Morning in the garden.

Morning in the garden.

I enjoy love songs. That wasn’t always true. There was a time – and it amounts to most of my adult life – when I thought love songs were at best saccharine nonsense, and at worst outright lies.  I dismissed them with cynical derision, frankly, often, and out loud.  I couldn’t connect with love songs – what did I know of love?  I really figured sex, and a basic mostly supportive sort of affection, were all that went into the matter of love, and all that one could get out of it.  I wasn’t lonely much, and because I enjoy solitude and can easily entertain myself for hours and days with the content of my own mind, I barely noticed how difficult it was to really ‘connect’.  I couldn’t feel the lack of what I didn’t know.

Lovers came and went (lol) and life did what life does. Time passed. I aged. I experienced events. I met people. I had relationships.  Eventually, long past the time I had given up on any notion of love as a profound connected emotional experience, I fell in love. I fell hard. I fell fast.  Initially, I struggled to understand – or even accept – my experience.  I treated it as lust – I was comfortable with that emotion.  At some point I began to understand it was truly new, and slowly let myself feel the raw power of it, to be open to it – all the way, heart and mind and soul.  ‘Powerful’ doesn’t describe it, really, and I have not yet experienced anything else quite like it.  I changed my lifestyle because love is too powerful to dismiss as a catalyst for change.  Again and again, I have revisited who I am; questions of values, of taste, of experience, of will, of intent became not only important, but seemingly truly urgent for the first time since I was a teenager… love is amazing stuff.   More than once since I fell into the warm embrace of love, I’ve found myself sitting with my lover and listening to love songs…laughing, crying, singing along, hearing precious heartfelt words being sung to me, souls connected.  It is simply the most precious and amazing feeling in all my experience… there really aren’t words to describe it, and no winning argument to convince someone who hasn’t experienced love that it is real.  In that regard, it is rather like mindfulness… and I’m finding that mindful love goes even beyond what I’ve already experienced, although I am so new to practicing mindfulness, I expect life will continue to unfold in amazing ways on a lot of levels. 🙂

Yeah…I’ve learned to appreciate love songs.

…But…love isn’t the every day experience in our lives, is it? Maybe for a rare or fortunate few, but for ‘everyone’? It doesn’t seem likely, although it does seem possible.  There’s just this one thing, though…what’s up with people treating each other so badly? Is it really necessary to bring emotional weaponry to every conversation, every moment of conflict resolution? Is the default assumption for most people that even their lovers, their families, their best friends are actually just waiting for an opportunity to fuck them over or hurt them? No? Then why do so many people behave as if that is their experience? What’s up with the defensiveness? What’s up with being mean to each other? What’s up with not taking a moment to hear that someone we love is hurting, and accepting that it is their experience, and offering our regret in a sincere way first, before leaping to our own defense to explain, deny, mitigate, deflect, or actually counter attack?  Seriously? How can any human being justify treating their loves less well than they treat the world?

We’ve all got baggage. Everyone has their turn hurting. Sooner or later even people we love may cause us pain or stress.  Does that mean we stop loving?  I don’t at all understand the lack of consideration and every day decency I see all around me.  What the hell, people? Is it that hard to treat one another truly well? Why do we lash out at the ones we love? I don’t have answers.  I am a simple student of life and love, and there is so much I do not know, or understand.

I’m very fortunate – I easily could have been someone who would never know love. I didn’t exactly make it easy for love to reach me through my walls, or find me midst my mountain of baggage.  I love, though, I love fiercely, and I love with my whole heart…and I want to master treating my loves well.  Turns out I will have to start with treating myself well, and as a result of that effort I am experiencing a love affair with a most amazing being with whom I have long been acquainted…myself.  I admit – that’s a love I never knew would also be profound.