Oil on canvas by Deron Cohen, 1998
"The only thing more beautiful than two lovers, is being one of them"
"The only thing more beautiful than two lovers, is being one of them"
When someone tells you they love you, what do they really mean?
How do we interpret those words?
Is it not our own interpretation of what loving is? Our own interpretation of those words in comparison to how we love?
We all understand, or hopefully all do, that we cannot begin to see inside another's mind, another's heart. We have to trust their words.
Sometimes, the words when spoken, when we hear them, they feel so right, the tone of voice, the inflection 'sounds' as if they mean it, but what if their actions do not back them up? What if the actions feel as if they are a direct contradiction to the words? Which do we believe?
We listen to their words, or, we read their words (if that love is expressed in such a way), but all we have are the words, unless they back them up with actions, actions that ring true. Those actions, are the only way to quell the uncertainties, and whether it is admitted by some or not, we all feel uncertainty in love.
Thus, proof we seek, by questioning, measuring. We measure their words and actions, against our own words and actions. We measure their words, against their actions. We measure their words and actions against previous love's words and actions. If words and actions do not match, we question, we question because we are afraid of being hurt, and we do not want to be hurt, we do not want to feel pain.
You know what?
It doesn't matter, we are still going to feel pain, we may think we can temper it, by our questioning, by telling ourselves we will hold back just a little, but in reality we are going to feel the pain of loss of love. Because, we love.
If that love ends, or is not shared, we move along in our lives, thinking, "I survived that one, it wasn't too hurtful, I protected myself, protected my heart from the total devastation I feared."
But the wound is there, it may be scarred over in our self-protective coating of it, but it is only a surface scarring. The pain will manifest itself, in one form or another. It may not occur until we allow ourselves to love another, but in that new love, we hold back even more (feeling the previous pain).
We are then worse off, because we cannot be completely honest within ourselves, or in giving completely to our new love. We are in a sense, partially walled off, in our need to protect ourselves. Sadly, this is when the games of love and protection against pain often begin. Our self-protective, Narcissistic selves take over.
"He/she did not give me what I needed, when I needed it, so they must not love me enough. I will hold even more of myself back, to protect me."
"He/she didn't do this for me, so I will show them how it feels, I will respond in kind. That will teach them how I feel."
We are so fearful of just saying,
"I don't understand, I am feeling a loss, I am feeling insecure, I love you, but no matter how difficult it is for me to tell you, I need to be shown that you love me too."
Because no matter how noble we may feel, in thinking that we can love, give love, and not have it returned. We want that love returned. It feels damn good to have that love returned by the one we love. We don't want to love from afar, we want to revel in a shared love.
Words, words and words of love, I have heard so many in my lifetime.
In thinking about all of this, I have come to the rather bizarre thought, that I can trust the words of love from a friend, much easier than I can trust the words of a lover. Of course, I do temper that thought, with the knowledge that the majority of my life, I have heard words, so many words, that do not match actions. In addition, in a friendship, no matter how vulnerable we make ourselves to that friend, there is a difference, there is not the strength of complete emotional and physical intimacy we share with a lover.
These thoughts of the uncertainty of love, bring me to.......the idea that........
In wanting someone to love us, we are searching for a certainty of self, we are searching for validation of ourselves, we are searching for that total and complete giving and receiving of intimacy. We are searching for an ease to dissatisfaction, and we are searching for the sublime pleasure an intimate love can give us, and that we can return in kind.
Yet, many of us, if we have loved before, and suffered for it, are not fully open to new love. We do not want to feel the pain. Because, deep down we know it will not be eased by them, we have to do that from within. We have to accept that someone else cannot do that for us. So, we set in self-protections; we question their love, we keep a part of ourselves set aside, not wanting to feel the pain of that not occurring.
Until quite recently, I had the theory, that at some point in my old age, I would find a contentment, a serenity, in finally 'knowing' who I am. I would be fully self-sufficient within myself, having intimate love would be wonderful, a bonus in my life, but that I would also be OK, without being loved by another, because I would have me.
A grand theory, but one that I now, do not believe will ever happen. We are just not made that way. Those of us that allow ourselves to awaken to the need to question our dissatisfactions with life, with ourselves, will never stop that questioning. With this new outlook on life, I also have realized that I do want to have shared love in my life, it isn't a bonus, it is a real need. It is much better to seek with someone, than alone. At several different points in my life, I will probably find myself alone, but I sincerely hope, that I will also end my life, with the knowledge that a part of my life was shared with a lover.......in a joyous seeking together.
With all of these wonderings of mine, on life, on love, I am beginning to dabble with the idea, that constant questioning, is the answer to truly living. For, in our questioning, we are also incorporating into our very "being" life itself. In the act of searching for answers, we have to acknowledge the joys, we have to acknowledge the pains, we have to feel them, we have to live them. There are no certainties, but, if we are awake to life, to fully living, to fully giving love, to fully receiving love, to all that encompasses, we just might, end our lives with some form of enlightenment. (I have no idea what kind, because I am not there yet.......so hopefully, I won't die today or tomorrow, because I still have a whole lot of questions!)
I truly wish to reach a point in my life, in which I can accept, just accept, that there are no certainties in love. We just love, we give our love to another, we demonstrate our love to them, in the only way we know how, sometimes it is enough, sometimes it isn't. Sometimes it is reciprocated in kind, sometimes it isn't. We have to accept, that loving someone else, and being loved must be enough on its own.
Sigh.......my dreams of a future self.......a self that can just accept.......be open to love, feel free to give love, feel free to receive love. Accept.
I am not there yet, I have much more learning to accomplish, I don't know how...... to just accept.......I still have expectations.........I have expectations that actions will match words.
That in itself seems so simple, yet it is the most complicated of all.
I have accepted that I will always be uncertain, always be seeking answers...........a start?