Do you remember those “Love is…” cartoons from so long ago? A woman named Kim Casali came up with the one-frame cartoons in the 1960s and her son now does the strip. Some were cute, others cheesy, most not very realistic.
I have my own feelings about what Love Is and one-line cartoons of naked folk don’t play much of a part in them. Love is too complex for one-liners. Sometimes, love is too complex to write about without help. So, this post will have a lot of quotes. As Somerset Maugham said, “I quote others only in order to better express myself.”
Since I’m stalled, I’m going to start off with a couple of quotes.
“There comes that mysterious meeting in life when someone acknowledges who we are and what we can be, igniting the circuits of our highest potential.” Rusty Berkus
“One is taught by experience to put a premium on those few people who can appreciate you for what you are.” Gail GodwinMrWurdi not only acknowledges and completely accepts who I am, he encourages me to avoid complacency in that. He encourages me to continue to explore who I am and who I can be. It took a long time before I became confident enough in his love and acceptance to live truthfully and openly and share who I was and who I was becoming. I realized how freeing and beautiful it is to have a person in your life you can share every thought and every feeling. That’s real. That’s love.
Society has programmed us to keep certain feelings locked away, to be polite, to be tactful and diplomatic. We’re taught not to show our weaknesses, our flaws, our anger, our darkness. Sometimes, being truthful and open is difficult. Difficult, painful conversations end up being a result of all that truthful openness. The honesty is worth it, though. It means there isn’t subterfuge or keeping feelings locked away. There’s less resentment – not no resentment because, let’s face it, we’re human. But the honesty, well, the honesty is a type of love. It’s real. If you don’t have honesty in communication, you’re just playing. If there’s something you can’t share about yourself with someone you love, then you’re just playing at love. It’s not real.
“Some people will not tolerate such emotional honesty in communication. They would rather defend their dishonesty on the grounds that it might hurt others. Therefore, having rationalized their phoniness into nobility, they settle for superficial relationships.” Author unknownSo, just what do you do when you find someone who can handle your truth and is willing to share their truth with you? You celebrate it, revel in it, and appreciate every moment of it.
One problem I’ve seen in some of my past relationships and in those of my friends is the loss of self. Is it grand passion for the other person? Lack of esteem in oneself? Fear that if we are different, we will not be loved?
“Love is union with somebody, or something, outside oneself, under the condition of retaining the separateness and integrity of one's own self.” Erich FrommMy aunt shared some words of wisdom with me recently. She said that no matter how good things are or how bad things are, “It will change.” Boy, howdy, was she right! And it’s not just those things external to us that change – jobs, other people, weather, finances, home – we do. Every single experience or interaction or observation changes something in us. I love what Anaïs Nin said about this.
She said, “Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.”One of the biggest difficulties in relationships is that when we fall in love with a person, we fall in love with them as they are in that moment and as we are in that moment. People change. They can’t help it. Sometimes, we change in ways that are complimentary to our significant other and their changes. That’s pretty darned cool when it happens.
Sometimes, the changes put distance between us. When that happens, we can end up angry with each other – angry that what was once so perfect isn’t anymore. We’re angry that the beautiful, passionate, amazing, perfect romance has changed into something else. We grieve its loss. We are angry at the person who is responsible for making it go away.
“In real love you want the other person's good. In romantic love you want the other person.” Margaret AndersonSometimes, it’s hard remembering that the beautiful truth and openness and honesty that was the foundation of your relationship is still there. The anger and grief cloud the fact that you still have a beautiful, open, truthful connection with that other person.
“Life is a constant metamorphosis from one stage to another. But why do we live so hard against this fact? Why are we afraid? In truth, we never leave anything behind, but carry it inside. Nothing is ever lost, only when we try to hold on. Then all is lost. Our whole soul. But if we let go, then we can take everything with us, because we become strong in our own invisible centers, and the world becomes light.” Jim RalstonWhile I don’t typically go into a lot of deeply personal stuff here, I feel the need to make an exception.
MrWurdi and I stopped being a couple almost a year ago. We still love each other but our relationship has changed. There's not any anger, in fact, we've had a very civilized year since we became single people. Not too many exes can share an address with each other. As with all things, this has changed, too. We live, we grow, we change, we move. Some people move several states away. ;-)
I will always love, erm, I guess MrWurdi isn't that appropriate now so I'll let him pick a new alias if he'd like. I want only happiness and abundance and good things for him and I believe he wants the same for me.
“We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other. To meet, to love, to share. It is a precious moment, but it is transient. It is a little parentheses in eternity. If we share with caring, lightheartedness, and love, we will create abundance and joy for each other, and this moment will have been worthwhile.” Deepak ChopraSo, remember when I said love is too complex for one-liners? I may have been wrong.
Love is truth.
Love is worthwhile.