Emotions and Love

Friday, Feb. 6

Love is not an emotion. Emotions are feelings. They are the end products of an experience. Opening Christmas gifts brings on feelings (not necessarily good ones, depending on one’s expectations. I don’t need any more ties.) Racing down a ski slope precipitates emotions. We can feel elation, excitement, boredom, anger, sadness, disappointment, discouragement, hatred—and no doubt a few others. But all of them have to do with feelings as a result of an experience. We have an emotional response to a loving act, so there is a connection between love and emotion, but love in not an emotion. Emotions are notoriously unreliable. It is so easy to misinterpret an event which then leads to a skewed emotional response. In fact, most rifts between people are unfounded. We mis-read the intent and end up with a negative response. Sometimes animosity develops over time and the rift becomes permanent. I know of a number of siblings that have not spoken to one another for years. Many die without reconciling. And most of it is emotional responses to perceived wrongs—something that could be resolved if approached from a rational viewpoint rather than an emotional one. I repeat: love is not an emotion.

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