Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Smoke and Mirrors

"Here is my hand for you to hold,
Here's the part of me they have not sold
I've wandered far, I've had my fill
I need you now, do you love me still?
Only you have seen the hidden part of me
Call me foolhardy if you will
I loved you when, do you love me still?
So many smiles and lies surround me
Empty expectations, faceless fears
Sometimes this life is a bitter pill
I love you now, do you love me still?
You have been mine since time untold
Our love is immortal, don't you know?
Others will come, and they will go
But I loved you young, I love you old
Only you have seen, the other side of me
Call me naive, I think you will
But I loved you then, do you love me still?
Here are the eyes that only see you
Here's the mouth that only calls your name
Here is the soul they can not kill
I love you now, do you love me still?"

Chaka Khan - Love Me Still

I try my best to at least do a bit of research when writing a post. Some of my posts are straight from my life and my experiences, but this one I wanted a foundation for my thinking. I wanted to know exactly what kinds of love we as humans had to work with. I cam upon this article on

15 Different Kinds of Love:
Infatuation- loving feelings towards a love object that are largely based upon fantasy and idealization (instead of experience). Often when partners get to know each other, infatuation diminishes.
Romantic Love- An abiding love for a partner with whom you feel passion, attraction, caring and respect.
Eros- a passionate love usually involving sexual feelings for a love interest.
Companionate Love- feelings of warmth towards a friend with whom you love to spend time
Unconditional Love- A type of affection and caring that is so strong that you feel it consistently, regardless of what that other person does
Conditional Love- A love that requires specific action or conditions in order to be maintained. For example, at its extreme, a parent who gives very conditional love would only love his child when he gets straight A’s, becomes a surgeon and has two children. The love is based on outside conditions and when they do not occur, the love is withdrawn.
Puppy Love- A childish, innocent temporary crush on someone that you don’t know well.
Maternal Love- This term usually connotes love that is nurturing, accepting and protective. In actuality this love can also be given by a father etc.
Paternal Love- This term connotes love that involves guidance and some authority. Paternal love usually prepares a child to be ready for the outside world. Again, in reality this type of love is not gender specific.
Soulmate Love- This type of love is described as a love that has survived multiple life times. Not everyone believes in this concept.
Spiritual/Divine Love- This type of love recognizes the Divine light in everyone and everything. Love is given to everyone as an act of loving God.
Love of your country or patriotism- This is love for the place you live or the place that were born. It is a type of loyalty and a special feeling of belonging that you attribute to that specific geographic location.
Self-Love- This is a positive feeling that you have about who you are and what you deserve. It often is expressed by treating yourself well, respecting yourself, wanting yourself to be happy and expecting others to respect you too.
Brotherly Love- This term connotes having a feeling of love for your neighbor, because all humanity is considered to be part of a larger family of human beings.
Tough Love- This term is used to describe a love that is expressed by setting boundaries for the good of the other person. So for example, a parent may send their teenager to rehab if he is drug addicted, even if he does not want to go. They feel that this is an act of love because it stems from a desire for their son’s ultimate good and happiness.

(For the entire article please read on 15 Different Types of Love)

One day my youngest son (16) said to me, "Mom, I don't believe in love." He said it calmly, but with a mature conviction that I had never seen in him before. I asked him why and he replied, "Real love requires that a person loves you more than they love themselves. In this world that's not going to happen, so, love can't exist. Needless to say I was speechless. Still I refuse to let my son not believe in love. So I searched myself. 

After my divorce (see 46 and Starting Over, Life After Divorce) I thought that whatever love I could possibly give had died right along with the marriage. A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to have several conversations with my first real love. He was the only person that never cause me pain. It was truly the perfect relationship, but space, time, and life got in the way. We lost track of one another. Yes I am older so there were no social networks, cell phones, Google. Anyway, I realized that I had experienced this very kind of love that my son was making reference to. As our conversations went on, I could feel the feelings that I had for him rise as if resurrected. He's married though, so of course, these feelings will never amount to anything with him, BUT, I thank him for letting me know that I can feel the kind of love where you love someone more than you love yourself.

