Purple's Platitudes

nothing but words …

Genuinely Love

07 July 2008

Genuinely Love


If your success here on earth were based strictly on your ability to genuinely love, how successful would you be?

My mind immediately questions terms, a bad habit I’m afraid, but one that often avoids the pitfalls and dangers of misinterpretation that seems inevitable whenever two or more people try to share their own answers from entirely non-congruent perspectives.

Success — in my opinion, entirely subjective, individual, and nearly impossible to fully agree with anyone else on what this looks like. However, within the parameters of the question, I’d have to define it as mutually satisfying, enjoyable, meaningful, nurturing, understanding, unselfish, and unconditionally accepting the other without trying to change them, mold them into something we envision rather than just who they are.

Genuinely love — would resemble what I wrote above as well. I’d add a few extra thoughts perhaps, for in my mind and heart, I believe love, genuine love, requires trust, acceptance, commitment, and not the kind of commitment that says "if you do this, I will …" or "… as long as … I will …". In other words, genuine love should be unconditional, not based on games and manipulation, or on attempting to fix or change or modify or mold someone else into our vision of what they should be, how they should behave, how they should think, how they should view everything according to our way of seeing, how they should meet our standards, live up to our expectations, etc.

And logically the question becomes: even if I am successful, even if I genuinely love someone else, what if they do not genuinely love me in return, what if they are less than successful at genuinely loving someone else?

Do I fall under condemnation or blame if a relationship, or even a marriage fails? Certainly, I must carry some of the blame and fault for either situation, a "dating" situation where genuine love is proclaimed and declared, but perhaps, never really was the "real" thing, or a marriage, where presumably the commitment is genuine and intended to be "for life" — until death do us part.

Hindsight is a wonderful curse, a useful tool perhaps, but endless introspection and over-analysis leads merely to partial, often one-sided insights, incomplete guesses, which may or may not help heal the past and allow us to begin to move forward once again, to somehow or other start over and face the entire process once again. We become more cautious, guarded, frightened of allowing anyone to get that close to us again, afraid of the pain and the hurt that sent us reeling into such painful darkness and despair.

And yet, it would seem that when we finally find acceptance of what happened, perhaps never truly understanding why it happened, but coming to the place where we can say it is okay, it happened, I cannot dwell there any more, it is time to pick myself up, dust myself off, and believe that I have something still to offer someone, that I can truly genuinely love again, that someone might be out there just as tentatively reaching out, just as scared and guarded and uncertain, but just as willing to risk and try again. But false starts and lessons still await our hearts at every opportunity. We reach sometimes out of need, out of desperation, out of a fear that "it" will never happen for us ever again. We want that genuine love from someone, believing that we are "ready" for it, and we swear and vow we will never settle, ever again, but attention is very hard to resist and we want to believe it, that someone is sincere, and genuinely wants to love us the way we want to be loved and allow us to love them the way we truly want to love another too.

So, we keep reaching, risking, trying, believing … I believe some do find genuine love again, but then I have never allowed myself to accept that there is only one person we can ever love in this life, that there can be only one soul mate (which would be a another topic to explore obviously). I did not say "I do" with any thought of ever not being committed to my wife, the person I had chosen to be with, again, until death. But, here I am, divorced, and painfully single and alone after nearly 19 years together.

Did I genuinely love? Was I successful at my relationship? Apparently the answer would have to be no to both inquiries. I’ve punished myself for nearly two years, asking every conceivable question, looking inward with the most soul-baring honesty I could muster as I contemplated the journey and the choices, both those I made, and those that were made by others, and in the end, under the microscope of asking more "Why?" questions than "How?" ones I know I did fail on both genuinely loving and at being successful by any definition. But, I also learned a lot about myself, about others, about many aspects of relating to another, and if I am ever given another chance to love someone I know some things will be different. Perhaps perfection in loving another is simply unobtainable, but I know I will pay more attention, not take someone for granted, be more genuinely loving, less selfish and self-centered, more nurturing, encouraging, more willing to share and interact and do the little things that, honestly, I quit doing along the way.

I will more genuinely love if I am ever given the chance again. Period. But, I will also be with someone that is willing to genuinely love me in return. It will be a mutual partnership, based on equality and respect and trust and a commitment to do whatever it takes to make the relationship all it can be. Nothing less will ever be satisfying, or even desirable to me.

23 March, 2013 - Posted by | Vomit Theory | , ,

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