All you need is love, sang the Beatles

If you were born and raised in Western society, in the 21st century, you will probably be familiar with the romanticized concept of “all you need is love.” Whenever you watch a movie with a couple, it usually ends up happily ever after. Whenever you listen to a song that includes the word “love” it’s usually a happy song. Whenever you receive flowers, it’s usually someone sending their love to you. As I’m listing all these associations between love and tangible things that we can see, listen to, and touch, I realize that none of us can see, listen to, or touch love. Then, it dawned on me. All the references to love suggest that it’s the treasure, but it’s the journey.

Being in search to verify what I concluded, I googled “What is love.” Interestingly enough, the narrations I found of people describing what is love to them, had as a common denominator the feeling of safety and care. Little did I know, my 1-minute-search stemmed from more questions. What is the difference between safety, care, and love? Is love equivalent to safety and care and maybe more positive feelings?

Churning my mind with these thoughts and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, I circled back to the Beatles’ song. The answer is no, all we need is not love. That song was written in 1967 in an anti-war movement and was associated with love with peace. As you’d agree, 4-year-olds don’t use love to survive, instead, they use the feeling of love to navigate their world. To mitigate pain, people have as a reflex movement to sugarcoat with love what does not cause pain or sadness. As a result, people non-sensibly misuse the word and crave unreasonable fantasies without knowing why we’ve prioritized love as the sovereign of all positive feelings.

People say that they’d die because of love. How can a feeling supposedly be the reason for being born, and simultaneously be the reason for dying? Unquestionably, the concept of love is differently engraved in each of us and as humans evolve we also need feelings of love, belongingness, care, etc. Nonetheless, sometimes we fixate upon the need to feel and gain what is associated with “love” and we inevitably lose track of the journey.