February is the month where love seems to be unofficially celebrated. It is one of the more expensive months other than the months leading up to Christmas. With this in mind, I would like to focus on philautia (self-love) this month and the different ways we can care and show affection for ourselves. I truly believe that in order for us to adequately care for others, we first need to show affection to ourselves. You can’t really offer others something that you don’t have. Also, if you don’t know what it feels like to love yourself, it can make it difficult to understand when someone is showing you love in an adequate manner and actually accept. There are seven different kinds of love and they include:
- Agape love: is the unconditional love that we have for our fellow human beings. It is the kind of love that generates emotions when something disastrous happens to someone you don’t know; loving people just as they are
- Storge love: is the love experienced within a family unit
- Pragma love: is the love that endures between a couple over a long period of time through the good and the bad
- Philautia love: is all about you! It’s self-love and self-respect, the love that stems from being true to you are and your values
- Philia love: refers to the platonic love between friends and co-workers. This love can develop further into agape love.
- Ludus love: revolves around flirting and playful affection that arouses the feeling of butterflies
- Eros love: is romantic love. This can develop into pragma love, but starts from a physical attraction.
There are so many meanings of love and as individuals, we tend to gravitate towards meanings that satisfy our needs and expectations and I would like to share with you what love means to me.
- Love is a desire to be cherished
- Love is kindness
- Love is free. It cannot be bought, sold or cajoled into existence
- Love is unconditional
- Love comes in many shapes and forms
- Love is commitment while creating room for growth
- Love is an internal seed that blossoms when carefully nurtured
- Love is an experience
- Love is the development of emotions
- Love is tangible
Now it’s your turn. What does love mean to you?