Friday Philosophy: Love

First rewrite:

Sometimes, in order to stretch the boundaries of who I am, I give myself a mission.  I force myself to write a poem about some subject in order to see what I really think about it.  Or I try to write an essay.

Several weeks back, I assigned myself such a task.  Having written about death and fear, pain and struggle, I needed to write something about love…no matter how much it hurts me to do so.

It is not an easy subject for me.  I have experience to draw upon.  Love hurts.  Or can do so.

Maybe I think I know love when I see it.  Or maybe I’m just full of it.

Each time I seek to grasp for the words I wish to say, memories of times past, fears of rejection and its actuality, push them out of my reach.  Pain is remembered.  Mental scabs are picked at.

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I suppose I have partially given the issue wide berth in an attempt to not write about my marriage of 24 years.  Was there love there and then?  After several years of therapy, I honestly don’t know.  I know there was manipulation.  I know there was co-dependency:  the worst case my therapist said he had ever seen.

The truth is I haven’t got a clue what love is.  Not really.  I mean, I know it is an emotion…and I know some of its symptoms.  But I don’t know if I am really capable of profound love.  I have this wake rippling behind me…of loves that really weren’t…or were unrequited or ill-fated, or maybe not really love, by limerence.  All I know is that there was my own personal trail of tears.

There was the obsession I had for Bonnie, which through no fault of hers led to two suicide attempts, and ultimately to that 24 years of marriage to someone else.  There was the deep emotional bond I felt for Linda, who I knew for such a short while.  There was the total freak-out when I discovered that I had a crush on someone too much like me. 

And there was Becky, who let me hang around with her for so many years as we watched our child grow.  There was comfort, and someone who would listen, much of the time, and someone with whom I could be myself, even if we chose to avoid talking about why I was who I was.  And all that was demanded of me was a steady paycheck and no real questions about where that money went.  [And that is enough about her for now.]

And then there was April…but I was changing too fast or too much on the edge of change.

And with Alicia I discovered it was not enough to want to help someone, to learn about life together.  Maybe too much of the time I felt like I was only the teacher…or the therapist.

And now there is Debbie.  And I hope this is forever.  She is comfortable to live with, probably moreso than it is to live with me.  And we can get each other to do what needs to be done, when necessary.  We truly care about what happens to one another.  We share, both the good and the bad.  We can be annoyed with one another without too much pain.  But love must be more than just that.  There is that illusive more which remains out of reach of my words.

Perhaps love is binding oneself to another, hopefully not in a way in which either one is diminished.  I’ve done the diminishing of self shtick, so that someone else could be happy.  I was not.  Ultimately, neither was she.  I don’t want to repeat that.

If I were wise, I would worry more about doing the right things instead of not repeating the wrong things of the past.

Common wisdom is that two become one.  A joint effort will be made to live for common purpose in this world.

But it is even better when one and one become more than two.

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This demands fleshing out.  By posting it now, I’ll have no choice but to do so.  You are invited to watch…and participate.
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Add 3:  Maybe love is being together in our apartness while allowing, even encouraging, one another to be apart in our togetherness.

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49 comments

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    • Robyn on November 2, 2007 at 11:02 pm
      Author

    …are comments that will help me in capturing in words my feelings about love.

    Meanwhile I have to spend an hour so in the computer lab with students who need some time to catch up with the class.  And that represents a kind of love as well, I suppose.

    It would be better if parts of the network were not currently down.

    But I can log on and get to the internet, so it won’t be a complete waste of time.

    Robyn

    Robyn

  1. that truly dread falling in love again, lol.

    • pfiore8 on November 2, 2007 at 11:26 pm

    it’s easier to pick the winning lotto numbers than explain love

    whatever motivates love in me is a steady stream, but the relationships resulting are all so different

    i keep trying to make it about me loving them… inevitably, my weaknesses get the best of me and i’m vunerable and certainly insecure…

    • RiaD on November 2, 2007 at 11:45 pm

    we got re-married a coupla years ago, not that we ever got divorced, but we ran away to the courthouse on lunch break the first time…husband & daughter decided i needed a wedding….the event made me stop & really think about our marriage

    i met P 30 yrs ago this Feb3…when i met him i felt like we’d known each other forever, we were already friends…he had many of the same books & music as I did (just having books in SC was a kinda big deal…and to have the same CSNY era music–o my!) i moved in with him 2 days later…we got married Feb23, yes, i hadn’t known him 3wks….but i’d known him forever, ya’know?

    we went thru some times…some good, some not so much…we’ve raised 2 kids of our own, numerous ‘lost boys’, 1/2 dozen+ puppies, 1 very fat pony, and assorted chickens…

    thru it all we were there for each other…we ran several businesses together…took care of his parents together…i helped him quit drinking, he’s helping me with depression…

    he’s my best friend, the one i dream about, the one i turn to to tell something, to bounce an idea off of…he’s the reason i quit smoking-so he won’t be alone too soon (only time will tell if i quit quickly enough) he helps me without my asking because he knows my health is not good and i know he does sooo much already…i don’t say thanks cause i know it embarasses him….
    he’s always seen the best in me, my potential, & encouraged me….he’s the one who said ‘why don’t you find that book & finish it’ the day before pfiore8 originally encouraged me to expand a comment in a diary…

    love is Not 50/50…50 is a failing grade!…when your willing to give 110% most of the time, and the other person is too thats when its a Great relationship …thats when it lasts… when (to paraphrase jack nicholson)s/he makes you want to be a better wo/man and both feel that…it works, it’s love

    or thats how it goes here, anyway

    • Metta on November 3, 2007 at 12:03 am

    I am finding my usual questioning “what is love?” and “am I capable of loving?( finding joy in caring deeply for another)” more poignant than ever.  (Does the second question answer the first?)

