I know - I know! You are probably scratching your head and wondering what on Earth I have got against flowers - let alone the connection between the two parts of the title to this blogpost. I love most types of flower - except the one with a connection to a Mental Health issue (Narcissus) - I am not too keen on daffodils either.
"Love" is a word which is in danger of losing it's meaning in modern society. From a starting point where there were four separate types of "Love" - of which I can only remember "Agape", or brotherly love, and "Eros", or sexual love - we appear to have somehow arrived at a point where we can say we "love" almost anything and not have the "Grammar Police" chasing us down the street.
In fact, I was stunned when I heard a song with the lyrics - "I love myself too much for that". Taken out of context that line can be read to mean that the person has almost narcissitic tendencies. (Knowing who wrote the song I can say that nothing could be further from the truth - Have a listen to "I'm Getting Rid Of This" by Kristyna Myles www.youtube.com/watch.)
I must admit I am not usually such a big fan of saccharine or slushy love songs. My taste in lyrics about love stretch more towards "When Love Turns To Hate, We Just Can't Relate" (from "The Downside Of Love" by Richie Sambora), "Ambition and Love wearing boxing gloves and singing hearts and flowers" (from "Somewhere In My Heart" by Aztec Camera), and "Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn't Fall In Love With)?" (by Buzzcocks). As in the exact opposite of the slushy meaning of love usually sold in pop songs.
If you think about it - there is a strange connection between the modern "psychobabble" definition of the word "Love" and the one mentioned in the Bible (I am thinking about "the Ten Commandments" here and not that most over-used verse in the Bible about "God so loved the world that He gave His only Son" - John 3:16).
The First Commandment is straightforward enough for most Christians to get their heads around "Love The Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and soul".
The Second Commandment is where I start getting brainache. "Love your neighbour as you love yourself" assumes you love yourself to start with (with or without a tendency towards Narcissim).
(And before you tell me I need to "validate" my feelings and "own" my thoughts - I would like to point out they are the most ridiculous phrases I have ever heard. "Validation" to me is something you do to a passport - or an old Dutch bus ticket using a "Stempelautomaat". And another thing - how are you supposed to "own" something as flexible as thoughts???)
As someone who usually finds it very difficult to like myself let alone "love" myself I find that very difficult to get my head around.
I suppose you could quote the lyrics of "Love Is All Around" (by Wet Wet Wet) at me but it won't help. My suggestion would be "Friends will be friends, when your in need of love they give you care and attention" (from "Friends Will Be Friends" by Queen). At least that song tells me that when I am in need of some flimsy etheral emotion people will start showing me they like me.
Real "Love" is difficult (and possibly hazardous to your health - one of my favourite quotes on this subject comes from the Glaswegian comedian Kevin Bridges. He is talking about a song by Olly Murrs containing the lyric "I'll catch a grenade for you" when he says - "If someone is chucking grenades at your girlfriend you might need to reconsider your relationship").
Truly liking someone - and showing them you like them - is more of a realistic idea for me. Give them a hug (virtual or real), listen to them, buy them a well-thought-out present, or just do something to make their life that little bit easier - without expecting them to return the favour.
The Dutch have got a great idea which I wish the UK (and the rest of the world) could borrow - "National Compliments Day" where you pay people compliments.
Now you have read my ramblings - go and show someone how much yu like them!
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