Things You Should Know – About Love

Love. Such a simple word for something so incredibly complex.

Everyone desires to love and be loved. From the very first moment we set foot on Earth until our very last breath. We arrive with arms wide open, our hearts free of all the pain which we have yet to taste, we give our love without concern for whether it is returned, and we embrace everyone equally. With each passing year, we gradually learn that love is not as easy as we believed it to be. Our hearts get bruised, our feelings hurt, and our unconditional love slowly accumulates conditions. Our arms cross over our chests to protect our tender hearts, until we hug ourselves so tightly that nothing gets in or goes out.

Love means so many different things to so many different people. It is a double-edged sword, able to cut us free from our chains, allowing us to soar to giddying heights free from restrictions, yet it can also slice to our very core, leaving a wound which never heals. We desire it desperately, chase after it tirelessly, make sacrifices for it, and will do anything to have it. When we find it, it overwhelms us with its power, it is more awesome than we ever imagined it could be, and we run away, afraid of what it will do to us if it ever catches us.

When someone loves us, we fall in love with ourselves too. It is electrifying, exciting, passionate, warming, gentle, and exquisitely divine. Nothing else compares. Yet as fearless as love inspires us to be, it also awakens our deepest fears. Rejection haunts us like a shadowy spectre. Loss frightens us from the darkness at the edge of the light of love. We wonder if we deserve it, if it is real, if it will last, and if we can handle it. Why must the bliss of love be accompanied by so much secret terror.

Love opens our heart. A marvelous sensation. We become intensely alive, aware of every breath, every beat, the blood rushing through our veins, the slightest touch against our skin. Our emotions engulf us like a tidal wave and carry us off to a strange and beautiful land. But an open heart is vulnerable, even though a heart in love imagines itself to be completely invulnerable.

Why do so many relationships which start out wrapped up in the amazing ecstasy of love end in turmoil and torment. How can something so beautiful and light turn into something so ugly and dark.

The answer is straightforward and a bit twisty all at once. Love is a natural force, it is fluid, ever in motion, it transforms and evolves, passing through several stages as it moves through us.

There is the initial delicate dance when two souls meet, and recognise something special in each other. Tentative steps are taken. Getting to know one another. Feeling, sensing, wary yet enchanted. Then, a leap of faith occurs, and two beings fall in love. They are swept off their feet, and the dance becomes a wild and magical whirlwind of passion and delight. The world around them disappears into a blur, they are alone, caught in the intoxication of their united feelings. Nothing bad can ever touch them, they are protected by a force field so strong that they cannot get out and nothing can get in. It is utter and total bliss.

Eventually the whirlwind subsides, placing the lovers carefully on the ground, on the path which will lead them through the next stage of love if they are willing to walk it together. The calm after the storm part of love often confuses people. The excitement of falling in love is very addictive, and people believe that being in love should be that exciting forever, all consuming, an endless frenzy of heightened feeling. Many lovers part company at this point, under the impression that the love they had is over. Some people only want the fun bits of love, and do not have the stamina to get them through the hard bits. One day, eventually, they may feel ready to face the challenge, and reap the rewards that it has to offer. We must respect the rhythms of our life, and not force ourselves to do what we are not ready to do. We need to love ourselves, as much as we need to love others.

The calm part of love is a very tricky time. When in love, we finally feel secure, our hearts have opened, and feel safe. This is what our inner selves have been waiting an eternity to happen, because all those things which we buried within us, when we were adrift on a loveless sea, are now able to surface and be acknowledged. All our fears, insecurities, wounds, issues, rise up and out of us. They hope to be healed by love. For love has tremendous power to redeem us. All our unfinished battles, the fights which we were too weak to face alone, suddenly appear before us. And so begins one of the most difficult parts of love. The tests, trials, and tribulations. Pedestals get rocked, knocked over, and smashed to smithereens. Our masks fall away, our imperfections, faults, flaws, and dark demons are exposed. We are no longer the prince, princess, hero or heroine, but the witch, warlock, evil queen, or beast. Our raw unmasked self is face to face with our lover’s raw unmasked self. Day after day, night after night, with nowhere to hide. We look at each other in fear, begging to still be loved, for better, for worse. We need love to save us. To turn all that is ugly about us into beauty. To help us to love ourselves. To make us feel whole. To give us meaning, and give purpose to all the suffering we have been through.

