Archives for posts with tag: Love is a verb

Always with the taking, eh? ūüėČ

I’ve got a couple days off ahead of me, and a long weekend to enjoy with my Traveling Partner. I hope we do. We’ve had a couple heartfelt, heavy conversations about intimacy (in general, and specifically) recently, and it’s on my mind. I don’t question that we love each other, or even that we’re “right” for each other. Love simply requires some work and attention and there are verbs involved, even in matters of love and loving. It’s not a romantic crisis, so much as a reminder to put in the time, the attention, and the work that love requires to thrive. Coasting on the magic is unfair to a partnership, and it’s a poor way to treat love. The pandemic has been hard on the two of us. We are each having our own experience, walking our own path, and sharing a complex journey. It takes some balancing, some yielding, some compromises, encouragement, connection, and willingness to repeat what works, and also to face what doesn’t. ūüôā

I may not write much this weekend. I don’t know. I guess I’ll see where the days take me. I have this interesting intimacy-building exercise tumbling about in my thoughts… maybe “cocktails and questions” would be a fun pandemic date night? There is a whole universe of classic and modern cocktails I’ve never tried (I don’t drink much)… could be fun.

My vertigo seems to have cleared up. I just have this headache, now, and it is familiar. My arthritis pain is also as comfortable as an old friend in comparison to the frightful chaos of the vertigo. I’m almost happy to “just be in pain”.

Anyway. The days ahead are likely to be introspective, intimate, and deeply personal. Maybe romantic. I’d rather enjoy those wholly that attempt to juggling reflecting on them with the real-life experience of enjoying them, so I may be quiet for a few days. That’s a good thing. ūüôā Another way to begin again.

…Is what I want to say. I hear the echo of the intent in my thoughts any time life or love go sideways, even for a moment. I’m not so good at getting the words out there… soon enough? Calmly enough? Sufficiently lacking in any expression of emotional intensity that might tend to cause skepticism about my intentions? Yeah. Probably all of that. More. Other stuff I don’t think to manage, to deal with, to minimize, limit, regulate, scale down… I’m right here, every bit of me. Ferociously human. You too?

It’s a very quiet solo evening. I do need this time, he’s right about that. I miss him anyway. I manage to miss his scent, his voice, his hugs, his laughter – everything about his presence that is easy I miss with a fierceness akin to physical pain, as though something I need has been taken from me.¬†I sometimes miss the harder stuff too, the qualities that challenge me to be the very best human I can, the very best lover, the most well-intentioned, authentic, supportive, affectionate and gracious being I could ever craft from the raw materials I’ve got… He’s every bit as human as I am myself, so there’s plenty to challenge me to grow. We fail each other regularly in small ways, rarely in any big ones.

Love matters most.

Love matters most.

The week together has been an interesting mix of easy and challenging. I find myself thinking over the things that worked so well, the things that didn’t work as easily, even taking time to tenderly consider the moment or two that went poorly; it’s nice to notice how few of those there really were. I know that in our human hearts those can sometimes weigh most heavily in our thoughts. I’m no expert, but I’m definitely done with treating myself badly when I fall short of my own expectations – and those are hard enough to keep up with – I am done, too, with beating myself up when I fall short of someone else’s expectations. I’ve a long journey ahead as a human being. One step at a time is fast enough, and slow progress is still progress. For him, too; love can afford to be patient, to be kind.

I still struggle with interrupting people, especially if I am especially passionate, engaged, or excited about the topic being discussed. Listening deeply doesn’t come naturally to me. I practice. I do my best. I let it go when I don’t get it right, and I begin again. It matters enough that practice is worth it, and incremental change over time is enough. ‘The interrupting thing’ is especially difficult for people to take. I get it. I get interrupted a lot, and even by people who ‘don’t do that’ – because I don’t limit my speech to short phrases, very simple language, ¬†and don’t do brevity with any ease… or even staying entirely on topic, I suppose. I speak very much the way I write. Whatever this is. Wordy. Verbose? Too much sometimes. I know – I accept it because it’s who I am, and I don’t mind it. I like the poetry of language, and the connection of good communication. I have time to listen, the interest, the intent, the desire to be sufficiently considerate and dialed in to the person I am talking with to really make a great conversation… only… I also interrupt. I’ll keep working on that, World, if you’ll just keep showing up so I can practice.

Tonight is easy. At long last, at least being alone with the woman in the mirror is easy. It wasn’t always. Tonight, this is enough.

 

This morning I exist quietly. My traveling partner sleeps in the other room. I catch up with friends and the world – and magically, in this fantastic modern age, I am able to do so without even waking them; our digital exchanges do not happen in real-time.

I am enjoying love. The simplest things, mundane pleasures, and the warmth of existing side-by-side. I’m not sleeping as well as I might otherwise, but I so rarely sleep through the night with another person that this is not noteworthy. What is noteworthy is that my solitary life has resulted in sleeping through the night generally; I would benefit from being more of aware of it, and enjoying the experience. This morning I woke shortly after three. I lay quietly, content, for some further time before getting up some time before the alarm would go off. My shower didn’t wake my partner. Neither did making coffee. I smile at these simple joys; how delightful to take care of me without it being at the expense of my love’s rest?

