Love – Dedicated to my MIL

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Love

Love is not about finding the spark of connection between yourself and another, it’s the acceptance of yourself and the vulnerability to present that to another. It’s one of the reasons for heartbreak and pain, love can be a one way-street, taking a gift wrapped you and giving it to someone who opens the gift and scoffs. It’s soul crushing, to love and not be loved in return, and all too often it is misdirected toward oneself. Since love is about vulnerability, about showing someone the true you, it is exceptionally easy to hop into a vat of self-loathing. After all, if you were to give someone a physical gift, and they say that they dislike it, your choice was inadequate. So with love, once that ribbon comes off, it’s easy to feel inadequate when it has not been accepted.

Cheerful thoughts, and quite misdirected, love is vulnerability and acceptance. When it is one sided often times it means that the other person is not willing to forego their own pride, not willing to show their true self to another person. Instead of shedding their layers of ego they hide behind a wall forged of stone and steel. For love to go both ways both people have to be able to accept their insecurities and more importantly accept another’s insecurities. To reach out and embrace imperfection, to place faith into the arms of another and hope it doesn’t hurt.

All too often there is an argument about love, the concepts, the feelings, and the pain that can be associated with it. All of which is accurate, and representative of the power that it wields over one’s life. How come one can love and not be loved? How can someone that loves hurt the person that they feel it for? Why does love drive some people to madness where they forsake the concepts of survival or morality? Love is identity, and at the end of the day a very selfish thing. What one loves they want, and they want it to want them. Allowing oneself to be seen through clear lenses and revealing the scars of character is deeply personal, which often times leads to pain and misunderstanding. For these reasons it is easy to be afraid of love, to be afraid of pain, of change, and afraid of vulnerability. Doubtful though that anyone who has ever experienced love once or multiple times has not learned something from it, has not grown stronger because of it unless it broke them.

Too often love is categorized as romanticism, but that is just a very small, if powerful, part of the equation of emotion. The one that lay in bed next to a person is just an individual out of many the person loves. Family, friends, pet’s, communities, all of these fall under the umbrella of love and all of these follow the same rules as romance without the flare of physicality that goes with it. To love ones family and for that love to be returned one has to accept that these people are who they are. The expectation is that they will do the same. Many think about love as the flutter in the pit of the stomach, finding the courage to talk to a crush, the first kiss, the first night, the fleeting although important parts of something much greater. True love is not about that short term high, it’s the long con, the end game, it’s about wanting that person because despite the flaws, they enhance life.

Mother’s, father’s, mother’s in law, father’s in law, son’s in law, daughters in law, sons, daughters, aunts, uncles, cousins, and the furry or feathery family members are all people that are oftentimes loved. Friends, though through time they may disappear, are also loved, friends are a primary example of love without romance. Acceptance at its finest, where connections are not forced, and character is judged but in such a way that they embrace one another. So many successful romantic relationships are possible because of the strangers in one another’s lives become friends. There is little doubt that love without the acceptance of the lover’s family or friends is a difficult thing to manage.

Love is not a science though, nor is it logical, love is an emotional process by which one submits themselves to and tries to decide who or what will be beneficial for their lives. Selfish sounding yes, but if both parties participate it is equally selfish and thus mutual. It is possible for love to be given and not returned, it is possible for love to take over the essence of one’s humanity and drive their reasoning so hard in an inappropriate direction that malice occurs. It’s part of love’s power, deeply embedded into the instinct of survival, sometimes love would rather one die, or kill instead of feel the pain that strikes at the most basic of instincts. To give love is to accept protection emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically, receiving love follows the same paths. To lose that protection renders one’s vulnerability to be truly naked and unprotected, when backed into a corner it is a fight or flight response.

Is love truly as simple as all of that? No, there are many things throughout one’s life that will influence decisions just as there are several examples of unrequited love that simply doesn’t make sense. After all many people loved Hitler and many people loved Gandhi. Proximity is hugely influential in the creation and discovery of love, perhaps one’s soul mate lives in Bangladesh but they live in Australia, not often will those two find one another, they will turn to, and love, those is proximity to them. Not unlike family, not unlike friends.

Love is not something that can be summed up in very few words, which is why it has dominated our thoughts and souls for generations. What we know and accept is that it is incredibly important, powerful, and lastly it is very beautiful.