Am I in love with you, or am I in love with the feeling? – Justin Bieber (ft. Halsey)
It’s been a while since I wrote- sorry! Week 8 of university has been anything but light and easy. One thing that has gotten me through these no chill weeks of uni has been JB’s Purpose album. I know, so 2015, but so good. It was definitely the soundtrack of my walks, runs, and assignment rushes. The mainstream ones (What Do You Mean, Sorry, Love Yourself) are obviously crowd favourites. But boy, do I love The Feeling. Touched my soul and struck a chord within me, it did.
And of course, once you start listening to songs on repeat, the lyrics start sinking in. And with most modern hits, there’re not many lyrics to start off with anyway (hah). So when Justin (first-name basis) wonders if he’s in love with someone, or a mere feeling, question marks and parallels start going off in my head.
A disclaimer: This doesn’t just apply to romantic relationships, but to all relationships.
Does loving a person bear any distinction from loving a feeling? Is it possible for us to love the feeling of being loved by someone without loving the actual person? I think at first instance we would say of course not. We dislike being selfish. Hence why we would like to think of the subject of our love as more important than the warm feelings of our love being reciprocated. However, as we grow in life, we realise that the more we interact with people around us, the more difficult it is. How difficult people are. How much potential for friction, strife and disagreements. And in the process, we realise that those warm feelings of acceptance and validation may not come from them. It is here that we are brought to a crossroad: To continue seeing them from a perspective of patience and long-sufferance (love) or to bring them down the totem pole because they can’t give us what we want (not love).
If we loved the feeling, we will not endure in this love. It can’t be substantiated. It will come and go, fleeting as always. But if we loved the person, we will love as long as the person is there, regardless of the validation we get (or don’t). It can be substantiated. Tough call, if we draw from the limited reserves of our human love. Hence, why we need God, who assures us that He is Love. Boy, is it different from our definition of love. He shows us love by action and substance, sustaining us through everything. When we draw from Him, we can love others as well.
So to those who identify as Christians (followers of Christ, believers of God), are we in love with God? Or are we in love with the feeling of being loved by God? Since we love God, we will obey His commands, commune with Him, and seek to grow our relationship with Him. Don’t get too caught up in the feeling, it should just be a mere outflow of the subject we love. The subject of our love is of utmost importance.