Have you ever wondered when love really begins? And what differentiates love from mere infatuation or attraction? Haven’t we all? You see, upon deep contemplation, we realise that attraction and infatuation could potentially be addressed together. In the majority of cases, we could even say that attraction is deeply conditioned but also sprouts from our ingrained tendencies.
The definition of beauty and attractiveness varies from culture to culture and from country to country. An asian man for instance will define beauty in asian appearances and a caucasian woman will most likely define beauty in her own terms depending on her upbringing.
If you think about it, we are truly only ever attracted to people who have a quality which we crave for. So, attraction ultimately happens when the other person possesses a quality or trait which could fulfil a desire of ours.
We seek in others what we think we lack in ourselves.
Those of us who desire flawless skin, will probably be attracted to those who have unblemished skin whereas those who desire or admire a certain level physical fitness will be infatuated by athletic models or models with unrealistic physiques. However, I also noticed from personal experience that attraction is not always limited to physical traits or qualities. In fact, a lot of times attraction is beyond the physical.
Some of us are attracted to confident people, skilled people, outspoken people or financially secure people. The attraction is towards confidence or success for instance, because we feel lacking in these areas.
And here’s a little trap- when attraction isn’t limited to physical traits, we often fool ourselves into thinking that it must be a deeper level of ‘love’. Unfortunately, it’s not. This is simply another shade of attraction. An insecure person will be attracted to security and seek fulfilment in a confident or physically/financially/emotionally secure person. And unfortunately, there is also a deep flaw in our upbringing, in that we are conditioned to believe that we must be strong and secure. It’s not necessarily true but many of us grow to believe that we are not complete.
Whether it’s infatuation or attraction, it’s really a deep desire to feel complete. When we start seeking for the qualities, we feel we lack, in others, we are no longer self-reliant. However, self-reliance and self-acceptance are the key steps in overcoming attraction, I feel.
Now the question is; what about love?
Is it love? How do we know if it’s love?
Well who can answer this question better than Love incarnate Himself? So, you’d know because:
“Love makes you stable.” ~ Om Swami
If you are not stable, it’s anything but love. It could be attachment, infatuation, obsession, lust or anything – you name it.
Ultimately, the one who discovers his or her own wholesome existence rises above attraction, infatuation and attachment. More on that in my next post:) But the bottom line is:
We seek in others what we crave in ourselves.
To discover what we crave and what we wish to have, we simply ought to have a deep and close look at what attracts us. Are we attracted to luxury? Or to beauty? Or maybe even confidence? What is it that we seek?
PS: If you still think it’s love, think again!
Well, here’s the secret: If you were able to think, you clearly haven’t lost your mind yet! So it’s definitely not love;)