Rumination: What Is Love?

I’m up long before dawn this morning. I slept like a rock, for about 7 hours, and did nothing yesterday but sleep and write and read and watch TV, because I hadn’t been feeling well, and hadn’t slept well. So, I’m not surprised that I was wide awake at 4:15 this morning, and unable to get back to sleep.

I lay in bed for awhile, just thinking. Thinking about how much I think about, write about, obsess about love. Being in love. Loving unconditionally. How when I really love someone, I always love them, but how that love can change, and transform over time. How sometimes it has been toxic for me, driving me to my knees. And sometimes it has lifted me, higher than I’ve ever been.

But what is it? I can honestly say, I don’t know. I have loved when it hurt me, and loved when it lifted me and why both? I used to say it was a choice to love someone. When I was married, I said that. I was committed. I tried for so long to make that work. I hated breaking that commitment. But I did, and now? I don’t think that if love was a choice, that I was really in love with him. We were together at 18, until we were 56. At 18 I was in love, as much as an 18 year old could be. I think he was too. Over so many years, I know his control issues, and abuse, changed that, but I was committed, and so I kept telling myself we still loved each other, and kept trying to make it work. But did I love him? Well, maybe. Was I IN love with him. No. I was committed to him and our family. Until I realized that the commitment only went one way, and his commitment was only to controlling the rest of us. Thinking abusing us was the way to do that. I told him, after we split up, the only control you ever had over me was how much you loved me. And you didn’t.

With S, I was in love. Crazy, undeniably, continuously in love. And it kept me going back, wanting to see if this time he could love me. Just me. He could not. I finally gave up on it, I finally realized that whatever it was he wanted, in his free-thinking Aquarian way, it was not what I wanted for the rest of my life. The trust was broken, again and again and again, and I just had to stop kidding myself that I’d ever be able to trust. I’ve read that Aquarians are independent enough to think it’s fine if they are unfaithful, as long as they tell their partner about their indescretions. Which I believe is true for him. It’s who he is, I don’t hold it against him. He’s entitled to live how he wants to. It’s just not what I want for the rest of my years on this earth. I don’t share, can’t share, the man I love. I still miss him sometimes, his sense of humor, his quirkiness. And sometimes, his ability to help me to see things differently. But trust…..I can’t get past that, and never will.

D, the man I’ve been seeing for awhile now. I have not allowed myself to say I’m in love with him. We have not said it to each other, yet I feel that he loves me. I like him a lot. I only hope I can love him. I am wary, I think, not because of him, but because of the pain I experienced the last time I gave my heart fully to someone. D is so not like anyone else I’ve been with. He’s had his trials, his challenges, and still…he’s thoughtful and kind, considerate and loving. Yesterday, when I didn’t feel well, he apologized for not taking care of me well enough. I almost didn’t know how to react to that kind of thought from a man. It was not his fault, yet he took it on, because he wanted to think he could have helped me avoid it. He has done absolutely nothing but build my trust. We are compatible in many ways, and he seems willing to try to learn from me, and to teach me about himself. I think there are possibilities for the future. I feel safe with him, among many other things.

Looking at these 3 men….and trying to answer the question “What is love?” and “What makes me feel it?”…..I still have no answers. I looked to Rumi this morning, for answers to those questions. Rumi talks a lot about how love feels, but in my very cursory study of his work, not too often about what it is. I did find this quote:

“This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet.”

Which is deep enough to send me on a long meditation. LOL. This is a Rumi quote that describes, to me, what it feels like to be in love:

“I want to see you.

Know your voice.

Recognize you when you
first come ’round the corner.

Sense your scent when I come
into a room you’ve just left.

Know the lift of your heel,
the glide of your foot.

Become familiar with the way
you purse your lips
then let them part,
just the slightest bit,
when I lean in to your space
and kiss you.

I want to know the joy
of how you whisper
“more”

I don’t know what love is, and may never know. I know when I feel it though. I know when it’s bud is growing and I know when it’s bud is dying. I hope I’ll know when it’s a love that can last, that can grow like the giant sequoia, and scrape the clouds. Only time will tell.

Love and light.

4 responses to “Rumination: What Is Love?

  1. Its confusing when you think about it from the perspective of how other people are, or seem to be, I get totally lost in that, I guess we all do, but when you look at it from some new perspective it can seem really useful and constructive. Someone mentioned this guy Stendhal, so I read this page and thought oh yeah, its dated, but it is very interesting what he’s saying – i like the part titled “What happens in the soul” I might get his book i the near future, just seems pretty good! ❤ https://www.brainpickings.org/2012/11/29/stendhal-on-love-crystallization/

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