The elusive reality. Love. Is it real, or no? Am I loved? Am I loving others? Am I able to love?
- “Eros” or Erotic Love.
- “Philia” or Affectionate Love. …
- “Storge” or Familiar Love. …
- “Ludus” or Playful Love. …
- “Mania” or Obsessive Love. …
- “Pragma” or Enduring Love. …
- “Philautia” or Self Love. …
- “Agape” or Selfless Love.
I grew up under the conditions of love. Do this, or that, be this or that, and you’ll get praise and behaviors that are like love. But not acceptance. Not the love that is just there because you are there. I went through a lot of pain and loss and fear in childhood, I went through abandonment, abuse, neglect, and some of the freakiest ‘outer limits’ kind of things a person can go through. Those that argue there are no ‘supernatural’ realities would have done well to have walked in my shoes to learn there ARE supernatural realities, but I’m not here to argue the point.
I recall that after being strangled by a woman gone insane at age 14, reaching out to the people (family) that were supposed to love me and getting “I have my own problems” as the answer. Not comparing to the very real struggles of others, some much worse, but in all we have the lessons we are independently meant to learn. For myself, I suppose, my lesson was to love myself through all things and not seek the love of others for comfort. That’s not easy to do as a human, let alone as a child, kid, teen, or youth of adulthood. Heck, it’s not easy now, but it’s getting easier.
I believe in the “user friendly” world. The one where you get to be who you are and are appreciated for that alone. Where you get to be. But I don’t always pull it off. I can’t always give that to others. I try, but having been programmed with high expectations of others from early life, I have high expectations of others. For some reason my mind thinks that others should understand me, not misunderstand me. So I know, while it may seem I preach love and understanding, I’m not the best at setting the example of it.
I blew it with my last chance at love of companionship. I just couldn’t understand the other person’s flaws and live with them. They had a history that was a consistent trigger to my peace of mind that kept me in continuing anxiety. I waited with baited breath for the signs and the moments and the language, for the body language, for the hints and the ambiguity that was sure to present abandonment again. I couldn’t trust what I knew about them, revealed to me in honesty, open in reality, they liked things that I could not tolerate. They looked at others in a way that was distasteful to me. They wore shades that colored their world with allowance for behaviors that to me were not acceptable. I was a hypocrite to love.
The love I was looking to live up to, the love I was hoping for was the kind of Cinderella. The Prince. The rescuer. The one that would make it all right. The one where there would be peace and joy. But as I’ve been growing and learning these last several years, I’ve come to understand that true “marriage”, true love in a relationship is not flowers and beads and sunshine. It’s conflict and resolution.
I watched “House Sitter” with Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn. It gives me insight to the truth of what companionship is. The fighting. The yelling. The arguments. The constant watch stance of holding one another in line from doing stupid things. I didn’t learn this. I learned that ever obedient whipped dog method of companionship. Do and do, and give and give, and take your bruises and make sure that the other is always, always, happy. If they are not happy, you pay for it. I learned that companionship, or marriage was punishment. Not compromise.
Too far gone now I think. Too far into the place now of figuring out how to be a person in my own right. Doing what I like to do. Not doing what I don’t like to do. Not coloring my hair, or starving myself to be different. Not wearing that style of clothing, or nail polish, or make-up to please the other. To attract the other. To make the other happy. Keep the other happy and you will have success. Let them down, and you pay for it with bruises to your flesh and your soul, and sometimes with destructive forces upon your spirit.
I live alone. Because in alone I don’t feel the suffering of not being able to love someone for who they are. I would have thrown myself to their needs just to not be alone, to feel there was someone that cared, assuming that my relationship ability with another person was the end all – be all of existence. But it’s not. In alone is the lesson of self-love. In alone is a rare comforting that you are alright without jumping through hoops or living up to the ideal someone else has for you. I couldn’t be what they wanted me to be because I’m not that, and it used to tear me up. Why can’t I be other than I am? Why do I have to be what I am? If I could be what they want, they will love me and I won’t be alone.
Things change. We change. Life changes. Nothing stays the same. Perhaps I will learn to accept others as is, and not live my life in a delusion of expectations of perfection. They are fine to be as they are, unless they want me. Then the problem comes up. If they want me, there is a list of what is necessary to my peace of mind and feeling comfortable. If you can’t live up to it, I can’t love you. I’ll be stuck in trying to fix you, or fix me to make myself into what you need to change you. Corrupted idealism.
I have come to the place of letting others be. To just practice acceptance. Yes, that person is an alcoholic. Yes, that person is a drug addict. That person is addicted to porn. That person is prejudice against persons of different race or religion. That person has masochistic tendencies. That person has sadistic tendencies. That person is verbally abusive. That person judges you, looking you up and down for your flaws and commenting on them. That person fears truth and honesty. That person is just as complex and complicated as I am, but I can’t get past their behaviors and warm up to their soul. Their soul says they hate their wife, their wife says she hates her spouse, they fight and hurt one another. That person says women are flavors of the month. That woman says men are only of value for their cock and their money. Users. Too afraid to be alone, too afraid to be accepting of the bed they created, too afraid to make a change.
Humans. I’m glad to be alone. My often called “imaginary” friend, Yeshua, is attacked by others, because my best friend isn’t physically a reality. But in my mind’s eye, I see him, I feel him, I hear his wisdom echoing in my ear, let them be as they are and love them regardless. But I miss the mark often, because I want better than what they are. I blow it. I fail at love, unless… unless I remain alone. I don’t like fighting. I don’t like bitter arguments and blame. I don’t like hurtful comments. I don’t like expectations put on me and I don’t like putting expectation on others. At least in being alone, what I hold on to for expectations of others falls back on me.
At the present I am loving a 16 year old dog. Sitting a dog for others so they can go do things that the old man cannot do anymore. He’s nearly blind, going deaf, and has hip problems. He can’t take a long drive to the mountains anymore because his legs will seize up and he’ll be crippled for days. He needs warmth (or cool in this heat), and comfort. He has an old dogs digestive problems and the house will reek with his wind, and I have to turn on the fan and light incense or open doors and windows to clear the air, but even so, knowing that its just acceptance because he put in 16 years of devotion to his master, and I am his grandma. So I set up an open window for my cats to come and go, and move their food to a location that he won’t go to, so they in their prime and good health can endure his presence for a time. I make him a turkey burger, rice, and barley meatloaf to break up into his food because its good for his health and need of protein. I don’t sit and pet him endlessly, but I respect him and he knows it. He looks at me with his cataract covered eyes and tilts his deaf ears and wags his incredibly huge tail thumping me with it. He bumps into me and knocks my weak knee and I wobble a while like he does. But he’s my grand-dog. I’ve known him since he was a pup. He lived with me on and off in time and was a pal to my dog (who is now long passed). He is due the respect and care that allows him to be himself. I give it to him.
If only I could do that with a human.