Many relationships fall apart during this phase. Those that make it through are changed beyond recognition. Their darkness has been accepted, recognised, understood, by the light of deep and true love. Two people united at first by bliss, find themselves joined by a bond so strong it will last for all their lives, even if they should ever decide to go their separate ways. For it is woven into the very fabric of their beings, residing in every atom. Love knows no bounds, yet it binds everything and everyone together.

There are as many types of love as there are people in the world. This is just a small glimpse of love as viewed through my eyes, and my experience. If you have yet to find love, know that one day it will find you, probably when you are least ready for it, and least expecting, as it did with me when I had completely given up on ever being loved, and loving in return. It surprised me, and continues to surprise me. I’m still not sure why the person who loves me, loves me. I know why I love them, but sometimes even my reasons for loving them elude me, I just do. I try not to question love, but I can’t stop myself sometimes from doing so. That is a part of love too. A constant discovery, sometimes good, sometimes bad, always intriguing.

I would love to know, what is your experience and view of love?

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9 thoughts on “Things You Should Know – About Love

  1. Very well said. Sounds like my experiences are largely like your own. I also know what it’s like to have ‘real’ love for a narcissist.

    Thoughts on love? As you said, it is liquid. It behaves like water. You find it in lakes, rivers, underground springs, locked up in ice, all sorts of places. I think romantic love is like everything else in life: it is all pushing us toward our destination. That doesn’t say much about love being different from anything else, does it? Like so many things, I think it is something that loses meaning by each word we use to describe it. Perhaps it is that thing that can lead us to union with the presence of God even before we die. Perhaps not.

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    1. Thank you πŸ™‚

      Some things do indeed lose their meaning when we try to explain their meaning for us or when others try to do so. Some things we just know and can’t explain it, they are more to us because they can’t be explained, not with words anyway. Some things just need us to live them.

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  2. Very interesting and fun to read. I absolutely love your writing style and the way you pack information in but keep it whimsy and light. Makes me think and I need this to help my mind heal and find places of solace in contemplation. Having been involved with a malignant narcissist and finally free I am finding pleaser in the small things.

    So your question “what is my experience and view on love?” To be honest I never thought much of it. I was fortunate enough to be in a relatively loving family. Of course with it’s own issues BUT one thing I know is that I did, without a doubt, see and feel loved. I have been fortunate to have many loving relationships in my life. I agree that love when complete feels calm and peaceful. There is a natural give and take that happens, one person giving more in one area but the other person complementing this by giving more in some other area. It is not always equal exchange but when the day is done, it just feels right…and peaceful.

    Love addiction and obsession do not have this peaceful sensation. It is all consuming and dizzying in many ways which makes you feel constantly off balance. You may be elated one moment, restless the next and then tired the next…it has a component of fatigue that is difficult to describe. From my experience, when you are in a relationship with a malignant narcissist you feel the whirlwind of initial love that you described but the tornado does not stop, it just slows down and then you start getting hit in the face with debris and you lose your orientation. You begin getting flipped upside down, spun around while attempting to scream but nothing comes out since it has taken your breath away. The winds will carry you away indefinitely unless you decide to fight. Continuous fighting off of these sensations is not love, it’s a sign of fear and pain. I have realized that in these relationships, it was never love in the first place but a projection of obsessive/addictive love that someone was placing on me. But this obsession of theirs became mine too. I was blinded and addicted to the whirlwind but it all turned out so wrong. It wasn’t fun anymore. Something that makes you feel, out of body crazy in love, is not love. It’s actually, what it really is, crazy. Losing yourself in crazy making is very dangerous. You must dig deep in your soul and be stronger than you ever thought you could be. You must seek shelter from the storm and lock the door behind you. The storm will pass and you will recover.

    I believe knowing “what love is” can be hard. It is difficult for many since many people were not raised in families that had it. Self love is your best investment in this case. If you love yourself, you will ultimately attract someone who knows how to love and they may help show you the way. Now that’s love. Makes me smile.

    I do have a rant about our culture and it’s depiction of love. Most of what we see in the media is the whirlwind stage of love and it almost encourages the addictive/obsessive traits of unrelenting love. This makes me mad since it is a reference point for many people, especially the vulnerable that believe this is what true love is. My only tip would be an independent thinker and decide for yourself and once you find the peace & calm with someone, you’ve got something good. Savor it.

