LOVE expresses itself in different forms.
The Greeks talked about this. They had distinctions about LOVE that can shed light into our relationships, bringing greater clarity, joy, passion, and meaning into our lives.
We’ve heard the terms…
“Falling head over heels in Love.”
“Love is blind.”
“A match made in heaven.”
“You take my breath away.”
But, have we paused to look at the deeper underlying meaning of these phrases?
We’ve all seen an image of Cupid. The little cherub angel with a bow and arrow mischievously shooting people in the butt (or the heart) with his love arrows — only to drive his targets mad with blind, passionate, erotic love.
But is this really love?
It’s only one expression of LOVE. The Greeks called it Eros.
Today, in celebration of Valentine’s Day I’m feeling called to share with you my reflections on the different expressions of LOVE. And how these can come together to inspire you to connect on a deeper level with the people in your life.
This especially comes in handy whenever you feel confused or hurt in your relationships. You can refer back to these different expressions of love to more clearly understand and effectively communicate.
Here they are…
Eros (ἔρως érōs) is romantic, sexual, passionate erotic love. This kind of tantalizing love is all about the pleasures of the flesh. When it is imbalanced it becomes lust. Eros is about physical attraction and beauty. In order to sustain this carnal love, it’s essential to couple it with the other expressions of love below.
Philia (φιλία philía) is deep friendship — the affectionate love we have with friends. It’s brotherly and sisterly love founded on a sense of equality and loyalty. Real friends support each other. They communicate openly. They hold each other up and relate in a way that inspires one another. When imbalanced, it becomes codependent.
Philautia (φίλαυτος) is self love. Before we can really love another, it’s essential to authentically love and care for ourselves, and feel comfortable in our own skin. There is a balanced and imbalanced expression. The imbalance is vanity and narcissism. The balanced is self-compassion and embracing all aspects of ourselves — the light and shadow.
Ludus is playful love. It’s frisky, flirtatious love that expresses itself as lighthearted teasing. It’s fun! Bringing a joyful sense of childlike innocence, and a tinge of Eros. When you experience Ludus you feel the juicy spark of excitement! When out of balance, it can express itself as insincere and fickle.
Pragma is a longstanding love. This expression of love has matured over time. We see this expression of love in couples and friendships that have withstood the test of time. It’s practical and cooperative, with qualities of patience and acceptance. When imbalanced it leads to rigid expectations.
Storge (στοργή) is familial love, such as the love and affection that a parent has for a child, and vice versa. It is unconditional. Tt has a strong sense of commitment and responsibility. The imbalanced expression is smothering a child, influencing their path in a way that is not authentic to them, and creating undue dependence.
Agape (ἀγάπη) is Divine love. Love for everyone — unconditional, selfless love. This is spiritual love — the highest form of love. It expresses itself as infinite compassion. It has nothing to do with conditions. It is transcendent and all-encompassing.
There we have it!
Notice how these Greek words give us new distinctions to appreciate all the dimensions of love.
I’m inspired to hear from YOU.❤️ Share with me in the comments below, which of these expressions of love have you been experiencing most. And which are you inspired to call into your life right now.
I’m inspired to be in your presence soon dear One.
May the LOVE within your heart be amplified this Valentine’s Day and every day!
I love you.
“He whom love touches not walks in darkness.” — Plato