02.14.11 // My Mondays
Love. Isn’t that what it’s all really about? (Aside from The Hokey Pokey, of course.) Regardless of how successful one is in possibly every other aspect of life, if there is neglect in the realm of love and affection, everything else seems to kind of fall apart . . . doesn’t it? So, if something is that important to our well-being and to the truly satisfying living of our lives, then why is it that we still seem to struggle so much with understanding it and embracing it for what it is, and what it can be?
Maybe it’s because love is a chronic shape-shifter; romantic love, kindred spirit love, familial love, brotherly/sisterly love, BFF love, mentor-mentee love, pet-pet owner love, love as a metaphor vs. love as a (usually inconvenient) reality . . . With so many incarnations of one label playing a role in our daily lives in some way or another – whether with its presence or its absence – how can we be expected to be able to pinpoint and simply define what exactly love is, what it looks like, or where to find it? It’s like irony; we all somehow know what it means, but if asked to define it, we open our mouths with confidence only to quickly shut it again with a confused expression on our faces. (Note: there is a wonderful sequence in “Reality Bites” that illustrates this.)
Maybe we struggle with love because we want it SO damn badly that our judgement becomes skewed. We search out signs of love anywhere and everywhere, and at the first hint of reciprocity – we pounce – hungry for the kill. It might very well be that this source of affection is not in actuality what we’ve come to believe it to be, and we’ve just allowed ourselves to be blinded by the notion. Having a disconnect like this regarding something as convoluted and complex as love and affection can really have some negatively impactful consequences.
So, then – do we struggle with love because we witness others holding on to it in a capacity that WE want to be holding on to it – so we let our jealousy do our blinding (consciously or not)?
Do we struggle with love because it terrifies us, and we tend to bolt in the opposite direction when we think we’ve actually found it?
Or does the struggle with love creep out of our own insecurities, and the paralyzing belief that we can only find it one time in life and then that’s it?
Do we struggle with love because we don’t really know the people around us?
Or does the struggle with love ooze out from the crevices of our own lack of knowledge about and communications with ourselves?
Until you are able to define who you are and what you want, how can you expect yourself to be able to find someone who is hyper-compatible with you? Until you know what you have to offer someone, how can you know the calibre of person you deserve in return? Until you know what you want from someone else, how can you know if they’re actually giving it to you?
I’ve been on both sides of heartbreak – as I’m sure is the case for most people. It really sucks. True. BUT…it can’t stand in your way, it can’t block you; we can’t allow our past heartbreaks to sully our future potentials – we just can’t! Even if that does seem like the only option sometimes, we mustn’t allow the failures of our past to blind us from the possibilities of our present. We don’t want to get hurt again, so maybe we should just block out romantic love, turn our backs on it since it so harshly has turned its back on us before. But I ask you this — what is the point in that?
It’s like the surfer shark attack victim; when asked if they plan on ever getting back up on the board, most of those people respond with an excited affirmative. Outsiders look on in question, but the surfers continue to explain that the reasons they were out in the water up on that board in the first place haven’t gone anywhere. Maybe they’ll alter their routine a bit, or take more precautions then they had in the past – but they’re still going to continue to grab their board and hit those waves.
Seeing as I’m very much one to whom self-preservation is not only important, but a driving factor in strategizing – I’ve really been trying to actively embrace the “Love like you’ve never been hurt” concept. I’m realizing more and more that the deeper I delve into life and the experiences it has to offer me, the more potential for heartbreak I will be welcoming into my world as well. Living a sheltered life to try to prevent negatives from finding me is just not at all an option in my eyes. The negatives will somehow find a way to wiggle their way into my world regardless, and I know for certain that I eventually will meet up with death — so why would I try to avoid connections with people entirely just because they might not end the way I want them to? Do I want to arrive at my grave in pristine condition? Hell. Bloody. No.
Life is for living. Living is loving. Loving is living. Living is life.
Have you ever found yourself deeply drawn to a person without really understanding why? Maybe you feel like you’ve known them for forever even though you just met. They seem to get you in a way you’ve only dreamt about up till now. Making eye contact with this person is invigorating, and holding their hand proves electric. Conversations are always interesting, and silence is somehow comfortable. Just being in their presence seems to make everything a little bit better.
If you have found it before . . . what did you do with it?
Did you fight for it? Did you let it fizzle out? Did you embrace it as reality, or shun it as too-good-to-be-true? Did you beat it down, or build it up? Did you try your damnedest to make something work, but it just wasn’t meant to be?
The most important things in life require effort. That fact is never going to change. But effort doesn’t always have to imply a struggle. It takes effort to argue, but it also takes effort to really listen. It takes effort to read too deeply into something negative someone said, but it also takes effort to read something positive at face value. It takes effort to destroy something, but it also takes effort to create something. Whether writing an angry email or gathering a bouquet of wildflowers – effort is involved.
Take the balcony scene from Romeo & Juliet, for example. Romeo & Juliet are simultaneously envied and ridiculed for their love story, but I gotta tell ya – the whole “communicating at the balcony” thing – that’s a big time fantasy that I hold on to in my mind . . . and I’m certainly not the only one. It’s a lovely, uber-potent image used to illustrate the ellusive emotion in focus, and it remains a solid fantasy in the minds of a grand percentage of women. Being one of those women myself, this image was one of the first things that came to mind when I realized that I actually do have such access to my bedroom window from the outside world at my current apartment. This allows me to hold on to this fantasy of Romeo professing his love to me – he’d just have to do it sans balcony is all . . . but, I’d totally be ok with that.
We adore the hyper-romanticized situation for the work of fiction that it is – but the actual idea itself – of having the guy whom you care for so very strongly show up outside your residence to throw pebbles at your window to get your attention, and then once he’s garnered your attention, maintain his hold on it whilst letting dilectable words of adoration, admiration, and adulation just fall from his lips like rain water on the parched ears of the desert queen . . . to exert the effort to let you know how important you are to him . . . Yup. Rather delicious to think about.
(Side note: if Juliet had called to Romeo outside of his bedroom balcony, would it have been viewed as romantic . . . or desperate? Would Romeo’s heart have gone pitter-pat that much more quickly to see Juliet’s eyes beaming up at him from the ground below him? Hmmm…)
In love, we need to be accepted for who we are. Beyond that, in love (maybe more romantical love specifically?), we need to be embraced for who we are. I find my own laugh to be rather obnoxious, BUT, I laugh all the bloody time – which means my counterpart will need to find this attribute of mine endearing, if not straight-up desireable. Generally speaking, we don’t need (or typically even want) to be viewed as perfect, but quite the opposite; we want and need to be accepted and embraced for being perfectly imperfect human beings. We want and need to be loved for who we really are, not for who we can pretend to be.
If you can find someone who can see you in the light of your own actual identity and STILL want to be a constant presence of any dynamic in your world, well — many congratulations to you, dear one — for you are loved. :)
To you and your own perfectly imperfect human beings:
Happy Valentine’s Day!
with passion & gratitude — jenbish