Love is not a simple thing, even though it gets thrown around like a frisbee in common speech. ‘We all want to be loved,‘ they say. But they seem to not really know what love is when they use the word in that catchphrase.

Photo above by Ahmed Zayan on Unsplash.

Being loved is not that much of a delightful affair as it may create indebtedness and shame in the beloved if not reciprocated — unless you are a 6-month-old toddler or so.

Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your hearth or burn down your house, you can never tell.Joan Crawford

That is too bad as well, but it is what it is. Playing with fire can hurt anyone, especially young folks. Yet fire is the one element that allowed prehistoric humans to flourish. Humans eventually mastered fire (no, they did not invent fire), and primates never did.

Analogous to fire, love is the one element that allows modern humans to flourish, today and perhaps more so in the future. Love needs to be mastered as well, in as much as it can be, because hearts can never be made unbreakable.

Hearts will never be practical until they are made unbreakable.Wizard of Oz

The learnings from Positive Psychology, the author believes, are helpful in order to provide for a foundation upon which to eventually master all the affairs of love. By affairs, the author means an event or sequence of events without the stereotypical shady connotations. Think of world affairs — they are legit, are they not?

Positive psychology is concerned with “the good life” and the concept for reflection on the factors that contribute the most to a well-lived and fulfilling life. Positive psychologists often use the terms of subjective well-being and happiness interchangeably.

Positive psychologists have suggested a number of ways in which individual happiness may be fostered. Among those suggested ways is the relationship with a mate. Love appears, then, as a critical issue that needs to be put under the spotlight.

However, Positive Psychology is not very explicit in its explanations of what love is. Rather, it starts from the following premise:

Learned helplessness is a term specifying an organism learning to accept and endure unpleasant stimuli, and unwilling to avoid them, even when it is avoidable.Martin Seligman

It brings to mind German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s coining of Amor fati, a phrase in Latin, that may be translated as “love of fate” or “love of one’s fate”. It is used to describe a resolute, enthusiastic attitude of acceptance in which one sees everything that happens in one’s life, including suffering and loss, as good or, at the very least, necessary — as in a great life lived without regret.

But Nietzsche did not mean to inspire and endorse an attitude of resignation to seemingly fateful events in one’s life, especially when they are avoidable. And Positive Psychology tackles exactly that faulty attitude.

This is great, because that is not what is competent about. We are talking love on this site! However, Positive Psychology and love may go well hand-in-hand because the former supports the later and it is love that makes life worth living. But yes, love is also avoidable.


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