hear your own takes on love, lust and loss.
Can you relate to anything mentioned above?