One of my readers requested my thoughts on love. I was particularly hesitant to comply. My main concern was that love sounded mushy, and all that love talk would do damage to my Clint Eastwood-esque reputation. Regardless, I gave the request some thought and have decided to come out of the closet.
Love is not necessarily romantic, although I understand my thoughts on romantic love is what was requested from me. Simply put, from a young age we are told to find one person, and our love should go to them, no one else. We allocate our attention to one person neglecting the wondrous experience of loving the billions of souls that inhabit this earth. There is no quota for love, if you have one person you love adding a second wont bankrupt you emotionally. Love is a wish for the happiness, fulfillment and joy of another, keeping them in mind and supporting their growth as a human being. Love is being involved with something outside yourself. We are often so preoccupied with what is happening to us we cause our own suffering, if only we focused on the experience of something outside our minds we would see fantastic results regarding our happiness. Thats why it feels so great to be with the person you love, they take you away from your preoccupation, and you feel happily intoxicated by the world.
Needless to say my definition and understanding of love is not the universal perception of people around the world. Relationships seem at times to be a repeated disappointment. Love has appeared in many ways an illusion. We long for it, only to gain it for a time and lose it again. But nothing is ever lost, no experience is a loss. We learn lessons from our disappointment. We find ourselves from the pieces that are left of us.
Below are some lessons regarding relationships I have learned from falling deeply in love, denial, hysteria, delusion, and particularly from picking up the real pieces of myself once I felt broken beyond repair. I hope women read the list below. I hope we all realize we allow the people that are in our lives into them, and we can tell them to scram as well. Most importantly we have the ability to welcome love into our lives, not particularly from a partner but, through everything we do.
1. Respect is something fundamental.
- It is not a perk. It is not negotiable. More importantly respect is not something you get from others, it is something you give yourself. Webster's definition: to show regard or consideration for.
2. Love is not a means to an end.
- Love is a means in itself, a disposition, a life force. If you are with someone for the potential outcome of a wedding, for the esteem of walking next to someone, or for the comfort of having someone to come home to, you are in it for the wrong reason. Sooner or later the emptiness will catch up with you. No wedding, no ring, no braging rights.
3. Never settle for the first person that comes your way.
-Be with someone because they are special in your eyes, not because they were the first to pay attention. It is so easy to fall into this. Haven't we all? When we aren't ready to be in a relationship and then fall to the pressure of being in one, we waste time and we hurt feelings. Spend time with yourself first, figure out if a relationship is for you.
4. Dont confuse drama with passionate love.
-If I had to choose one worldly possesion it would be peace. Sometimes we fall into the dramatics, because of excitement and adrenaline. I also blame it on watching way too much t.v growing up. But no one should ever hurt you so many times that you start believing life is constant pain with sprinkled hopes of feeling loved in between.
5. Guilt is not a reason for doing anything.
- Guilt is what the common relationship politician uses to control your actions. Guilt is also what we use to justify staying in the wrong place, at the wrong time, with the wrong person. Become aware of it, it breeds resentment, anger, and nothing nice.
6. Say your sorry when need be.
- Don't choose pride over understanding, unless ignorance is your thing.
"Many are stubborn in pursuit of the path they have chosen, few in pursuit of the goal."- Nietchze
7. If you have to keep up an image for someone they are not loving you.
- Be yourself, hide nothing and fake nothing. The right person will understand. The wrong person will not be around for too long/ will try to change you/ is a douche. Particularly there is no need to go out of your way regarding your looks. The right person will still think the sun shines out of your ass.
8. Give it a chance.
- Due to watching way too many disney movies and a culturally influenced superstition concerning fate, I had though for a long time that I was supposed to meet a certain type of guy. "Types" are nothing but a limitation implanted in our heads by a society that taught us we must love in certain criteria and anyone outside of that is not worthy of our love. Give it a chance, don't turn it away at first glance.
9. You can change no one. REPEAT. You can change no one.
- There is no way to change anyones behavior who internally feels there is no problem with the behavior fundamentally. Change is internal, not external. Changes take time, and those that happen overnight tend to be superficial and later are dropped for more familiar behaviors.
10. Understand What You Value.
- A relationship works when you know what you want, and what you don't. I want truth so I value truth. I want knowledge so I value knowledge. My values are non-negotiable and in the person I love I want to see those values (as well as in myself). To know yourself is to understand your values, and to understand what you value you must spend time with yourself. (You are the only person who must live with the emotional pain of decisions not consistent with your values, befriend yourself). Values can of course change, and I hope your's ever evolve into greater more positive aspirations.
11. Pain is pain. No person can take it away but you.
- Don't fall into the myth of prince charming saving you. No one can bring you peace but yourself. I find its the best when in pain to look at all that hurts you, feel that pain as deeply as possible, let it pass over you, cry your eyes out, understand where it is coming from and realize its temporary. Dissect it all you want but understand, this too shall pass. It will pass because you are stronger than anyone ever told you, because you have the choice to follow the love inside you, not because someone else came along and took it away.
This is all I have for now. I am still learning. I am still loving. Please add to this list & pass it along.