What is Love? – feelings and needs
In this funny dialogue [@59:50] Marshall Rosenberg, the author of bestselling â€œNonviolent communication: A language of Lifeâ€, illustrates misunderstanding that happens between a jackal and a giraffe. A giraffe sees love as an essential human need and a jackal limits the notion of love to a certain feeling. In harmony meditation terms the jackal represents a small egocentric self, and the giraffe â€“ a Bigger Self.
Watch this jackal ask a very dangerous question, but notice that the giraffe is too smart ever to answer this question.
- â€œDo you love me?â€ â€“ asks jackal.
- â€œJackal, before I can answer your question honesty, I need to get some important things clear. Are you using the word love as a feeling?â€ â€“ asks giraffe.
- Yes, of course.
- Well, I needed to get that clear. So you mean am I feeling a certain warm cuddly tender feeling toward you?
- Okay, I needed to get this clear because we, giraffes, do not use the word love as a feeling, it’s much too important to us to get it confused with a feeling. It’s a need for us. But since you use it as a feeling, okay, I am glad to know that. So now that I know that, would you please ask that question again?
- Do you love me?
- Well, I want to be honest. I can see how important this is to you, but how can I be honest with you about what I feel toward you without reference to a specific moment? Feelings change every few seconds. Life is changing, feelings are part of life, so I have to know specific time and place to ever answer your question of how I feel.
- What about right now?
- No. But try me again in a few moments.
Iâ€™ve recognized myself in both roles. Do I love me? When? And when can I love myself deeply enough to share that love naturally with others?
Iâ€™ve been a jackal and a giraffe,
Iâ€™ve had misfortunes and misgivings.
I craved for love and recognition,
And gave according to my feelingsâ€¦
A gentle voice from bigger self
Speaks out softly, with wisdom and love:
“I feel your pain and here I am.
Forever present, loving and bright.”