What's love got to do with this?
Cliches, such as "love makes the world go 'round," "all's fair in love and war," "opposites attract," "fall head over heels," etc., have been around for decades, making a rather confusing mix about this emotion. Having studied Carl Rogers, a well-known expert on human relations, he wrote a lot about unconditioned positive regard. In its simplest form, this concept means acceptance by people. How wonderful would it be if all kinds of ill-will would take a backseat to positive regard?
How about this adage: "Love is never having to say you're sorry" from "Love Story?" It seems like this could mean acceptance. It goes without saying that sorry does mean someone's feelings got hurt. The easiest way to reduce disrespect would be a "Band Aid of regret." Usually, the admittance of being sorry could translate into being wrong. On the other hand, a person's willingness to be apologetic could be a way to be considerate.
If one person has to apologize too much, then the issue of making peace might be a reason. In addition, some things can be let go without any overdrawn misunderstanding. Love does expect some leeway rather than being a fault-finder.
No longer would it be necessary to have people "tear down" each other when there is a disagreement. If harmony and positive regard is implemented, then, love has a chance to flourish and be that motivating force of being happy.
If love is the centerfold of a relationship, then, the possibility of a "toxic" form of love may be less viable. Jealousy has become somewhat of a sign of being seriously in love. And yet, that emotion is restrictive. Dominance of one person over another has little to offer. A "No one can have you but me" attitude does not show love.
So now, to what has the concept or feeling of love evolved in this 21st century? Yes, there is the commercial side that promotes buying things, candy, flowers and a night out, as a love expression. That does suggest that love can be purchased with something rather than the ultimate gift of the self. How can that be done? Love cannot be limited to just one day. But not participating in that one day could spell disaster.
Declare a revolution of that one day goal and make every day one that makes life so beautiful. Somehow, a person can be the source of delight and joy which could be planned into anyone's daily life. Wouldn't it be touching that everyone gets involved, too! Smiles seem to be the easiest way to do this, and yet, so many people have their heads down when they're out and about, and what about all these tech devices?
When a person passes a loved one, how sweet the touch of a hand on one's hair could make the night. The idea to reserve this for special times does not make for a healthy diet of positive regard. In the past, Leo Buscaglia had a theory about hugs. The more hugs you get in a day, the happier you will be.
How about it, folks, could you love more?
Jeanne Polisoto is a Forestville resident.