“Love is NOT an Emotion”
Love is not an emotion. Well what is love? Most etymological expeditions such as this begin with the employment of some notable acquaintances of mine, Webster and Oxford. I am sure you’ve heard of them, and although it would sound much more regal to add that they are men of few words, I am afraid the contrary is true, they are literally filled with them. Webster says love is a feeling of strong affection, and Oxford says love is an intense feeling. On any other given day let it be far from me, but on this day, it is with equal measure humility and audacity I say to you Webster and Oxford have it all wrong. Love is not a feeling. Love is a decision. In fact, love is the greatest decision ever made, it is the greatest decision one can make in this very moment, and it will forever be, the greatest decision one will be able to ever make in the future. Love is the highest thought. Love is the highest judgment.
Love is not an emotion. Nature, science, and mathematics all support the claim that love is a decision. Let us reference nature. Love is no more an emotion than water is wet. No matter how silly it may sound, I assure you water is not wet. I find it intriguing how we define a thing based solely on our individual encounters with it. Is water wet, or does water MAKE things BECOME wet? If I touch water, is IT wet or are my HANDS now wet? Wet is the term we use to describe water’s side effects. Is love an emotion, or is love a decision, and the side effects of that decision are what we emotionally experience? Water is not wet, and love is not an emotion.
Both, philosophers and scientists have referenced the cognitive appraisal theory when defining emotion, positing that emotions are judgements about the degree in which specific situations meet our specific goals. Described plainly, you only experience what you call “love” or any approbating emotion when an encounter comforts or resolves, a desire or problem. Purchase me a broom to sweep my hardwood floors and I am elated. Purchase me a broom when I have no place to sleep and the broom suddenly looses its appeal. Did the characteristics of the broom change, or is it simply worthless to one who is homeless? I have now considered its utility to arrive at my individual judgment. So science says emotions are judgments. If emotions are judgements, and judgments are simply decisions, then love is a decision. This is mathematics’ transitive property. If A=B, and B=C, then A=C.
Love is not an emotion. Love is a decision. To every mother who has experienced 9 months of pregnancy and given birth to a darling child, you know more than most just how much love is detached from how you FEEL, and directly germane to how you think and DECIDE. Every mother who has given birth knows that their belly and waist being expanded does not FEEL good. The morning sickness does not FEEL good. The pain in your back, or the uterus growing from the size of an orange to that of a watermelon does not FEEL good. The swollen feet do not FEEL good. Oh, and absolutely no one can deny, the crown of that child’s head breaking first light into a room filled with great anticipation does NOT FEEL GOOD. In spite of not feeling too good for 9 months on account of a growing child, somehow a mother lays eyes on that child, who has since caused discomfort and pain, and loves them. I submit to you today, that each and every loving mother had a resolute mind at the point of conception; had determined and decided, that this child who is flesh of their flesh, they WILL love. Let the world stand in awe of this magnificent feat. Love, only in its infancy is vulnerability, but love in its mastery is invincibility. There are few things more powerful than a made up mind or an unwavering DECISION. Mark Twain, hailed as the father of American literature, said “You are about as happy as you make up your mind to be.” Happiness, a remnant of love, ready to be manifested if only you decide it.
Love is not an emotion. Love is a decision. If God is love, then love walked among us, in a display of mastery. Did love have a decision to make? He did, and He made the greatest decision, and the highest judgement, in spite of all the pain, mockery, and rejection from His people on the cross at calvary. Love is not an emotion. Do not go through this life asking to BE LOVED, seek out ways to BE-COME LOVE. Be the greatest decision in the room. Choose love!