One word frees us of all the weight and pain in life. That word is Love.

One word frees us of all the weight and pain in life. That word is Love. – Sophocles

Seriously? Don't these people know it's raining? Their love of laughter and each-other's company seems to have freed them of the weight and pain of life.

Seriously? Don’t these people know it’s raining? Their love of laughter and each-other’s company seems to have freed them of the weight and pain of life.

What does that mean?
This quote is not from a philosopher, but from a ground-breaking Greek playwright, from his play Oedipus at Colonus (line 1616). And it, while a little bit artsy, encapsulates a basic truth of life.

Love. It is a very complex word, covering a tremendous amount of ground. Often it is intended to mean romantic love, I believe this quote can also cover a greater variety of love.

Love of music allows for our favorite music to lift the weight and pain from our lives, at least for a while. The same goes for the love of laughter and comedy. The same goes for story telling and listening to those stories. That’s why we go to movies an plays, right?

In short, love of anything can help us deal with the weight and pain of life, even if only for a short while. The love of the little things in life, as well as the big things, is what helps make life livable.

Why is Love’s Freedom important?  
Love is important to our lives in many different ways. Today, I would like to consider how love can grant us freedom from the drudgery and annoyances of day-to-day life. The quote calls it the weight and pain of live, but that sounds a little dramatic for my tastes (but it was written by a dramatist, so it figures).

As mentioned above, there are many different types of love which help us forget the unpleasantness of life, if only for a little while. There are beneficial ways to forget, and harmful ways to forget. I would urge everyone to avoid the harmful ways (by abusing drugs or alcohol).

That leaves us with the beneficial loves. One might be the love of reading, of watching plays or movies. These allow us to become lost in the story, and forget ours. The hours spent with people you love, whether it’s a familial love, a brotherly love, or a romantic love, all provide us with a break from the unpleasantness.

Take a moment and imagine your life without the simple joys and pleasant distractions provided by your love for people, places, events, thoughts, or ideas. I imagine it is pretty bleak even for those with few weights or pains in life. How important does the Freedom brought by Love seem now?

Where can I apply this in my life?
This is another quote which I believe can be applied to everyone’s life, and done across many aspects of our lives. In our public lives, our private lives, our work lives, our family lives, our intimate lives, any way you want to divide it, I believe it applies to everything, in some manner.

The love of the arts can take our minds off our troubles. Whether it is creating or appreciating, there is much joy to be had. Painting your own ideas, or writing your own words, each has a great value. Even reading the works of others, or playing the music of others can be a relief.

Anything you can do alone tends to be done better with friends. Whether it’s an evening out sampling new culinary delights or strolling through a gallery, it is usually better done with friends. After all, joys shared are doubled. The same goes for a night at the movies, a play, or the Opera, right?

What about at work? Do you ever get some relief from your private troubles by engaging in your work? It helps, obviously, if you love your work. But what about the love of the challenge, or the love of learning? What of the interactions with your co-workers, do you love that? Remember, that we’re using a broad definition of the word love in these cases.

The love of learning can be a category onto itself, or at least it can for me. A couple of nights ago, I got a new micro-controller, and I was up until 4am trying to understand how it worked. Only when my wife came up and told me of the time did I realize that six hours had gone by. I forgot everything for my love of learning.

What about quiet time with friends? This is often considered ancient history, like the British Gentlemen’s club, where all was quiet, and people simply enjoyed the company of others. As my family all enjoy books, there are times when we look up and realize that an hour or two has gone by without a word. That is also the love of reading, but it can be a shared activity as well.

Which brings us to the more traditional application of a quote like this, romantic love. Whether it’s just holding hands while walking somewhere (or even when going nowhere), or something a bit more intimate, time seems to fly when you are together, right? And how much time do you spend thinking about all of the weight and pain in your life?

Love means many things, but those myriad of definitions are united in their ability to help us forget, if only for a moment, our troubles. What do you love?

From: Twitter, @Quotes_on_Love
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Photo by Luke McGuff

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