Member Rara Avis
One of the problems with the English language is that we don't have nearly enough words to describe the various (infinite?) kinds of love in this world. Faye, you are absolutely right that these are what most of us would call character flaws. Of course, ten years ago, there were some that called chivalry a character flaw, too, and even today a man risks the label of "sexist" for holding a door open. I seriously doubt the parent that "protects" their child would ever agree their love was flawed. Or, worse, that it wasn't love at all. Does the small child who accidentally hugs a puppy to death love their pet any less than the child with better judgement or closer supervision?
I don't know of any universally accepted definition of love, not one that doesn't open the door for a hundred exceptions to the rule. Nor do I have the power to look into another's heart and know what they feel. Lacking both a definition and omniscience, I can only accept what they tell me. If you tell me you love someone, I have no choice but to believe you - reserving judgement as to whether it is a healthy or unhealthy love (and knowing, even then, my judgment will necessarily be subjective). But I can't and won't tell you that what you feel isn't love.
My statement above was meant to be poetic. That is, it was meant to reveal a truth in a memorable and, I had hoped, poetic manner. It's certainly not scientific or rigorous, and there's a lot of room for semantic discussion. Does the woman who loves her child more than God love the child "too much," or does she love God "too little?" Does the man who commits suicide when his wife leaves him love the woman "too much," or does he love himself "too little?" Subjective, loaded terms. Semantic circles. But it doesn't change the essential truth - love can be, and too often is, destructive.
And that, very simply, is what I meant by "too much" love.
[This message has been edited by Ron (edited 07-27-99).]