Not that long ago, someone asked me what this means, and explaining it got me thinking about love. Everyone wants it; it’s sort of the whole basis of our culture, to be accepted, fit in, be loved. Right? But I got to thinking; is it really being loved that we want? Isn’t what we really want to love something or someone else?
Being loved gives you, in the best case scenario, security. Reassurance. In the worst case, it gives you a stalker. It is the difference between being loved by someone you want to be loved by, and someone you don’t. Loving someone or something on the other hand is usually a positive experience. Sure, unrequited love is painful, but still, having that strength of feeling for anything- even if it hurts you, that makes you feel alive. That’s what I think we’re all looking for.
But being happily in love with something gives you energy and a reason to get up in the morning. And, even though a mutually loving relationship is a great thing, the emotion in itself doesn’t have to be returned to exist. You can get that same energy kick from books or music, or whatever else you love, and get the full benefit of feeling something fantastic without having to have them love you in return.
Another aspect of ‘you are not who loves you’ that came to mind as we were discussing this quote, is that so many times when people start new relationships, you see them taking on every interest and characteristic of their partner, losing their own; they almost start turning into the other person, and when the relationship ends, they’re left all confused and befuddled about who they are without their partner. That is the danger with thinking you are defined by who loves you. It doesn’t have to be your partner either for that matter – some people become who their parents want them to be (or who they think their parents want), again defining themselves through outside eyes, eventually arriving at a point where the outside perspective is lost, and they have no idea who they are as people anymore.
Whereas if you define yourself by your interests and passions, by what you believe and feel about the world, then there’s a good chance that you will grown and change according to your own life, and be less dependent on others for your sense of self. At least that is my theory, and that’s my take on what this means, and why I find it such a helpful and encouraging quote.