I continue the morning quietly, a bit a time. Yoga. Meditation. Planning the move, which is now imminent. Coffee. Correspondence. In all regards but the profound quiet this is a morning entirely like any other morning of late… only… love. The love matters. Love doesn’t have to sleep in my bed, or in my home, or on my schedule. Love doesn’t require cohabitation. Love isn’t always sexy. The power of love to build my emotional reserves, to nurture what is best and strong within me, and to add a patina of joy to just every thing going in is indescribably pleasant. I make no demands of love; I have learned a thing or two about nurturing love. I enjoy the moment, and the experience. I pause to remind myself that love is reciprocal, aware, and tender, and ask myself “am I loving well in this moment?” Why wouldn’t I ask this of myself? Love is no imposition on my time or routine – more of a rest stop on a long journey, or a broad stretch of very nice pavement on a walk more commonly fraught with obstacles.

No doubt love will also offer challenges, but today this quiet morning is enough, and I am love. ūüôā

I wrote a lot of rather angry words this morning. I’ve deleted them. I’m reluctant to give OPD (Other People’s Drama) that much of my time – or to allow it to take that much of yours, either. I’ve done my best not to waste time ranting…but…I suspect it comes across a bit more that, than not. ūüôā

Saving the world over my morning coffee...or something similar.

Thoughts and coffee

I sip my coffee and think over the whole point I thought I was getting to on the first draft (and the second, and third)… I think I was using way too many words just to communicate something simple – a caution? More a request.¬†Please don’t be vile, nasty, bad-tempered, callous, cruel or mean¬†to people you say you care about. It is¬†mistreatment. In a perfect world, people don’t stick around for that shit, but we’re imperfect beings, and trudging through bullshit is sometimes part of the journey;¬†we end up too willing to tolerate abuse. Love is not nurtured by mistreatment – and how much of your nastiness your loved ones can withstand is not an¬†ideal measure of their affection.

Oh, hey, while I’m at it – please don’t be vile, nasty, bad-tempered, callous, cruel or mean¬†with strangers, either. Realistically, you don’t know them well enough for them to warrant any sort of mistreatment, and it amounts to unkindness that just makes the world a shitty¬†place. Stop it. Seriously? How do you excuse that shit?

Thinking it over, if it is unacceptable to mistreat our loved ones (which, frankly, it totally is), and also unacceptable to mistreat total strangers (and, I mean, why would you?)…how is it justifiable to mistreat all those people in between? You know the stuff I mean: being rude to a waitress, or nasty to a check-out clerk, or barista, or dismissive toward the landscapers, the mail carrier, or a telemarketer is all just as unacceptable and inappropriate – certainly, it is rude, and unnecessary. They are human. You are human, too. End of conflict… or, it easily could be. Your choices matter.

Being a better human being than you were yesterday is as simple as making¬†just one choice to treat someone a little better than you might have – make it easy, start with people who really matter to you. (If someone ‘really matters’ to you, how do¬†you justify treating them badly with purpose, deliberately, aware of the outcome, in the first place?) Here’s the thing – we like to think that we are not doing these things willfully –¬†¬†it’s ‘happening’, ‘things just went wrong’ in a bad moment, we ‘didn’t mean it’ or some how meant it differently but lost our cool, or… but… that only holds up the first time. After that, it’s a choice, perhaps a habit, or worse¬†a character quality, and it is definitely mistreatment and also entirely and completely unacceptable bad behavior.

How are you adding to global happiness?

How are you adding to global happiness?

Sorry about the lecture-y demanding irritated tone; we’re all human here, and feeling cared for and being heard matters to each of us. You are probably frustrated by these things, too. (I am finding it hard to watch from the sideline as someone I love is mistreated in another relationship, and I am not the sort to pretend I don’t see it, or to make excuses for bad behavior.) There’s no ‘chicken or egg’ paradox to mistreatment, either – that’s verbal slight of hand used by people to excuse abusive bullshit, and it doesn’t hold up under scrutiny.¬†Tit for tat nastiness between lovers is just another variety of mistreatment, still unacceptable. Mistreatment is mistreatment. Make all the excuses you want to, the excuses do not change the behavior. We all have moments when we fall short of being that person we most want to be, but it does matter to make the attempt, and to address our poor behavior toward others, honestly, and openly, being fully accountable for our bad behavior, and poor decision-making. We all have opportunities to choose to listen deeply, to be open to understanding someone else’s experience, to demonstrate compassion, and to show growth – sadly, we don’t all take those opportunities when they come.

I tried a number of times to ‘find the right words’ this morning. My annoyance¬†gets in the¬†way of taking a lighter tone. I am frustrated at how easily human beings justify their shitty treatment of others. Seriously? How is abusing people we [say we] love even a thing? Personally, I find it most effective¬†to snarl ‘go fuck yourself, that bullshit isn’t love at all’ and walk on – because when someone mistreats me, I do not feel loved. I no longer allow abuse to be part of my definition of love, loving, or¬†being loved. “Love” is a verb, and it does¬†not¬†include abuse, mistreatment, or emotional weapons of mass distraction. Those are their own experiences, their own verbs, and choosing them is no demonstration of love – and it very much is a choice.

I could have just said “Wheaton’s Law, people, damn!” and saved a couple hundred words from being misused this morning… or maybe suggested a sing-a-long… ¬†Be kind – there’s a surplus of jerks in the world these days. Be genuine – there’s also a surplus of shifty pretenders, and the real you is by far more worthy. Be considerate – we’re all human, each having our own experience, each suffering under the weight of the burdens we choose to bear, each worthy of being treated well.

Be love. That’s the thing most worth being.