Real love, selfless love, love that will sacrifice itself for the happiness of another does exist, it is not an illusion, it isn't simply smoke and mirrors. If we're lucky we will have the great fortune to experience it, maybe even more than once, but it is there. Keep your heart open, let it bask in the warmth of the sun. Let the light shine through the smoke and reflect off the mirror and light the entire room.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Just Out Of Reach

There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~Anaïs Nin

I very recently had the fortuitous pleasure of reconnecting with a very old, very dear friend of mine. While chatting and catching up and talking about life, where we were, how we got here, and things we liked and disliked. After a time, he asked me this question, "Do you like you?" (pregnant pause) I really had to think before I answered that question, sad right. You'd think that question would be one where at least a semi confident "yes" would have come out of my mouth. It was at that moment I realized, somewhere along this journey called life, that I lost sight of who I thought I was.

On the surface we can present ourselves in any way that we choose, happy, confident, independent, self-assured, calm, and the list goes on and on. But under the surface is a different story entirely. How did I become to be this way? I really don't know why I had to ask myself that. I already knew the answer. Relationships, trying to become what I thought someone else wanted me to be. The real question I needed to answer was, what was I going to do about it?

When we won't take the time to stop and evaluate who and what we are, life sometimes will make you. In the silence of my own mind, I was forced to look at the road I had been traveling. I peered down that road and saw a fork, and I had to make a choice. To continue down the path I had been on, the path of changing myself to fit the needs of others, or the path of my own "becoming".

The value of identity of course is that so often with it comes purpose. ~Richard Grant

I choose to become. I choose to become the person that I was destined to be. I choose to become the person that God has preordained that I should be. There's only one problem, every time I think I can reach the brass ring it moves further away from me. Is it frustrating yes, is it necessary? I think so. I'm starting to believe that if we let ourselves believe that there is no more room for self growth, we will stop trying.

So back to the original question of do I like myself, I do. I also like the me that is just out of reach, but that's alright too....I have long arms.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

First Real First Love

"The first time, ever I saw your face.....I thought the sun rose in your eyes, and the moon and the stars, were the gifts you gave. To the dark and the endless skies my love, to the dark and the endless skies. The first time ever I kissed your mouth....I felt the earth move in my hand, like the trembling heart of a captive bird. That was there at my command, my love. That was there at my command, my love. The first time, ever I lay with you.....I felt your heart so close to mine. And I knew our joy would fill the earth......and last 'til the end of time,my love. And last 'til the end of time, my love...." Roberta Flack

This is the one song that captures first and real true love.

I was hanging out in my office today strolling down memory lane and that's when I realized that I knew the moment that I felt real love for the first time.

The first time you held hands with someone, first slow dance, first kiss, These are "firsts" that are etched into our long term memory banks. But there is nothing that compares to the experience of our first real love.

Now let's clarify, there's that first love that you experience probably at some point in your teens. It's that first boyfriend girlfriend thing, that when it ends as most of them do, you think that your world will never be the same and that you will never love again. I remember this experience as well. I can look on this moment fondly now because it was one of those defining mother daughter times. My mother gave me wonderful words of wisdom. She said, "You will be in love more than once before you find real love." And life moved on.

A few years later I was fortunate enough to experience my first "Real Love" moment. In that moment I crossed the abysm between childhood and womanhood. It's unfortunate that the relationship didn't survive, but the beautiful part is that the love did. I carry that love with me.

"Something about first love defies duplication. Before it, your heart is blank. Unwritten. After, the walls are left inscribed and graffitied. When it ends, no amount of scrubbing will purge the scrawled oaths and sketched images, but sooner or later, you find that there's space for someone else, between the words and in the margins." - Tammara Webber, Where You Are