Love. A fucked up Problem
Love. It’s either great or it sucks.
Love, a fucked up problem, shackles us to behaviours seemingly beyond our control.
Love does funny things to us. A fucked up problem that doesn’t help.
The absence and inhabitance of all that these are control the inner workings of our humanness. They bring about mannerisms and plagiarisms tangled up in desperate thoughts of how to secure the love of another so that they may bring the hope we have been looking for. Finally.
I have found such love with another human being. The love of my life. My intrepid soul-mate. He loves me like no other person has loved me before. Not even myself.
But, yet, that love is not enough. I am constantly looking for more. Not from another man. But from him. And, most definitely myself.
His love has not saved me in the way I imagined it would. All of those 90’s rom coms giving me false hope that the love of a man is all I have ever needed.
I would watch them with an ache in my heart, believing I was not worthy of any such love. It wouldn’t stop me from dreaming about this Hollywood kind of love, though. Oh, no. These movies only encouraged my young self to fantasise about the day the love of my life would enter the room and sweep me off my feet.
That day was nearly seventeen years ago.
The feelings that emerged the second I laid eyes on him were too much. I gave myself a stern talking to about not hitting on my friends brother (even though we had known each other since we were children. Our mothers were friends) and let my instant attraction to him fade into the background.
By the end of the night we were blind, rotten drunk and he declared to all that was there that he has had a crush on me since I was five years old. He was nine. The attraction didn’t stay in the background for long. We have been together ever since.
In these last seventeen years I have been pining for a love I believed must come from him. The absence of it has caused pain and heartache. Anger and annoyance. Hopelessness and desperation. I put all of my hope in his love to help me become the woman dominating my fantasies. She was not me but someone entirely different. She was confident, kind and competent. She most definitely wasn’t the woman I saw staring back at me in the mirror. Hopeless, angry and weak. Full of pain and torment. Allowing herself to be ruled by these fake, counterfeit emotions.
They were my everything. Each and every fucked up thought and feeling dominating my existence. So much so that I accepted these Hollywood love stories to be my truth. To be THE truth. That truth being love can only come from another person, and once you have their love then all will right itself within your inner world. All of that mess will instantly clean itself up. That all of your fucked up problems become only minor troubles. Because now the love of your life has taken all of your pain and heartache away.
It most definitely does not work like that. Fuck those movies, as endearing as they are.
Where is the movie about self love? About finding the love within yourself so that you can truly set yourself free?
We’ve got to write our own movie. Our own love story. With our love as the central theme.
But, how can you do that when we are constantly being told that love, true love, comes from outside of us?
There is no love outside of us greater than the love inside of us.
This is a line from the first short story I wrote, called The Mirror. Part one. When I wrote it I didn’t yet fully comprehend the significance of it. It is significant. Because it sums up where love has to come from first. Inside of us.
Why do I believe that love must come from inside of us first?
Let me share what I have learned about love over the last couple of years of desperately trying to obtain it.
Love is simple and complex all at the same time. We moved towards it and away from it all in the same second. It hurts us and pleasures us within a matter of minutes. We strive to have it at all costs. If someone doesn’t give it to us then we blame ourselves for their inability to donate it to us. It causes us to hate someone so fiercely that we lose all sense of control. Love comes with a multitude of attachments that we neither understand nor are able to handle.
Love is fucked up.
Children look for love from those raising them. Whether it be parents, grandparents, siblings, or any other type of carer. They are our go-to to learn about love and how to have it, hold onto it and share it. But, if those adults in our world are lacking in their own love, then this becomes a difficult task.
My parents sucked at giving out their love. My mother did better than my father but it still didn’t feel as though it was enough. As a mother now myself, I can understand why their love was mostly absent. When you have two people living in their own fucked up inner world, then that projects itself into the outer world in ways that a young child cannot comprehend. They take it personally and question why their parents cannot love them in the way they need them to.
This is exactly what I did. So, any love that I had for myself eventually slipped away until there was nothing left. I became an angry and bitter woman, desperately fighting to bring back any semblance of love that I once had.
What I have recently come to realise is that no one will ever give you the entirety of their love because they have their own heartaches and pains to deal with that cause them to restrain their love.
Their own life experiences determine how much love they are willing to give out, whether it is a conscious decision or not. Yet, we look to others to give us all the love that we need. Especially when we are older. If love hasn’t come from the family you grew up in then that love must come from another human being that has nothing to do with your old family, whilst secretly hoping they will become the only family you need.
