At Home on Hill Haven

Musings, ramblings, and pontifications on motherhood, unschooling, farming, sustainability, spirit, and life in general...

Location: northwest Georgia, United States

I'm a living-working-breathing mom, writing, mothering, teaching, and soul-searching from our home in northwest Georgia. We are whole-life unschoolers, which basically means our kids actually have a say in what happens to them (it actually means infinitely more than that, but's it's a starting point for discussion). We are also hardcore environmentalists, anti-industrialists, trying to escape from our dependence on petroleum, manufactured products and other non-sustainable practices. We homebirth, homeschool, and homestead, and try to make sense of it all, in a constant whirlwind of chaos.

Friday, November 19, 2010

It's Only Love...

Love keeps coming up in conversations all around me lately, and it has me thinking. One friend, in the context of a relationship that has ended, pondered whether it was better to be loved or needed. Another friend was asked by person B for childhood stories as a gift for person C, "so he can know how much he's loved." I asked my friend whether person C would even want that, and she said no (which I suspected). How, then, does this mechanism of knowing one is loved work? Clearly, different people have different ideas about this. We all use this four letter word, and we assume we mean the same thing, but do we? What does that word really mean?

I have read that in Sanskrit (I think, and I'm just mouthing off here so I could be wrong) there are many different words for the different kinds of love. In English, we use adjectives, but I'm not sure we don't fall terribly short in our lack of vocabulary for this emotion. We learn platitudes that love "never changes" or "is forever" but I'm not sure that's true. If it is, then every single relationship that ever ended has to say it wasn't love in the first place because it's gone now. How shitty is that?

For me, I think feeling love from another means feeling acceptance, non-judgment, and an embracing of all of who I am. While I'm sure some others would share my opinions, I by no means think this is what love means to everyone. Some might believe love is that fluttery excited feeling, which in my world is infatuation. Others might think of love as a more solid, constant caring, maybe something I would call friendship but maybe not love. The range of possibilities must be as varied as we individuals are. Then, if that is true, how in the world do two people ever come together in a relationship and manage to communicate at all?

The thing is, if I am going to feel loved, that is about me. I have to feel it. And in order for that to happen, I have to believe it. It's that simple, and that complicated. If I don't believe it then nothing anyone else can ever do for me will make me feel loved, because I believe I am not. I determine my reality. If, on the other hand, I do believe that someone loves me, they can actually do very little, and I will see it all through the lens of that person loving me because I believe it to be so. People in relationship may not like this-- often othey would rather keep score and cling to their version of the truth. They hold up their interpretation of experience as if it were solid fact: "See? She doesn't love me because she cheated on me!" "See? He loves me because he bought me flowers!" But these actions are only actions, and are not in fact fastened to any emotion on the part of the actor whatsoever. Maybe she doesn't love you because she cheated, or maybe she cheated for a million other reasons that people cheat. Maybe those flowers mean love, or maybe it means he hopes you won't notice how late he is or he'll get out of the doghouse or he'll get laid. People are very vested in believing what they want to believe about their experience, and they'll go to great lengths to justify their conclusions with so-called evidence. But my interpretation of reality does not constitute evidence of anything other than the interpretation itself.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter. For now, I'm losing focus, so I'm calling this one done for tonight.

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Blogger The Hubbards said...

I think love comes in a lot of different ways. I think it is a word with endless meanings. I think the way I love you is very different from the way I love Jason, but they are both variations of what love really is. You and I went through a really hard trial as friends, and I still feel the same way about you today as I did when we were standing in Earthsong laughing so many years ago over whatever. The way we love our children is yet another variation of love. They piss us off yet we uncontrollably love them. Love is a strong emotion that I think comes and goes in the blink of an eye, but when we cultivate it in ourselves by finding the means to love ourselves and not looking for love through others it then gives us the tools to truly love others more deeply and for longer. We put a lot of expectations on what love should look like, but it has no face, it just simply is. Love is a powerful tool we were given to keep on healing our world.

8:18 AM  

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