“Above all, let your love for one another be intense, because love covers a multitude of sins”. I Peter 4:8
I saw this quote today and it stuck with me. I suppose it is love that covers the multitude of flaws people come to us with daily – and we to them. It could be love for mankind in the larger sense, love for a specific cause because we’ve been touched deeply in some way, love for the sake of love, as in “I love the lightheaded feeling of being in love” or just the opposite – seeing so deeply into another being that we only acknowledge the goodness that connects us and draws us ever closer, in spite of the strain that time and life events can have on relationships. At that point all reasonable thought might hypothesize that this thing we call “love” supersedes ego beyond any narcissistic need. It is hard to put this into rationale wording….we hear things like, “it’s amazing”, “I’m floating on air”, “I can’t think straight”, “light-headed”, “I feel alive”, “colors seem brighter”…good grief. It’s hard to put scientific logic to the depth and sphere of that kind of love. It isn’t rational. What we can measure are dopamine receptors and serotonin quantities in the brain; also, the biofeedback from those who have physical changes going on when a certain person comes into a room. There seem to be an infinite amount of tests, both written and oral to try to explain and examine this phenomenon. Then there are just those who accept, embrace and enjoy the hell out of this feeling.
It is an emotion that has the power to make us laugh, cry, flirt, turn red, do any number of strange things; feel passionate feelings of anger, jealousy, fear, frustration, joy, happiness, silliness, pain, sorrow, excitement…..you name it. My husband of thirty years, (…three months, six days and 11 hours…but who’s counting?!) will tell you that indeed, I am NOT much of a romantic. I will agree with that and add that I have always rather intellectualized this love thing. For example, I have gone to bat against getting tattoos aspiring to hold up high love standards…i.e…”love conquers all”, “love is the answer”, “love beyond measure”…blah, blah, blah…or really any semblance of love in the message. And yes, I am assuming that most people over romanticize the mere idea of love. I am to love what scrooge is to generosity. BAH HUMBUG!
In reality though, this love thing must be a terribly deep and powerful feeling to be able to say that “love conquers all” thing. Ancient Roman Latin poet and author of the epic Aeneid, Virgil, must have felt touched deeply to expouse such a statement. Clearly, in direct opposition to that, perhaps I have been too shallow to experience the kind of intensity that would have one dying to or for something/one.
Until I had children. Then I began to truly understand it.
And also, to fear it. It was almost too intense. What if my angel fell and hurt herself? Worse, what if she was left at school and felt forgotten because she didn’t have a cell phone, mine died and I was stuck in traffic? What if, God forbid, my beautiful child got kidnapped or tortured somehow and I wasn’t there to save her? Ultimately, WHAT IF I TRULY GAVE MY HEART TO THIS HUMAN BEING AND SHE LEFT ME AND THIS WORLD, SOMEHOW PERMANENTLY?
How could I ever breathe again? And would I even care to?
So friends, you can see my dilemma. Distance or engulfment. Yikes! to both.
This has taken me well into my almost-golden years to understand. I don’t do things half-way, generally. A self-preservationist at heart, putting myself out there in Vulnerable Land is not where my car is generally parked. So imagine my chagrin when I realized that LOVE is what it is all about.
Raise your glass to love my friends! Relationships are what keep people, the fallible-human-being-kind, moving, growing, living. These connections are critical to how we think, feel and go through our lives in relative harmony. They are the mirrors with which we reflect ourselves…our worth seen through someone’s eyes that we truly love and respect is both integral to ones ego strength and development as well as catastrophically empty if there is a void there.
The reason, I believe, is because people need to receive validation from other beings. How good does it feel to receive positive feedback from someone you respect and appreciate or fear even – like a boss or parent. Compare that to the feeling you get from someone you feel deeply enamored by. It is fairly close, but one leaves us feeling like we’re walking on air. That’s the connectedness that comes from depth and the ability to be real and still be accepted. Even older couples can score that kind of magic if they work extremely hard at it (trust me on that one!).
I have allowed, even encouraged myself, to avoid this at all costs most of my life. It makes perfect sense to me and others like me, who are more comfortable being in their heads than in their hearts. We are the “sensible” ones, the “rational” ones. The “Wow! You have such wisdom!” ones, who won’t follow our hearts if our lives depended on it. Why?
