Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity. ~ Henry Van Dyke
I’ve received a lot of feedback from my previous post about being fearful to live and love. Some have questioned if something has happened recently to make me feel that way, and others have said I’ve taken a ‘step back.’ I’d like to assure you that something has happened. I have indeed taken a step, not backward, but forward. I have finally gained enough courage to admit to myself that I need to change things if I truly want to live. I need to learn how to love; to love the real way, unconditionally.
I believe that I am afraid to love; I’m not ashamed to admit this. I’ve given this a lot of thought, and have spent many therapy sessions discussing this very thing. And I will bet all the treasures in this world that you are afraid as well. It would be foolish not to be afraid and you’d be lying if you said otherwise. I’d call you a BSer strait to your face. Loving someone and being in love leaves you vulnerable. It leaves you open. It leaves you in a position where you put your life in another person’s hands and you are at their mercy; hoping that they will treat you the way you deserve to be treated, and not any less. Having been in a position of loving someone many times, only to be hurt, abandoned and left raw, I had taken on the attitude that I just would not let anyone ‘in’, meaning into my heart. I was still able to form successful relationships with people, but as soon as I found that someone started to make their way into my heart, I would sound the alarms and the iron clad doors would slam shut. No way was I going to go through that torture all over again. I decided to put a stop to it before it would even begin, before they could even get close.
But I was wrong. Boy was I wrong. That wasn’t the right thing to do, because I jeopardized many friendships and placed myself in solitary isolation. How was it possible to truly develop close friendships and relationships, be truly intimate with anyone if I don’t allow them in? How could they get to know me? And of course I was lonely; stupid me. I needed to have a breakdown before I decided that I wanted out, before I would finally own up to the idea that I hated the way I was feeling but I didn’t know how to do this, how to get out of it. I found out that loving fully means for you to reach rock bottom first. And man is it ever hard on the knees.
Over the last few years, I slowly began taking baby steps in opening up my heart and begin loving again. This was hard for me because I wasn’t used to all this emotion. What a ride this became! And through those years I also learned a lot. I learned that everyone needs to love and be loved. A baby is born with the need to be loved, but at what point do they outgrow that need? They don’t. No one ever does. Even the crustiest person in the world has a need to be loved. No one can survive without it. And with this, I began watching people, one of my favorite past times. I noticed that a lot fear we feel is directly related to the fear of not being loved. That love and fear are a mirror image of each other. Most of the fears with face have to do with abandonment, rejection, judgment, criticism etc. And all of these are items which live in the absence of love. What an awful place to be in. And the worst of it is we do this to ourselves. We are our worst critic.
Once I began to love again, strange things began to happen. I saw bright colors in a gloomy world, almost like Technicolor. I also noticed that love unlocked doors and opened windows that I didn’t even know where there. The world started to become a happier place, despite all the troubles I was facing.
I also fell in love, twice and I still am madly in love with these two people. I fell in love with my daughter, and myself. It tears my heart apart every time my daughter is away with her father. I won’t deny that it hurts, but I sit with the pain. The fact that I love her so much and she has to be away from me every other weekend is very much a good reason to bring down the iron doors and not love, but now I’ve learned that the pain I feel is part of love. It astonishes me how alone you can feel when you allow yourself to love. But love IS the missing of someone whenever you are not with them, but it also means somehow feeling warm inside because even though you aren’t physically together, you are still close in heart. How many times have you sat next to a person but your hearts were so distant from each other that they may as well have been on the other end of the earth? That’s what happens when love isn’t there.
I also learned that there are different kinds of love. Love for a child, love for a lover, love for a friend, love for a parent, and love for oneself. At the end of the day, it still boils down to it being love. We hear often, “I sure don’t know what she sees in him” or “why does he love her so much?” The heart has its reasons, which I believe reason knows nothing of. I believe that someone in love is able to live anywhere in the world, so long as the person they love is with them. As the saying goes “Love me and the world in mine.”
Happy Love Day to you all.