    I’m blaming my current headache on this dilemma.  I am trying to go forward into the future on not focus on the past, like you say in a manner, exposing old wounds.  I always think too hard about this stuff and probably destroy my opportunity to enjoy the marriage I am in .  Today, through journaling, I was able to admit many things to myself but thoughts that are not ready to be shared with the parties involved.  It’s weird, the world of emotions.  I haven’t even started to look at it in terms of suffering created through being attached.  I am personally attached to an idea of love that barely even existed in the past.  I think I created it through memory.  Weird, again. It’s confusing. Too much thinking!! ARGH!

    I don’t know if my little musings of late add anything to your situation.  It’s just good to know there are others out there wondering similar thing.  Yes, I do believe in the collective unconscious.  At least, part of me is remembering that I do.  After some years of sleeping, something alarming is urging me to wake up!  Was it the late 80’s or 90’s that put me to sleep?

    All I can do these days is ask questions. Sigh……….

  2. people and times. The love I had for my first husband was the young, happily ever after fairy tale belief kind. About a year of marriage…and then 6 more years almost totally destroyed the belief that marriage was worth doing.

    This time I married a friend, that I also loved. We liked each other and were only peripheral parts of the other’s life for 4-5 years. When the time came to become friend’s with benefits it was the most natural thing in the world. There was caring and respect and fun. When we married it was for more than the romantic love, it was also to find a partner to share out lives.

    So, love for us is caring for the other one more than ourselves, not being afraid to say what we need from our partner ~ be it mundane like him picking up his own socks to serious, like seeing and sharing the pain when a child dies. We see each other, wrinkles and gray hairs and bad habits and all, and still want to be with each other more than anyone else.

    So…kind of a rambling take on love. We each had different perspectives the first time around. We had different ideas when we were first married 24+ years ago. And we hopefully will continue to grow, together, in caring.

    Being yourself…you’ll be fine. Because love can only come from within if you love yourself first.

  3. Well this will sound entirely goofy, it’s a theory I’ve had for a long time.

    I think love is a force, a living force.  When it passes through our souls we grasp and hold little bits of it and define those little bits, hold on to them, accept them when it feels good, reject them when it feels bad, I dunno.

    I believe love is always there, but we get scared and turn away from it sometimes.  It’s always there — whether it be romantic love or even love for a tree or a flower.

    Then there’s relationships!  Well sometimes love enters into that picture, sometimes not.  I have no wise words about relationships, lol.

  4. the only thing that comes to my mind when i think of love is my children.  and the beautiful part about motherhood is that the way you get ‘loved back’ really doesnt require any effort on their part.  its just by their being that they return my love…just thinking about them makes me happy.  and THAT makes me even happier.

    the whole ‘in love’ thing…i know next to nothing about that.  maybe less than next to nothing. 

  5. The so called “love of my life” ( or so I thought) made me doubt my sanity.

    Years later I ran into him and he admitted that A) he should have married me and B) he sometimes pushed my buttons and C) what were the chances hint hint of seeing one another on a regular basis again.

    I hate to admit this…. I was leaving for Texas in a few weeks and that was probably  the only thing that saved me from wrecking a bunch of lives. Honestly I NEVER want to feel the high and lows I did with that man.

    My husband has a serious “toleration” gene, he doesn’t really understand me fully, but he has never tried to make me into something else, a major pet peeve of mine. He and I have some major differences in our personality and philosophy but we agree on what are in my mind the important things.

    Love is sticking it out sometimes… and withholding judgment or assumptions.

    • Robyn on November 3, 2007 at 1:17 am
      Author

    Here

    • srkp23 on November 3, 2007 at 1:21 am

    for so openly talking about love. I’ve been thinking about the meaning of love lately–these have been some strange, tough, and intense past few years for me.

    Love–I’m blessed to have a lot of love in my life and to be able to offer up lots of lurve …

    but love and relationships? Oy!

    And here’s the beautiful Joan Armatrading singing “Love and Affection” … just cuz!

    • Alma on November 3, 2007 at 1:55 am

    The first intense loves when you are just coming into your sexuality.  The light friendship loves that are very comforting at the time, but not something to give lifelong contentment, and then the true loves, where you feel that the person is with you all the time, where they are truely your other half without you even realizing it.  You know they aren’t perfect, but sometimes even their faults endear them to you.  You don’t agree on everything, but there is respect for each others ideals even when you don’t agree.  Just thinking of them always brings a smile, and confidence, and if they are in danger, or hurt, you feel like you’ve just been shot.  It can be a wonder, and it can be a hell. 

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