There are so many ways to love, it staggers the imagination to even contemplate.
I’ve learned, over the years, to never take any scrap of it for granted.
Too many loves lost.
A sister of the heart, taken too soon by cancer.
Lovers, who left me reeling in the wake of their departures.
Ex-husbands who withdrew their affections, leaving their own scars on my soul as they were cut from my heart and life.
Friends, whose deaths were painful reminders that you have to LIVE each moment you have with them, so that you can be the remaining living testament and monument of their life.
This is why I don’t hide my love for others.
This is why I tell the people that I care about, that I love them.
Because we all need to know.
We need to know that someone loves us.
Without limitation, without obligation, unconditionally, loves us.
When I talk to my Beloved Nephew, my kids, my parents… I always end the call with “I love you”.
Because I want them to know.
If something were to happen, I want them to remember that our last conversation ended that way.
With other friends, it’s more difficult… Awkward, because, some get it tangled up with the sentiment of being “in love”.
The two are not the same.
I am not “in love” with anyone right now, because that has to be reciprocal. It involves knowing someone else well enough to know that that other person has you in their heart the same way you have them in yours. It involves passion as well as compassion. It involves the desire to remain with that one person as a partner.
No one wants me in that way.
But there are plenty of people I love.
If I could tell them…
And while I might not say the exact words out loud…there are other ways to express it.
A teasing text, a “drive safe”, a “sleep well”, a concerned question as to their well-being… All of this and more are ways to show them I love them.
I just wish they’d let me say the words without freaking out. If I could explain, maybe, and yet…I know it’ll end up the same as always. And I’ll be left with the shadow of them disappearing into the distance again.
Because my love seems to be frightening in its intensity, even though it really isn’t. It is given unconditionally, with no expectation of reciprocity. Whether they love me back or not…doesn’t really matter.
I’d still be here for them.
Because that’s who I am.
It kills me over and over, but I die willingly each time. Because love is worth the pain.
I’ve seen both sides.
Love is so worth it.
In talking to the Beloved Nephew tonight, we discussed this post, and I came out with something I had to add.
Unconditional love, by my definition, means that you love someone enough to want only the best for the person you care about – even if that does not involve you.
It might be painful, but that’s not the point. The point is, that the person you love, gets what they need, and that you are happy for them because this means they’ll be better for it. And if that means their life moves away from yours…it doesn’t mean you love them any less…it means you love them enough to give them up.
To watch someone attain their heart’s desire, their goal, their next step in life, whatever it us – and to cheer them on in their endeavor, this is love. To support them emotionally as they strive for their goal, this is love.
To step back – if they need you to – to walk away – if they need you to – this too is love. Even when it burns.
Babies are born inherently selfish. They have to be in order to survive. They have to reach out and demand everything from those around them just to live and thrive.
Unconditional love is not something we’re born with.
It is something we learn.
It is something we have to be given, in order to give it away.
And, I’ve found, that those I’ve met who understand the true meaning of unconditional love, don’t always come from conventional upbringings.
They don’t always come from the perfect 2 parent households.
But – they always come from a life where someone, somewhere in their life, gave them unconditional love.
They were taught how to love that way.
So, they know how to love that way.
I was taught by many throughout my life. Family, friends, children, lovers…they all showed me in different ways about different facets of love.
So many ways to love.
So many people I love.
I just wish they all understood my love.
I feel as though I will spend the rest of my life mostly alone, with scattered moments of companionship, only to have it broken when they leave.
Because they always do.
I get tired of trying.
It seems as though every time I get anywhere near a relationship with someone, some switch gets flipped in their head that sets off a fear response in them, and they bolt.
Me? I’m just over here being myself. Trying to be a good person, a decent girlfriend, not knowing what the hell is going on when they break for the gate.
I’m not psycho, not clingy, I don’t insist that they only spend time with me, or that they ignore their friends while we’re dating. I try to be supportive, considerate, compassionate, understanding, & patient (although that’s not really one of my assets, I am working on it).
In talking to my friends, they seem to be as baffled as I am when these guys have broken things off, because things seemed to be going so well…then – nothing.
Fear – seems to be the leading culprit, but I don’t know why.
What’s so terrifying about being in a monogamous relationship?
You get to have someone there, who has your best interests at heart, someone who will have your back when you’re against the wall. Someone who will help you up when you’re down, & will be with you when you’re lonely. Or, conversely, will leave you alone when you need your space – at least – if they know you at all, & know that’s what you need.
You’d have someone who would rub your feet after a long, difficult day, & would laugh with you over the silly, stupid stuff. Also, they’d get mad for you over the times you felt mistreated by others.
You’d have someone who would take care of you, who you could care for in return…
What’s so awful about that?
What’s so frightening, that men feel the need to run from it at speeds that defy definition?
