Saturday, April 24, 2010
Love, Actually Not
Between turning 35 on Sunday and this coming Monday being my former wedding anniversary, I'm doing a ton of thinking about it all. The main "it" being love or rather, what I thought was love. I see now that what I had was little more than a pretty illusion. That's liberating, in a way, but also scary because I don't want to fall into that ever again. So I put massive walls up that few could penetrate. Then I read this and it really resonated and makes me far less afraid of making another mistake. Not that I won't make a mistake again, but I think I'll recognize it far sooner and maybe avoid it altogether if I'm lucky. This is from "Daily OM" and the photo is by a Jenny Teraski on flickr.
"Love should feel good.
Relationships that leave you feeling depleted, sad and making excuses are not based in love.
Often in our lives, we fall prey to the idea of a thing rather than actually experiencing the thing itself. We see this at play in our love lives and in the love lives of our friends, our family, and even fictional characters. The conceptualizing, depiction, and pursuit of true love are multimillion-dollar industries in the modern world. However, very little of what is offered actually leads us to an authentic experience of love. Moreover, as we grasp for what we think we want and fail to find it, we may suffer and bring suffering to others. When this is the case, when we suffer more than we feel healed, we can be fairly certain that what we have found is not love but something else.
When we feel anxious, excited, nervous, and thrilled, we are probably experiencing romance, not love. Romance can be a lot of fun as long as we do not try to make too much of it. If we try to make more of it than it is, the romance then becomes painful. Romance may lead to love, but it may also fade without blossoming into anything more than a flirtation. If we cling to it and try to make it more, we might find ourselves pining for a fantasy, or worse, stuck in a relationship that was never meant to last.
Real love is identifiable by the way it makes us feel. Love should feel good. There is a peaceful quality to an authentic experience of love that penetrates to our core, touching a part of ourselves that has always been there. True love activates this inner being, filling us with warmth and light. An authentic experience of love does not ask us to look a certain way, drive a certain car, or have a certain job. It takes us as we are, no changes required. When people truly love us, their love for us awakens our love for ourselves. They remind us that what we seek outside of ourselves is a mirror image of the lover within. In this way, true love never makes us feel needy or lacking or anxious. Instead, true love empowers us with its implicit message that we are, always have been, and always will be, made of love."