Love in Context

Excuse me as I sort some shit out in my mind…

If love is a gift, I am not done unwrapping it. Everyday I am learning something new about love: how to give it, accept it, share it, cherish it, create it. But what I know about love is not always what I choose to show about love. And it’s confusing as hell when everyone has a different definition of love. So here’s mine:

I sort of give people the impression that I’m an asshole. But I have a BIG heart. I care for people in a way that;s uncomfortable at times; for them and me. I’m over protective. I’m kind. I’m helpful. I’m optimistic. I’m honest. And that’s love to me. Everyone deserves that kind of love, tier 1. Then there’s tier 2 that commits to something a bit deeper. These bonds are based on trust that is proven through experience. The relationship you have with your siblings and other relatives, the platonic friendships you’ve developed. This loves says I trust you, I got you. Some people may call it unconditional love although there are some conditions; we want that love, need that love reciprocated.  Any measure of disrespect or disloyalty can break it and this happens often. A lot of people only get to experience a tier 2 type of love. But love is so much deeper than that. The next level I’ll call true love. Its greater than cordial interactions and while built on trust is a much more vulnerable position to be in. True love is not unconditional, it is conditioning; it nourishes the part of us that is seldom seen. True love comes from the soul and is the best representation of who we are. In fact, it authenticates who we are making us more real to ourselves and others. True love doesn’t have to be experiences in a romantic relationship. Some people are blessed to have friends  that share this with. I think even above that though is self-love. And this was confusing to me because people will tell you “you have to love yourself before you can love anyone else”. But to me, its so much easier to love others, its hard to confront the reality of your being, the good, the bad and the ugly and be pleased with the sum of it. Self-love is like nirvana. It’s the high five after a winning game when you’re shot beat the buzzer. Self-love is the closest we can get to God here on earth because after all, we were made in his image right?!

All love requires vulnerability. We have to put ourselves out there and hope we gain a return on our investment. No matter how big or small the investment. I didn’t really think about any of this until I was asked the question, “Did you love me or were you in love with me?” And I thought damn, that’s a loaded question. What does it even mean?  And how do I answer without sounding crazy?  I gave an answer that I thought was accurate, but albeit incomplete. I think deeply about everything, often times overthinking, so when a person asks you a question you don’t want to be long winded. But there’s always more to the story.

When I was 18 I was engaged to someone who I really thought I loved and whom I thought loved me. But as I explained in Tier 2, the trust that I thought we built was broken. Even years after our breakup, he continued to say he loved him and I always brushed it off. But in hindsight I can say he did, he loved me based on his experience of what love was. In relationships we rarely understand from the other person’s perspective. Someone can be giving you the best that they’ve got and you tell me its not good enough. That’s damaging to a person’s character. It decreased our willingness to be vulnerable.It changes the way we feel towards people especially when we only see love as a feeling. We’ll say, “well if you love me you would…” not recognizing that person may be loving you as best as they could. See we spend a lot of time talking about love and neglect compatibility. Compatibility is how well you connect with someone, what you share in common, how you relate to someone. Compatibility isn’t love.

With that said I think I’m always in love because I am always pursuing love. I’m more inclined nowadays to view love from multiple perspectives and accept the love that people have to offer, even if its not the same love that I expect. I’m working on perfecting love in its early stages so I can experience self-love in its purest form. I want to love more freely so I can ultimately love more fully.

I could be wrong about all of this, but its how I’m feeling and thinking at the moment.

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