Let’s build us up a rabid beast, an all-consuming thing.
Let’s dress it like a sheep and call it love.
I’ll bless it with a longing eye and flowers in the spring,
Warmth like the sun and chiming voice like when the virgins sing,
And they’ll think it a gift sent from above.
Then you will mar its white facade with all the worldly traits
And let them steer the beast playing their rolls
Bring lust, anger and jealousy. Bring tears, untruths and hate
Partakers, both brave and naïve, will crack beneath its weight
We’ll call it free, but it will cost their souls.
Excerpt from Call it Love, © 2012 Arissa Freeman, All rights reserved.
Even without the copyright, you can guess who wrote that. I can't help it. My head says not to be a fan of love. Don't get me wrong--I love what love does. It gives a sore man a backrub when he gets home, and fixes his dinner. It opens the doors of a (real) church and invites everyone in, jeans, barefoot, whatev. It also makes you forget simple things like going to bed on time, paying attention at work, and that any other man or woman on earth exists.
Webster.com says it's an emotion, an object, and an action. What a cluster--no wonder it sneaks up on us so well. One might say it's impressive that way.
But to look at it from one perspective just isn't my tendency...
In my very first post I mentioned choosing the lesser of two pains. Well here they are again: to love, or not. The Tin Man said toward the end of The Wizard of Oz, "Now I know I have a heart, because it's breaking."
Why choose love? Why choose a relationship or a passion over blissful ignorance? Why opt for vulnerability, emotional nakedness or the risk of rejection?
Why not choose love? Why not accept an embrace, a companion, the chance your love can be returned?
What if what you're debating over isn't really love at all?
There is no way to win, really. I've learned that myself. I spent several years being Fort Knox to someone who wanted only to be there for me. Then I spent the past year trying to undo that karma by forcing myself in the opposite direction with every new relationship I had. My openness left me vulnerable to a lot of bad experiences. To date: lied to, stood up, humiliated--everything I wouldn't have been if I'd just kept my walls up. Either I'm not done repaying my bad deeds, or love really is a cluster and I'm fudged. (Sometimes I censor.)
Yet, despite all this, I'll keep doing it. There's a method to this, and I'm determined to nail it. I really don't know where this mode of thinking came from, but it's not just with men. I'm putting tears into things I never have before: projects at the day job, new friends, my prayers (yeah, I said it). Seems like the more I open my heart to things by choice, the more I do it automatically elsewhere...this is new to me...
I think what I should be doing for love and what I am doing for love have already met in the middle. They're waiting for me at the crossroads. So in an effort to pick this knot apart, I'm going to keep looking inward as a means to reach out. Last week I dissected my head. Now I'm attacking my heart--starting with who's in it and what's on it. Maybe when that's laid out, I'll know where to go next...or at least where not to go.