What is love is the question? What should it feel like? Love hurts as the song goes. It can be quite painful yet addictive or it can be yearning for something that is intangible?
They say that when you are in love, you are in the same state of mind as people with obsessive compulsive disorder. A professor at the University of Pisa in Italy studies the biochemistry of love-sickness. She concluded from a study comparing the blood of 24 subjects who had fallen in love, subjects who were obsessive compulsive and another group that were free from both passion and mental illness. She concluded that levels of serotonin in people with obsessive compulsive disorder and lovers are forty percent lower than those in normal subjects. Thus there is a direct correlation to the chemical profiles between love and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Questions may arise in your own relationship. Inquires like, “Do I behave in a manner that is inflicted upon a state of temporary mental illness?” or “Who am I?”, “What are my values?”, “What boundaries am I setting if any at all?” and “What am I willing to do for love?” It could be one, two, or a combination or it may be a stage of exploration to determine who you are, what are your values, and determine what kind of boundaries you want to set in a relationship. If we aren’t mirrored, validated, and emphasized in childhood from our primary caretakers, we may not have formed a solid sense of self in adulthood to be able to answer these questions without exploring, testing, and deciding through trial and error in our adult relationships.
Life experiences give us the opportunity to decide what we like and don’t like. As the saying goes, “You never know until you try.”
This is time-honored wisdom that encourages us to be a part of life rather than sit on the sidelines and watch it go by. Take chances, risks, and rewards are not far behind. If anything, knowledge is gained about yourself and others. Even if the outcome is full of regret, there is a lesson learned and the new-found knowledge is almost always worth it.
This wisdom can be applied to situations large and small from trying tofu to sailing. As in my case, it was an exploration into my sexuality, men and gender prejudices. It is the self-knowledge gained from my experience that is irreplaceable.
It is often said that at the end of our lives we are more likely to regret the things we did not do than the things we did. Being aware of the opportunities missed might encourage you not to miss them again.