I think of Kendrick Lamar’s line, Love is Not Just a Verb and my mind wanders. It wanders not in profanities of love being a verb, a do if you may, but as a philosophical translation of what the phrase means. In truth, love is far from being just a verb. It is a choice and a gift that sometimes may feel like or even turn into a curse but, at its core, love is not just a verb.
Love is a Whirlwind of Emotion
If you were to think of love and how it relates to emotion then you might be hit by the hurricane of emotions that is love itself. If you have been lucky or unlucky to fall in love, then you know it’s like being in a beautiful seaside mansion one day and waking up the next morning to find the sea inland, having floored most of what you think you knew and felt. Love, though sweet and tender, can be brutal and a force of nature that carries with it a great magnitude of a plethora of emotions.
Love Never Makes an Appointment or Announcement of Attendance, It Knocks All Doors down and Just Enters
Love is also not just a verb in the way it enters our lives. We normally have some sense of expectation when other tenets of being come along but when love chooses us, it enters with the door and not past it. Think of the discovery of gravity and the man sitting by an apple tree and the light bulb moment he experienced as an apple fell or rather as he felt the apple fall. Love couldn’t be far enough from expected or anticipated. It marches like the angel of death ready to strike and pounce on any a heart that has the chance and opportunity to be in love.
Love is Not Just a Verb because It’s Anything but Simple
We love to think and are mostly told that love can be simple; a walk in the park of some sort. That if you love someone and truly love them, then loving them will come as naturally as a whistle to a doorman. Fortunately or unfortunately, it is anything but. Love is at its core an explosion of emotions, tenderness, a bit of lust, and the perceived alignment of circumstances. We think we want to be in love and be a part of love but when we do, we realize how deep a rabbit hole it can be if just a single misstep takes the fore.
Love is Not Just a Verb as It is Far from Just Collecting Benefits
Love isn’t just about reaping or collecting benefits that we may or may have not sown. It’s attaining a degree or master’s degree of an understanding of what the other person wants, appreciates, and is willing to tolerate and persevere. In this respect, love is not just a verb as it can be likened to being recruited into the army and sent off to war without much training. It’s like going into the Vietnam war as a 21-year-old knowing very little about how to hold a gun or detect bombs. In essence, we can never be more unprepared for love and what it brings, no matter how much we may think we are up to the task. I wonder whether Romeo and Juliet understood the quagmire they had just entered when they batted eyes at one another; “oh yee unknoweth of the pitfalls of love, that thine hearts will be plagued with desire; that thine objects ye desireth elude yee in sombre but tender storms of emotions.”
Love is a Choice, A Declaration of Dependence
Love is not just a verb, it is a choice. It is a declaration of dependence and an alliance of two nation-hearts where a single or both nations tear their Declaration of Independence and vow to depend on, support, and fight alongside one another. It’s a colonialism of hearts where, though willing, two hearts intertwine themselves in servitude to one another. It’s the culmination of going against all things sensible and palatable to pursue an intent of madness, destitution, and hopefully, the profit of emotional fulfillment and reaping a sense of belonging.
Love is a Risk, a Trojan Horse that may Further Dampen Chances of Winning the Battle
Love is not just a verb, it is a risk. It’s a trojan horse full of one’s emotional soldiers that one sends to another heart hoping that the other, though fully aware of the trojan horse, will accept to be surprised by it and surrender to its soldiers. I think of the story of Troy and why the princess Helen left her husband to run into refuge in the arms of another, fully knowing that her husband would send an army to bring her back. She literally fell in love and decided that come what may, she wouldn’t go back home to her husband and as uncouth or improper it may be, she would love another and stick with him; damn the consequences, even if they entail a Trojan War. As such, love is like taking out a 401k for a job that you have not worked a single day in or one whose job security is far from assured. As simpleton as it may sound, love is not just a verb but an act of faith.
Love is Not Just a Verb, It is an Act of Deep Faith
I ask myself why monks choose to live in solitude and dedicate their lives to the monastery and serving their god but it loops back to love not just being a verb, a thing that we do for or to others. Love at its very core is an act of deep faith. I would say it is like seating at the pointed edge of a rocket, attached to millions of thrust and engines that are the length of several apartment floors, and hoping to come out unscathed in a solar system that you were not born in and is inhabitable for you. In that same way, love is an act of deep-seated faith that does not necessitate itself to thoughts of how it will happen or hold itself to the standards of logic. Love just knows that it has the power to beat logic and the faith to move mountains. Love knows it’s a force to be reckoned with and much like energy, its form can only be altered, not created or destroyed.
Love is Energy
If we could put love to the test in the laboratory, it would produce exothermic reactions of joy, fulfillment, and a little bit of pain to neutralize the heat and sweetness of it all. Love is not just a verb, therefore, but a higher form of energy. It’s part of an unstudied and unexplored part of emotional or mental physics that seeks not to measure distance or velocity but the mere existence of the two. As such, like all energy, love can only be bent or transformed but not created or destroyed. Love cannot be just a verb whose doing creates it or lack thereof destroys it. It’s much more than we humans are able to create.
Love is a Truth of Nature
It’s a truth of nature just like the sun, stars, or gravity. It just is and whether we like it or not, it will always be. Love cannot just be a verb, it is the very fabric of the universe and everything that we know to be true and whole. It’s a blessing and a curse. The ocean and the land. The sun and the storm. The clouds and the waves. The joy and the pain. Not a mere verb or just a feeling. A force to be reckoned with. Amore (Love).