I’m thinking about love today. I am always thinking about love, to be honest. But, what do I know about it, really? Not a lot. I just know I crave it. I know I know more than I used to because I’ve been forced to take a different view after a relentless onslaught of heartbreaks and disappointments. Maybe I’m too sensitive? I never knew it was so difficult for men and women to be human to (or with) each other. I thought everyone loved the same way I do, but they don’t. There are so many different perceptions and demonstrations of love, it can all take some unpicking.
Spiritual love equates to one love! One pure and true love that resides within us all … (I LOVE the idea of that) … but I’m still working on loving at this level consistently. For now, I’m afraid I can only love as a flawed being. One who has favourite loves, whom I will never forget. Tainted loves, whom I may never forgive. People I once loved, who barely get a fleeting thought (love that fades), and people that I love so deeply that part of me will ache every moment I am away from them (love that endures).
If you love someone, set them free… a lesson I’ve learned the hard way. Although I’m not entirely sure there is ever an easy way to learn that lesson, I’ve learned to be OK with it. Or rather, I know that I have to be OK with it because not being OK with it is torture. The pain of losing loved ones has never sat well with me. I remember laying in bed when I was little, having haunting thoughts about my parents’ inevitable death. I couldn’t bear it. If any of us had to die, I hoped we would all die together. So none of us would have to experience the insurmountable grief of losing each other. Then I’d feel guilty, as though I was ‘planning’ my family’s death. As if just thinking about it would somehow make it happen. As if my thoughts were jinxing them. So then I’d wish (beg in fact!) that I would die first. Before everyone. So that I would never have to lose anyone I loved (no wonder sleep escaped me for so long). Then I would change my mind… maybe it would be better if we just never grew older? None of us. I could have happily stayed a kid forever. Us, frozen in time, never ageing or leaving each other. I would have sacrificed growing up to savour that beautiful, dependant, unconditional, honest love I experienced in childhood. Nothing else mattered to me. No one else mattered besides my family. The people I loved.
Of course, I knew that we would keep on growing. That there was no escaping that, and there was a massive part of me that wanted to grow up. To experience romantic love. To travel. To adventure. To LIVE. As the growing ‘happened’ to us, little by little, day by day, moment by moment – we changed. Our love for each other changed. My love learned to be independent, hidden and protective. I realized that I could head out into the world and that love would still remain – but it had to evolve from the kind of love that it once was. It had to change in order for us to move on and still be OK. To accept separation from the ones I loved, became important. As did my desire for the stimulation of new people and experiences. To grow and become whole.
While there’s still a lot for me to learn when it comes to love, I do know this for sure – love endures time and separation. True love lives on. It never dies. It gets stronger and stronger with every new heart-opening experience. I know that letting someone go doesn’t mean that you stop loving them. I know that if you hold on too tight, if you struggle, if you begin to forget who you are, that love has become something else. I know that true love can’t be restrained or restricted – true love is free.