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    1. Thank you πŸ™‚

      I agree about the media’s portrayal of love. Occasionally I come across a film that shows love from more angles than just the usual whirlwind romance, and seeing love in all its facets is so much more satisfying. Love is abstract so it is free form and can take on any shape and anything can become imbued with love. And with so many people in this world all different, love for each one is going to be a different experience one of their own creation, because love is creative and so are we.

      Being in love with a narcissist is confusing because your love is real but their love is all in their mind, it’s real but not real. Narcissists don’t feel love, they think love, they think all their emotions which is why their emotions sometimes appear more vivid because they are created by their imagination. And they base their concept of love on films and books and songs about love. For them love has to be like it is in stories of love, and they particularly like the theme of the quest for love, where they pursue or are pursued, and there are knights in shining armor and damsels in distress, that kind of thing. They think that it has to be the whirlwind romance because that’s what they’ve learned about it through studying it like a subject at school. And when they don’t get the happily ever after moment which they think is the prize, they get confused, then angry, then they spiral into this deep dark pit of fear, and they drag anyone who is in a relationship with them into this mess of confusion, anger and spiraling fear, clinging on for dear life and because they’re terrified of being alone in the dark.

      They make love very complicated until it becomes an arduous chore.

      Whereas real love is simple, yet complex in its simplicity. Like you said, it’s the kind which makes you smile… inside and out πŸ™‚

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      1. Thanks…I couldn’t agree more. You got to give narcissists credit for trying to decode the realm of feelings that they do not naturally have access too or are to afraid to dig deep for. I recall her early on in our friendship wanting me to tell her what I needed from her as a friend (or something like that). I told her she’d have to figure it out, since it was something I could not teach her. It feels so innocent at first with someone asking you something like that. But later you realize that it is not so. A person who lacks normal ranges of emotions is just not safe. They are not safe to themselves…so how could they possibly be safe to anyone else.

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        1. I’ve learned a lot from narcissists, I have to admit they make great accidental teachers. They’ve taught me how to appreciate what comes naturally to me because it does not come naturally to them and they value it more than I do… which has taught me to value it. Things like emotions, and they’ve also made me aware of how good my instincts are, and how I should listen less to my mind when it’s in intellectual mode and detached from the emotions and instincts, because in many ways that’s what narcissists are – a mind detached from the rest of the human body. They show the damage which is done when we don’t operate from wholeness, when we split ourselves off from other parts of ourselves.

          Takes a while for the things I’ve learned to go from being negative to being positive, but it was worth the wait πŸ™‚

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          1. Listen less to the mind and more to my emotions & instincts…really like that concept. I am doing this more now and not being so quick to give people the benefit of the doubt. Especially upon first meeting a person, you can hear the story with their words & body language. Within a few minutes of talking you can learn a lot. They don’t have much to lose and they haven’t decided (in a narcissists case) if you would be a good source of supply yet. And if someone seems extra mysterious/secretive be watchful too. Their is usually a reason for this and I have learned that I don’t want to know why.

            You have taught me that it is all about them only. It has nothing to do with me. This has been a turning point for me, since I am not responsible for their shame, pain, envy, fear and all the stuff that they wanted me to fix & also share with them. It is theirs. I am learning to let it go, and be positive, as this is my life to live and only I can make that happen. You were able to do it, and I have admiration for your strength in digging deep within yourself, searching your soul and doing the work. Hard self introspection is not for the faint of heart. But the gift is figuring out who you are and who you were meant to be.

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            1. Thank you πŸ™‚

              It’s strange that sometimes we think that self introspection is going to reveal something awful to us about ourselves, some ugly truth, when in actual fact it tends to be the opposite and our fears of what we’ll find give way to surprise and wonder as we find out that within us is a beauty which we did not know existed, although I think we may have suspected it was there but we weren’t sure.

              You have a natural talent for observing and finding insight from what you observe, and your strength to adapt and overcome adversity is a wonderful ability. I think this experience with a narcissist has opened you up to yourself in a empowering way and that is a wonderful gift. Living well really is the more satisfying of revenges πŸ™‚

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