Geezus, it’s not like I ever got down on bended knee and asked any of them to marry me, or even asked any of them to profess their undying love for me.
I told them how I felt, and left it at that, because I don’t fucking play games, and I’ve lost too many people in my life to not tell those I care about how I feel about them.
I guess, if growing old alone is their idea of happiness, then I’m better off away from them.
But, I just wish I could find one out there that isn’t a coward.
I don’t use real names on the blog, as a courtesy, to protect those I speak about here.
You, however, forfeited any right to my protection when you betrayed my trust and shredded my heart.
So, you are the first person I’ve ever outed on my blog in the, oh…let’s see… 9 years I’ve been writing on it? Hope you feel so proud! What a major accomplishment.
When I asked my coworker to say “hi” to you, I really expected nothing in return. You were so cowardly 4 years ago, when you ran away from our relationship then, I honestly didn’t think you’d bother to respond this time around, so yes, it was a surprise when I got your text.
And yes, I’d forgiven you for what happened back then. Stupid of me, in hindsight, but that’s how I am. I can’t hold grudges, and I forgive people, because I figure that…somehow, I deserve to be treated like crap. I don’t know why, but I do, and always have. Maybe that’s why every relationship turns out the way it does, Because you accept what you think you deserve.
Then, YOU asked ME if I’d be willing to give a relationship between the two of us another chance. YOU started this once again. WHY?? If you were just going to bail out at the first curve in the road, what the fuck were you doing asking for another chance?
You said you wanted to take it slow. I said OK. I said, all I needed, was that you “be honest with me, & don’t shut me out”. You said “Ok, I can do that”.
The first chance you got, you shut me out, told me that your phone broke down, & you weren’t getting texts for 2 days. Yeah…sure, cause you wouldn’t be panicking if you didn’t hear from your kids for two days? Right. Whatever.
But, I gave you space, trying to not be “that girl”, the clingy girlfriend that people snicker about behind their hands. You wanted to take it slow, I was giving you slow & patient.
WHAT THE HELL DID YOU WANT, JOEY??
Did you do this just to break me again, you bastard?
Did you do this just to watch me fall apart?
Did you do this just to see if you still had the power to hurt me?
Well… *clapping hands in slow motion* Good. Fucking. Job. You win, asshole.
You hurt me.
I deserved better than this.
I deserved better than being ghosted, being dumped by someone who asked me for another chance.
I would have given you everything I had, my love, my patience, my empathy, my understanding, my compassion. You have no idea what you gave up, because you have no fucking clue who I am anymore.
And you’ve given up any rights to ever get to know me, ever again.
You took all of that…and ran away & hid. For what fucking reason this time, I’ll probably never know.
And now…I no longer care.
I’ve buried your name, buried our relationship, and buried any future there might have been.
This is the last time you will appear here or anywhere in my life.
You are dead…and I bury the dead, Joey.
Ahhh, the Gilmore Girls.
Fast talking, sarcastic, intelligent, funny, and totally devoted to each other & the people they care about.
And one of the few TV shows that sucks me in, every time, no matter how often I’ve watched it.
I got stuck tonight, I tried to watch just one episode.
I can’t just watch one episode.
I should’ve known better.
I’m now 6 episodes deep, & I desperately need to go to bed…
But it’s the Bracebridge Dinner episode!
And it’s the beginning of the Luke and Lorelei romance, which is my favorite ‘ship of the show.
I mean… These 2, have the perfect blending of friendship, romantic affection, and “I won’t put up with your shit” for each other.
No matter how many times I watch, it’s just… Gilmore magic.
Netflix, you’re just evil.
I took some time to sit outside on my front porch, tonight. Spring has finally peered her frousled head over the North Dakota horizon, & the temps have been most cordial to porch-sitting.
Well, it’s more of an extended step, than a porch, but it’s enough to plant my butt on while I stare up at the stars.
And as I sat there… I first unsuccessfully tried to reach E, which was disappointing, & a little depressing. We don’t get to talk much, these days, & I miss it, very much. I thought things would improve once he was back on this side of the ocean… It’s different, but not necessarily better. I know he’s busy, but – it’s still disappointing.
So, I tucked my phone back in my pocket.
It’s quiet in my neighborhood. I live only a few blocks from the “edge” of town, so I don’t get a lot of city noise. But what I can hear – are the coyotes. Yipping and the occasional howl, off in the distance. And, in my head, I can see the pack, loping through the fields on the other side of the highway; calling out to one another.
They are a family, far off in the distance.
Sitting, alone, on my porch/step… I’m suddenly reminded that I am alone.
How lonely, that yipping, that family, far off in the distance.
*and no less than 20 minutes after posting…. E called. And the lovely sound of his voice soothed away the distance, the loneliness… And once again, I am no longer quite so alone*