Love is the most beautiful thing in this world. It gives us strength, courage and determination. Love pushes us to better ourselves. Love is the greatest thing man can ever know.
But love comes in different forms. Not all love are equal. Some love are about building family and friendships. There is also love for oneself. And at times this love of self can be blinding and be selfish. It can lead a person to destroy others and seek only one’s happiness. But there is also unconditional love. This is the purest and the truest of all the kinds of Love.
What is Love?
Love comes from the Middle English word luf which means “to please”. Love is the desire to please others with the relationship offered by oneself. It is also the desire to please one’s heart.
The word love has been defined so many different ways by so many different people. Scholars, romantics, poets, artists and every man or woman will give you his or her own definition of love. Love truly comes in different shapes and forms.
The ancient Greeks have given names to different forms of love. They have seen that love may not be all the same so they named each and every form to simply the kinds of love known to man.
Agape – Agape is the purest of all the kinds of love. It is a non sexual form of love. This type of love is self sacrificing and enduring. This is unconditional love.
Agape is the love of a mother to her child. It is pure and true. It does not seek any validation or anythng in return.
Eros – Eros is the sort of love you see in couples. It is the love filled with desire and longing for another. It is the sort of love that one wishes to consumate.
However in relationships, eros is not enough to keep a relationship afloat. Agape and Philia is needed in order to keep a two lovers together for a long time.
Philia – Philia is the love of friends. It is dispassionate and virtuous. This type of love is also self sacrificing. It is the type of love that keeps friends together through the years.
Xenia – Xenia is the type of love that we relate with other and our society. It is the type of love that moves us with mercy towards others who have less than what we have. It is the type of love that gives people the urge to help others and volunteer.
The Greatest Love of All: Unconditional Love
When you hear of the words unconditional love, what does your mind see? What does your heart tell you?
Unconditional love comes with maturity and selflessness. It means not seeking one’s own happiness but the happiness of the other. When you are young and a child, you loved your parents because they provided you with the things that you needed.
On the other hand, as you grew up, you felt infatuation towards a person of the opposite or the same sex. You wanted to be with them and desired to be liked back by this person. You long to be wanted. When you start dating, you want security, that your partner will only love you and want you. But this is not agape. This is not selfless love.
Often times, agape or unconditional love requires life experience and maturity. It can come in a young heart ever so rarely but often times, it blossoms in the hearts of those who have lived and have been hurt before. Unconditional love does not ask to be loved back. It does not seek validation or reciprocation. It just loves and exists.
Unconditional love does not demand. It does not seek one’s happiness, but rather seeks the joy the beloved.
Forms of Unconditional Love
Unconditional love does exist. It is one of the greatest gifts given to man and woman. Our hearts are made so great that it can bear unconditional love.
A Mother’s Love – A mother’s love is one of the greatest of all the love known to man. It is a kind of love that endures time and space. A mother can do anything and everything for a child. Mothers often talk about falling inlove with a child even he or she is still int the womb. This love continues until the mother’s last breath.
The Love of a Father – Fathers may not be showy about their love, but they are capable of unconditional love. They work hard and do everything to provide for their families. They also stay at home to take care of the kids. They can learn how to braid and sing songs and not think that it’s ridiculous because they feel love.
Romantic Unconditional Love – Romantic unconditional love is sometimes found in unrequited love. Someone loves someone but the other person does not return the love. It can also be found in relationships. Often times in the beginning of a relationship, one seeks one’s own desires such as Eros. But with time, Agape grows and flourishes.
The Love of Pet to His or Her Master – Have you ever seen a dog awaiting his or her master before? Well dogs are the greatest examples of giving unconditional love. They wait all day for just a single moment of joy knowing you will pat them in the head. Cats may also show this though not as commonly seen by other (however cat people swear by it).