By: Dr. J. Richard Cookerly
Want to know what love is?
Here’s a short, comprehensive, working definition of love concerning every type of healthy real love from a parent’s love of a child to love of a pet, of nature, of a cause, etc., and including both romantic and healthy self love.
“Healthy Real Love is
A powerful, vital, natural process of
highly valuing, desiring for,
often acting for, and taking pleasure in
the well-being of the loved. “
LOVE’S DEFINITION – MAJOR ELEMENTS
High Valuing – hold in high esteem, see as of much merit, prize, treasure, cherish, respect, appreciate, affirm the worth of, admire, assess as important, hold precious, see as fine, excellent, matchless, superior, uniquely fitting, incomparable, special. Healthy real love consistently highly values the loved.
Powerful – strong, vigorous, mighty, indomitable, potent, forceful, influential, effectual, energy-filled, dynamic, ascendant, prevailing. Healthy real love is amazingly powerful.
Vital – important to life, necessary to life process and function, alive, viable, of paramount importance to continued existence, thriving, having to do with the life force and its cardinal process, a biological, neuro-chemical, psycho-neuro-physiological phenomenon. Healthy real love is a great, vital force for healthy life.
Natural – of nature, part of essential existence, inherently of fundamental reality, intrinsically part of the cosmos, especially essential to the processes of nature and natural existence, in life a biological, neuro-chemical, psycho-socio-neuro-physiological phenomenon. We are naturally constructed to thrive via love.
Process – an active succession of systematic, changing operations with a developing progressive, onward organized flow. Healthy real love is a growth process.
Desiring for the Well-Being of the Loved – wishing and wanting for the loved to live well, be well, do well, be happy and thrive; and when not so doing wanting the loved to return to well-being.
Acting for the Well-Being of the Loved — behaving often or whenever possible to nurture, protect, assist, support, affirm, heal, cause improvement and otherwise promote the well-being of the loved.
Taking pleasure in the Well-Being of the Loved – experiencing joy, happiness and many other positive emotions when the loved is perceived as doing well, thriving, succeeding, growing, healthfully happy and ascendant; this often involves pleasure sharing with the loved.
Well-Being – a state of thriving, championed by those who love healthfully; the absence of a loved one’s well-being is threatening to those who love and the absence is a consistent motivation to assist, when needed or useful, the continuance of well-being.
Whenever there is healthy real love the above will be present. Various types of unhealthy false or pseudo-love will lack one or more of the above elements; although faking can make this hard to discern usually the factor of time will unmask unhealthy false or pseudo-love.