Because messing with emotions is tricky business. It opens up raw feelings that tend to complicate and entangle rather than simplify and tame. Would you wash your hair and NOT use a conditioner to detangle and keep the frizzies out? That’s my pathetic metaphor for getting rid of dry, brittle uncomfortable things akin to raw feelings. It seems to me that a prudent individual would be quick to smooth it over with creme rinse to keep them from experiencing the intensity of dry, brittle
split ends feelings. It helps for those in survival mode who cannot tolerate much more drama in their lives so there is some benefit to my denial or condition-it-away process. It has a time and a place. However, if you are looking for a life beyond being on autopilot, might I suggest a wake up call?
Hello? Your life is calling! You can either answer it or let it go, but love is
maybe possibly probably the answer to the question you were meaning to ask and didn’t. by the way, it’ll be worth it. And so are you.
Bruno Mars wonders: Who would you catch a grenade for? Throw your hand on a blade for? Jump in front of a train for?…
I’ll get back to you on that one, but I can assure you that I would.
My Greeting Card Might Read:
Dear Valentine, it is finally our day!
But alas, I hear you question your love;
Is it real or just made up?
Perhaps you are thinking too much to feel…or maybe you just don’t like me, for real.
Either way is okay, I guess. I can survive, eventually, and without all this stress!
Oh hell…you are not ready for something so deep. So take your damn ring and shove it up your
Asshole you creep BLEEEEEEEP!! Go fuck yourself Have a shitty good day!
Distance or engulfment. I have always vacillated between the two when it comes to attachments of any kind. I open up to people, and they retreat. I close myself off, and they don’t approach. I’m a jangled emotional being on the inside who craves validation, and an aloof rational being on the outside who wants the kind of self control that only solitude brings. Either way, I feel like I must be in some kind of denial, and none of what I’m saying makes any sense. They say all you need is love. I wouldn’t mind a bit of understanding too. It’s a conundrum, that’s for sure. (Great post as always!)
Do you see how confusing that may come across to those you want validation from? I get it. And I appreciate this conundrum you speak of. It is so frustrating, especially as an introvert to believe that you are communicating effectively on the outside of your thoughts, when it isn’t coming across that way to others who you seek validation from. There is an internal struggle between sharing yourself and your gifts with others and fearing the worst response possible, then recoiling and slinking back into our heads for comfort. Somehow we have learned that people aren’t to be trusted with our feelings so we must manage alone, or fall apart. Love is such a loaded word and feeling. I’m not so sure I even trust it. But I want to. Ideally we’d let go of our fears and allow the goodness of the world embrace us as children of the earth, or whatever higher power we believe in. We’d trust that life is good. That humanity is overall decent and that shedding the layers is a good thing. Ultimately, thought, Tony, it comes down to you and me. Would you save yourself? Do you love yourself enough for even that? because if you can’t even do that then maybe you wouldn’t be able to do it for someone else. I can honestly say I may not have until I had children. Little beings that counted on me to sustain them. It is powerful and strange to know that a life depends on you. Well, guess what? YOU’RE life depends on you, Tony. ANd you’re worth it. xo
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What can I possibly say in response to this? Of course, you’re right. I wish you weren’t and that the responsibility wasn’t always on MY shoulders… but, if not me, then who else?
If you cannot love Tony, accept him for all of his strengths (and I know of many!) and weaknesses, how can you expect someone else to accept them? Love is so akin to acceptance that I probably should have said the blog entirely in terms of acceptance. You cannot have one without the other. Not truly. Not deeply. Tell me how come I shouldn’t jump in front of a train for Tony? huh?
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Good heavens. I couldn’t expect anyone to jump in front of a train for me. That’s an awful lot to ask. Heck, I wouldn’t jump in front of a train for me, not even to kill myself! (Which happens to be a good thing.) And besides, you’ve got so much to live for! Seriously though, you’ve given me pause for thought, so on with my thinking cap…
I would, not to die of course, but to keep my kids from death. You’re getting the point, yes?…glad you’re thinking, my friend. My job here is done 🙂
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