What is love?
Merriam-webster.com (1) defines love as:
(1) : strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties
2: warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion
3a : the object of attachment, devotion, or admiration
4a : unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another: as (1) : the fatherly concern of God for humankind(2) : brotherly concern for othersb : a person's adoration of God
And all of these sounded good but they just didn’t amount to the feeling that I call love.
So I got to thinking well, who taught me how to love? Who did God use as tools to help me learn how to love? An array of names came up, starting with my parents (Honor thy mother and thy father fore they days will be long upon the land… see I told you, they are your x marks the spot you are here blueprints to the land God knew you could walk… but I digress). Then names of previous boyfriends, current and previous friends, came to mind.
While going through my mental rolodex I noticed that it never occurred to me to put my name on the list. I did not put myself on the list of people who taught me how to love. I mean out of the names on my list, shouldn’t I have been the very first one??? But thinking all about that would have put me in a-whole-nother mental windstorm so I just acknowledged the fact that I did not put myself on the list. And to make matters… more… interesting, when I tried to think of how I loved myself I couldn’t even come up with the answers!!!
But that’s okay. Whatever beliefs I had about love had no doubt created the situations that I wound up in. Those situations tested those beliefs and through the tests, I realized that the belief that I had about love- which was being mirrored back to me in my relationships- is NOT the definition that worked for me. For example, one of my beliefs was, that when you love someone you do what they say or they do what you say. Therefore, I found myself in relationships where I allowed someone else to come into my life and dictate my actions because I loved them and wanted them to be happy. And at times, they did the same for me. But what about the times when this belief didn’t hold true?
What about the time when I thought he loved me so he would be loyal to me, but he wasn’t? And as a result I tried to control him, tried to MAKE him display his, love for me; all the while, killing my love for myself and him when he would not abide. These actions painted my life with stories of all kinds of abuse.
So… that belief can’t be true right? RIGHT! So what do I do? Do I continue to go from one situation to the next with the idea that love is control, that for someone to love you, they do what you say or for you to show you love someone you do what they say? Do I continue to find myself in more portraits of abuse –both to self and the man I say I love? Or do I realize that maybe just maybe my definition of love is jacked up? And choose to no longer follow this definition into relationships because the pain- the proof that my definition is jacked up- is no longer necessary?
I say this so often “this too shall pass” that I fear people will start to think it is one of my favorite clichés… because that is not the case. I say this phrase because it is true. In Ecclesiastes chapter three the the speaker states (2):
1To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
So, “this too shall pass”. Seasons of winter will come… bringing painted portraits of abuse but spring is right around the corner; I’ve had enough of being cold… lonely… dead. “This too shall pass”. We cannot get caught up in our experiences because they do not define us… it is the definition that we put towards them, we define our experiences! Will we ever come to over-stand how powerful we really are?
Yes I was in a situation where confusing control with love had me in a fucked up situation. But this does not mean that I am unworthy, that this is all I am capable of attracting, that I was treated badly because I deserved it. It simply means that I learned a fucked up definition of love. What is beautiful about this is that through living, I KNOW BETTER.
We often wish for a do-over button in life; a rewind button; an eraser to erase some shit; and would you believe me if I told you that we do have it; in our minds. When we learn something that does not fit our… paradigm we have the power to erase it take out the letters we don’t like, the periods, the semi colon’s and rewrite the whole damn thing!
I may not have known what love is, did not know how to love myself, but I am learning.
Do you, know what love is? Do you thrive in the midst of love? And if you don’t… that’s okay. Just know that you are a Co-Creator of your life. Now, with that knowledge, what are YOU going to do about it?