birth to death, love is not just the focus of human experience but also the
life force of the mind, determining our moods, stabilizing our bodily rhythms,
and changing the structure of our brains. The body’s physiology ensures that
relationships determine and fix our identities. Love makes us who we are, and
who we can become.
(A General Theory of Love, Lewis by Amini, Lannon, p.viii)
Lewis, Amini, and Lannon have been part of a larger group of people who
showed us in the last 10 years how important love is for the survival of the
species and for the healthy development of human beings. Peoples’ preoccupation
with cognitive understanding and logical reasoning has pushed the importance of
love, touch, and emotional closeness into the back ground. Unbeknownst to those
people, however, our bodies – or better our limbic brains – engage in the
limbic dance that brings people together and leads to the formation of deep
Although spoken words of love may
be of great comfort to people, love involves behaviours and actions that make
sense and are understood by both partners. Valliant is determined that “…Love
is about attachment, music, odours, and spiritual ecstasy,” because love does
not live in the rational part of the brain but exists in the same limbic
“olfactory” brain where scents, care-taking, and memory all come together”.
We take another person ‘into our
heart’ through the positive emotions we feel for him or her. Here s/he leaves
footprints not only on our hearts but also changes the make-up of our brain and
our understanding of ourselves – thereby changing us and the understanding we
have of ourselves, forever.