I can attest to all of that. My behaviours have reflected my feelings about myself. Kind and loving feelings only produce kind and loving behaviours. Feelings that are laced with pain and torment infiltrate behaviours in the most unloving ways. I didn’t love myself so how was I able to show any love to others? I wasn’t shown how to love myself. I wasn’t told that I was worthy of love. There was no room for my love to grow amongst all of the anger and frustration thrust upon me as a child.
So, I outsourced my love. Hoping the person in front of me was willing to give me what I needed. Hoping each nameless man would be the one to sweep me off my feet and fill me with a love I have never deserved.
Countless times this occurred. The job of loving me being made redundant before it even had a chance to finalise recruitment.
Then one day it did. Someone finally got the job of loving me.
They were (and are) a wonderful employee. I just suck at being the boss. Of being that person to show them how its done. How to love me wholly and completely. This, however, is not in their job description. This is my job and my job alone.
My husband has not been employed to love me wholly and completely. Our marriage has nothing to do with employment. It is a partnership involving two fucked up people with their own messes to clean up. With brooms and buckets at the ready to help one another at any time they need.
So, where is love supposed to come from?
There is no love outside of us greater than the love inside of us.
Love is inside of us. It always has been and always will be.
My previous column have talked about the different parts of ourselves. Our loving voice, our humanness and the ever present ego. Which part do you think love comes from?
If you answered your loving voice, then you are correct!
This part of us, your soul, your loving voice, your higher being; whichever you like to call it, are made up of pure love. Unconditional. Intentional. Bountiful. We forget that it is there because we believe it has been taken away or we don’t remember how to use it. The ego side of us convinces us that we do not deserve this love from ourselves or anyone else.
Or we have given too much of it away believing we must be responsible for supplying love to others. Abandoning ourselves in the process. Ignoring the voice inside when it gently lets us know that we, too, need our love.
What if all the love we have ever needed was actually within ourselves?
What actually happens when we love ourselves fully?
What arises when we stop waiting for someone else to give it to us?
To be honest, I am not completely there yet. But I am working on it. Its fucking hard and some days are a struggle. I have this unwavering determination that keeps me going. There is something deep inside of me that will not let me quit. This comes from my loving voice. My soul. She continues to support me even in those times when I feel all alone in this love reformation.
Looking back over the last ten years of my life I can see the significant change I have created within myself. My ego incessantly reminds me of all I am yet to achieve so I must force myself to look beyond those reminders to recognise what has genuinely changed.
There are many. And, I have done it with the help of forgiveness, kindness and appreciation. But the biggest thing of all is the acknowledgement I have given to all of my pain and where it has come from. I have accepted that I am, indeed, in emotional pain. That my emotions have never been given a safe place to be expressed. I talk to my emotions, I talk to myself. I have an open line of communication within myself at all times, now, instead of a one-way conversation that only consists of insults and put-downs. I have rid myself of the hate and self-loathing I used to wallow in. I have allowed myself to feel what I am feeling in any and all moments. I continue to trust in who I am as I persevere in my quest to find out who I am in this lifetime. I hold on to the knowledge that I will always be ok. And, I give myself the time to lay down when the darkness of my mind shuts out the light. This is when I immerse myself in all of my dark thoughts and feelings about who I believe I am so that I can understand how I became this coldhearted woman and thaw out my heart in order for it to thoroughly heal.
When we do all of these things for ourself, then the love will grow back.
Then it won’t seem like such a fucked up problem. It won’t seem so huge or unsolvable.
The movies are right in one thing. Love will always win. It just has to be the love for yourself first. When you love yourself that love will automatically be shared to those around you. And, that love will be generously returned. This will only happen when you listen to your highest self. Ignoring what the ego is requesting from you. Demanding from you.
Stop waiting for someone else to give you the love you deserve. Stop asking (begging) them for their love. They may not have that much to give in the first place if they are living in their own fucked up world.
It is your job to give it to your self.
And, when you have an abundance of love, you can express that love to those around you. Letting them know they are worthy of their own love.
This is what I am doing for you now.
You are worthy of your own love.
Believe it. Trust it.
Listen to your loving voice as they guide you back to what has always been there.
Its a wonderful place to be.
As always, keep on shouting “SHUT THE FUCK UP”.
Here is your exercise for this week.
Find some time to be alone where it is quiet. Take a pen and paper and write down all the reasons you believe you cannot be loved. By you or anyone else. Who gave those reasons to you? Where have they come from?
Now the tricky part. Go through each one and ask yourself if it is true. If the answer is yes, enquire further. Which part of you has come up with that answer? Feel your way to the truth. I bet there is not one genuine reason why you do not deserve your own love. They are all made up by your shitty voice and others that have been in your life.