Love is strange and as I get older I am unbelievably in awe of its instability and ability to throw at least me completely out of sink with my sense of being.
This might seem like an extremely weird and unstable thing to say for a 40-something-year-old woman who seemingly has her life together. Whenever February comes along and I start to see all these posts and memes about love my confusion and previous notions almost start to irk me.
Watching people post pictures of their romantic partners or just wishing they had a romantic partner.
I know all of you have heard the new “girl anthem” by Miley Cyrus about loving yourself first where she says something like “I can buy myself flowers, hold my own hand, and so on…” I couldn’t agree more. You have to love yourself before you can love anyone else, romantically or otherwise.
What confuses me about the notion she presents and we all happily accept is that she’s mentioning all those things that provide comfort when given or shared with a friend or a lover. I’m a loner and will choose to be by myself over any gathering anywhere hands down no question. However, if I’m having a bad day I probe think I want to be alone but I want to see someone I love. I want them to hold my hand. I hold myself up every day. I go to the beach and write in the sand whether fantastically or in reality. It will matter and give me comfort when I have someone to share it with. Of course, if it’s the wrong person none of it will mean anything but I would wait for the right person rather than be on my own when it comes to this. But most days, yeah let me be.
So why is there so much reliability to this along? Are we sick of love? Or do we need so much of it that nothing seems to be enough?
Or do we have the wrong concept of what love looks and feels like? What I’ve learned in my 40 years of being around love of all kinds is that it can’t be trusted. Any kind of love, whether it’s coming from you or you are receiving it from someone. Because this will never be a tangible thing. It will always be someone’s opinion about how they feel about you or your opinion about how you think you feel about them.
People evolve, grow change, and life teaches us whether we want to learn or not. If our opinions about other issues can develop how can we be sure that they will stay the same about love and the people we love? I don’t say this without any experience of it or proof of it. I just can’t give you those proofs or share those experiences for obvious reasons.
So if you do have someone you love unconditionally at the moment, that is wonderful. Most of us have loved and lost. And don’t mean just in the romantic sense. Some of us lost to death. Some of us lost to misunderstandings, some of us lost to egos, and some of us lost to not giving a shit. Some of us believe it or not, lost to trying to hold on too tight.
Watching all that since a very young age I stuck to one philosophy, which has served me well. Don’t chase love. Any kind, romantic, nonromantic, it doesn’t matter. It only brings trouble and headache. It weakens you.
I know that’s not the right approach. Love is supposed to be a strength. That’s what people say. However, I am proven right over and over again in what I believe. The second you admit to loving someone that’s when you lose.
So, there are not many people I love in a real sense. And those few that I love I barely ever tell them that I do. Except for my children. I remind them and tell them all the time because I don’t want them to turn out like me. I don’t want them to be afraid to love. Afraid to feel. I don’t want them to be afraid to respond when they learn that someone loves them because they are absolutely sure that it will be taken away so they don’t focus on it even a tiny bit.
Maybe that’s why people’s expressions of love and people’s overt declarations confuses me. They seem like writings in the sand.
The kind of true love I believe in isn’t written in romance novels or songs. They don’t make blockbuster movies about it either. The true love I have and I have kept with me is the kind that is kept in the depths of your heart and soul. It doesn’t need to be spoken about. It doesn’t even have to be about romance or romantic love. It’s just deep understanding and deep care for one another. And there is no need to explain or spread it to others.
I’ve kept some people in my heart, and that is where they will stay, what if people disappear because we let them know how we feel. See I have multiple love stories with amazing people that will stay with me.
Also, don’t let your love stories end. These are conflicting statements, I know. Do I believe in love? Do I not? Depends on the day of the week. You will love a handful of people in your lifetime if you’re like me. If you have a more open mind you will let more people in. This is not a matter of the heart. It’s all about the mind. You will understand your mother’s shortcomings because now you are a mother.
You will understand your father’s agitated mood after work because you know how you get after work. You’ll understand why your friend gets overwhelmed with tasks that come easy to you. Instead of making it harder now you can help them as they need you to and improve their life because you sincerely love them. You can have a bunch of love stories that never end. If they do, they will have happy endings.
The important thing to consider is love, lust, and romance, these are not all the same and none of these happen at the same time. And you can feel different emotions for different people at different times and it’s all okay. And sometimes it’s okay to not have these emotions for anyone even when you’re being told you are supposed to.
To sum it up let me tell you in my opinion what love is not: love is not pain. Love should not hurt. Love is not difficult.
Love is not scary. Love does not feel unsafe.
What has love meant in my life and probably should be for everyone. Everyone that I have truly loved since as far back as I can remember, those who will always remain a part of the deepest, darkest parts of my soul whether they are with me or not. They taught me what love is. Each one of them taught me a different aspect, a different meaning.
Love is safe. Love makes you feel seen and heard. Love is easy. Love is like a warm hug even when the person is not there to give you one. Just their voice, the comfort of knowing they care is enough. Love is not pain, physical or mental.
Be watchful of it though. It takes many forms. It’s not something to be taken lightly. If it’s causing pain, it’s not worth any kind of work or effort. Love is not pain. Love. Is. Not. pain.
Love is home.
I often forget where my home is. Then I’m reminded that home is where the heart is, where love is. I’m glad I have a safe place to come home to.