Let’s Talk About Love

The definition of love has been warped by some to mean addiction, obsession, lust, infatuation. My dad defined love as ownership and dominion. For years that was the only definition I had of love and so for me love was something to be avoided and feared. When I was 6 interviewing my neighbors I saw what love could be. I saw a healthy relationship built on growth, loyalty, compassion, curiosity, and mutual respect. I found a new definition for love. A better definition. I believe that love is something we create within ourselves and that a relationship is something we create together with others. We don’t have to recreate or reenact the scripts passed down to us from childhood. It’s time to ditch the script altogether. A script has a beginning and an end. It locks us into a particular role. It is static. It binds. Create a dynamic relationship one that can evolve rather than bind/enslave yourself to another, seek to connect. Connection is a conscious act. A choice. Connection frees us to be who we are in the moment. Connection not only gives us the space to grow, it encourages us to grow in positive ways. It gives us energy. It wakes us up.You lose yourself in addiction, in obsession, in lust, in infatuation, in the hunt to possess and dominate. In love you discover new aspects of yourself, the best parts of yourself, as well as the false, toxic beliefs acquired during your lifetime. Love is light. Love is fresh air. Love is pure, uncontaminated water. Love is nutrition for the soul.

As children (and then later as adults) we sometimes believe that there’s a finite amount of love. A withholding, unaccountable parent that offers little in the way of time, guidance/understanding/commitment, and attention can make us feel insignificant, small, jealous/envious of those people, beliefs, and activities which appear to be monopolizing their attention. This isn’t proof that love is limited, only that human beings are sometimes hindered in their ability to form deep, meaningful connections. A parents inability to form a meaningful connection with a child is because they haven’t yet formed a meaningful connection with themselves, it’s through no fault or lacking in the child. It’s because the parent is seeking to create love from the outside in. Love comes from the inside and radiates outward. Our capacity to love grows as we learn how better to connect with ourselves and to integrate those aspects of ourselves which we have rejected/abandoned in positive, creative, and compassionate new ways.


The Plan

They had been friends for some time and in that time they had kept a steady flow of contact. The suspension of loneliness was no longer the primary motivation behind their connection. They enjoyed each other’s company. It was mutual and amicable between them, except when it wasn’t.

He was a capricious man. An aesthete. He cared more for beauty than for sentiment. She wanted only to be loved. Sometimes he loved her in all ways. Sometimes he did not love her at all. He had his life figured out by the time she entered it. He knew just what he wanted. He’d wasted too much time on detours and broken promises already. He was not prepared to love her. She didn’t figure into his future. He was a very practical sort of man. Paper meant more to him than promises. She could unravel him. She could make him lose sight of his goals. He might be the better for her love but he did not want love. Love was messy and complicated. He wanted a legacy. He wanted to leave his mark on the world.

Sometimes he loved her anyways but whenever she noticed it he denied her outright. They lived in a kind of limbo until one day he decided to give up on love entirely. He thought it the humane course of action to tell her that he didn’t love her and he took from her all the love he had ever declared to her in moments of vulnerability. He was very convincing and she was much too wounded to comprehend her value to him. There were moments when he truly believed he’d gotten her out of his system. Moments when he felt himself superior to her, a gift to all women, a man entitled to pleasures of all kinds.

Time passed and he was not as warm as he had been. She missed his heart, the tone of his voice when he gave chase. He thought he could have her whenever he wanted. She believed now more than before that he did not love her. All that he’d said previously had simply been her imagination. She moved on by painstaking degrees. He told himself that he had done a very good thing for them both. He had done the logical thing. He’d spared them the future pain of breaking up. Friendship endures. As friends they could last a lifetime together.

He pursued the most beautiful girls he could find. Sometimes they rejected him. She comforted him and he resumed his quest. He could love anyone but her. Never her he told himself. She is too good for my base, human love.

Even when he managed to win the attention of a beautiful woman he quickly lost interest. He thought I could do better! There are more beautiful women in this world. Only the most beautiful women can hold my interest. Maybe it would be better if I had several so that I could rotate them as one rotates a wardrobe according to the seasons. This was not as easy as he hoped. Everytime he found another woman he risked losing the first. Worse he missed her so much he could hardly breathe. When someone suggested he loved her and that he could not be satisfied with another woman he went to her and told her more firmly than before I don’t love you! He wanted to punish her for being lovable, for making him feel. She answered I know! She knew it all too well. She trusted him.

Despite some misunderstandings they grew closer together. She was in many ways a wife to him, the primary woman in his life with whom he shared his troubles and dreams. His desire for her grew and he knew not what to do with it. He continually found fault with her. A single hair out of place he exaggerated to excess. When these faults gained no transaction he made up faults. He put words in her mouth and assigned beliefs to her that positively appalled him. That she had never said or thought these things was not important to him. He needed to subdue his love. He was annoyed with her for being beautiful, for becoming more so with each passing day. Why was she making it so hard for him?

One day she met a wonderful man. He was both happy and miserable. With each day he felt more restless inside. He picked fights with her for no reason. She told him I am in love! He said I am very happy for you as friends do but he was not at all happy for himself. He thought what have I done pushing her into the arms of another man? How could I not see the creative power driving the universe is love? That the only legacy, the only way to immortalize oneself is to love as fully as possible? He anguished night and day. He’d stuck to his plans, to his logic so why hadn’t it worked to his advantage?

She moved in with her new man. His apartment felt empty. He missed her terribly. He hated that she slept with another man every night. A man other than him. Loved a man other than him. He might yet find a woman but it would not be her. Never her. She was taken. He had robbed himself of her.

She got married. It should have been me! He cried. She had a beautiful son. That child should have been ours! He cried. He’d told her several times before that her life prior to him was a mistake. She should have chosen him. Waited for him. He hated that she had loved someone before him. Yet when he had her within the realm of possibility he had only been able to think of the past he’d been denied and of the future still uncertain. While he toiled endlessly with his beautiful distractions the present, by which all futures are formed, gave way like wet paper.

Love Language

Your heart is a secret,

a whisper in a crowded room,

a breathy lullaby

in a night both deep

and star-infused.

When I asked you

to be my lover

I wanted you to say “Yes!”

but instead you said “I guess…”

I undress you

from the waist up

and climb over

your reclining body

with a trembling smile.

I wonder if I can

seduce you

in the baring of my heart

or if I’ll have to lie.

I want to carry you

like a breath but I am afraid

if I hold you too close

you’ll lose awareness of me.

What’s the difference between

love and ownership,

between the you inside of me

and the you that keeps distance?

If I give you

too much freedom

you will either overtake me

or run away with someone else.

I don’t know if I am

really good enough

to have a man whole.

I could love you an ocean’s worth

but you only measure in percents.

Just once I want you 

to say “You’re Mine.”

even if it’s selfish.

I want you to mean it.

I want my absence to sting.

I want to be the one

you can’t stop talking about.

Love is two people 

split down the middle

like a plum.

A little sour, a little sweet.

You ruin my fantasies

and stir my heart like a fire.

My soul is more blood than air.

I am going to wear my clothes

when we make love

and strip you totally naked

because I want to feel powerful

and mysterious just once,

because if I let myself be

too vulnerable I will

lose myself in us.

Your love presses against me

like a kiss, soft but insistent

If I breathe too deeply

I will drown.

I’ll get desperate.

I’ll become obsessed

and I’ll never know

if a single thing

I feel is reciprocated.

Let me love you.

Let me love you.

Let me love you.