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Diving Into The Meaning Of Love Today
by Ypatia Mitsatsou
In our stress-filled and fast-paced world, is it possible we have missed the essence of love?
In the modern world, and especially in English, the word “love” is often used to describe a positive feeling in a general and abstract way. The Ancient Greeks, however, used different words that translate to “love” in all its forms.
Dive into the meaning of love
So, let’s take a look at all the forms of love, according to Ancient Greeks, and see if we can adapt them to our lives today.
“érōs” Eros is passion, lust, pleasure. It’s an appreciation for one’s physical being or beauty, and is driven by attraction and sexual longing through the primal impulse to procreate. It was considered dangerous as it involves “losing control” if misguided and misused, leading to impulsive acts and broken hearts.
Of course, the Ancient Greeks realised that “love” does not end when sexual desire fades. In this moment feelings are transformed, evolving into another form of love: “philía,” or friendship. A word that evokes honesty, emotion and tenderness, a sense of affection amongst equals, a strong bond free from the intensity of sexual attraction. Philía is the love between equals, encouraging, kind, and authentic. As Aristotle wisely said: “A friend is a single soul dwelling in two bodies.”
When love is enduring, matured over time, love turns to “πρᾶγμα” - pragma. It is beyond physical love or friendship. It is the love between people who’ve learned to make compromises, having to demonstrate patience and tolerance to make the relationship work. Pragma can be found in married couples who’ve been together for a long time, or in friendships that have endured for decades.
For their family and country, the Ancient Greeks used the word “Storgē” - storge - to describe feelings of affection and empathy that usually come naturally to us.
Agápē is love for another person, but not sexually driven. It is an empathetic love toward humanity, caring for and loving others without expecting anything in return. Agápē is compassion and generosity for something that is fragile and imperfect. It is the form of love that motivates us to forgive and to help others selflessly; the foundation of great societies and communities, according to Ancient Greek philosophers.
Never leave yourself without love
Lastly, “φιλαυτία” - self love. The Greeks understood that in order to care for others, we must first learn to care for ourselves. This type of love usually eludes us, as we rush to care for others and deal with our fast-paced everyday life. We must pause and take a look back, we must remember to love ourselves. As Aristotle said, ”all friendly feelings for others are an extension of one’s feelings for oneself.” We cannot share what we don’t have. If we don’t love ourselves, we cannot love anyone else either. This is the healthy self-care love that reinforces our self-esteem; when we are being honest with ourselves about what’s making us happy and healthy in the long run. For each one of us it can be something different, like taking a walk in nature, relaxing by reading a new book, or using the best skincare to take care of our skin.
The Ancient Greeks used these words for love to express the unique shades of the single emotion; for others, our family, our spouses, our friends, our country and, ultimately, ourselves. Let’s follow their example and try to develop all of the above types of love and widen our horizons by creating true relationships with substance and duration.
Who better to describe all the nuances of love than a brand that has a name pertaining to all that we feel about love? With a unique name meaning “heart” in ancient greek, but pronounced like the word “care” in English, κέᾰρ® (Kear) incorporated their love for the history of Greece into conscientious and locally-made skincare products that respect skin health and restore its natural beauty. Their objective is to transfer all that defines Greece into their skincare range; the rays of the life-giving sun, the saltiness of the sea, and the flow of pure energy from its eternal nature.
By adding humble but powerful herbs and essential oils to ancient Greek cosmetic formulas, keeping it simple but effective and strictly natural, Kear managed to blend wisdom with style. Embracing the idea of slowing down and taking a look backwards, Kear is passionate about life, their country, its history and - of course - the meaning behind the brand’s name. A word with many meanings, but most of all with that of love.
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