My Crow for Love

Loved… AHHHHH. Carmen and Peggy, I am most certain that you both are loved and capable of giving love, but allowing it to happen? Being vulnerable and accepting it? Giving it freely without expectation? Yes these are challenges we must face! How do you define it? When you think of love, is it something that you feel? Do? Think? Want? Need? Does it cause you stress just to think about it? What is it that makes it so powerful? So scary? How high are your walls and why? These are all questions I have posed to myself at times.
 I’m going to start by attempting to define LOVE, or my interpretation of it. Funny that the definition of Love lists it both as a noun and a verb. Ok, maybe its not that funny  outside my mind.
 
verb
verb: love; 3rd person present: loves; past tense: loved; past participle: loved; gerund or present participle: loving
  1. 1.
    feel a deep romantic or sexual attachment to (someone). “do you love me?”
noun
noun: love; plural noun: loves
  1. 1.
    an intense feeling of deep affection for example: babies fill parents with intense feelings of love OR she was the love of his life
I guess if you ponder it long enough, you could see how it could be both. I have never really set out to define it, but before I started looking around, I guess I generally classified it as an emotion. But does it really fit in the same category as Happy, Sad, Angry, etc.? So I continued on with my internet searching… that’s where we find all the best information, right? I found one reading with an interesting viewpoint about emotions and feelings and if they are the same or different?
Many people use the words “emotions” and “feelings” to mean the same thing.   However,  I suggest that you think of emotions and feelings as distinct, but highly related things —  two sides of the same coin.  One side of the coin is an emotion:  a physical response to change that is hard-wired and universal.  The other side of the coin is your feeling: mental associations and reactions to an emotion that are personal, acquired through experience.   Despite seeming interchangeable, emotions actually proceed feelings.   Like with coins, what you notice will depend upon where you are looking
 
Because emotions are physical, they can be measured objectively by blood flow, brain activity, facial expressions and body stance.   Because feelings are mental, they cannot be measured precisely.  Emotions are generally predictable and easily understood, while feelings are often idiosyncratic and confusing.   Feelings reflect your personal associations to emotions – the other side of the coin.”
But where does love really fit in? I believe that it could potentially be measured objectively through blood flow, brain activity, and so on, but could definitely also be idiosyncratic and confusing. FOR sure confusing, lol.
LOVE! One word….. 4 little letters that can mean so many different things, for me anyways, and it only seems to get more complicated the more I think about it. Regardless of the depth of my current level of cognitive energy spent trying to define it, I know that definitely…… I love love, in every form. Does it come with risks, most certainly. Did I have to learn to love it? Most certainly! However, when you feel it, and it overwhelms you and you are completely absorbed by love, I would say it outweighs most heartbreak. Maybe I’m just getting old…. getting soft.. but I feel love more than any other feeling. Maybe it started with the challenge of truly learning to love myself? How many times can I use the word love in this blog and still have it seem relevant and purposeful in each placement? *Devilish Grin*
I haven’t always loved love. It has taken a long time and a lot of work. Forgiveness has been monumental in my ability to love, whether its myself, my mother, kids, friends, family, or my lover. I think the hardest love for me to accept is that from a man/lover/partner. Loving my kids was easy, especially after I learned forgiveness. Mostly I needed to forgive myself for the shitty choices I made throughout their childhood. Like being 17 and taking a bong hit while I breast fed my infant. FUCKING BRILLIANT (dumbass) or the time I got wasted drunk while we were on a mini-vacation in Seattle with the in-laws and I locked myself in the bathroom all night. The kids pissed out the window of the hotel. Not that I think they minded, but looking back I think WTF? They turned out alright.  Ever since I first laid eyes on their squished little heads. I can recall the feelings of love pouring out of me when they were little, it still does.
Then there’s my momma, I can’t even begin to measure how much love I have for her. It took me a few years of being a mother myself to see her for her. I often told her I wish she could see herself through my eyes. Being “grown” and seeing things from a different side, I was able to turn the focus of my upbringing to highlight the positive awesome things we did. There was likely an equal share of terrible things that happened, but overall, my mom did the best she could with the tools she had. At one point, she was a single mom working 3 jobs and trying to take college classes. At another point, she was leaving her kids at the babysitter til 1 or 2 in the morning while she was out at the bar. These were her struggles. First, I forgave her without telling her. Then seeing that she was still struggling I forgave her out loud, to her. With further conversation over the years, it was like a big load lifted off her. She’s been gone two and a half years now, but I still am learning important life lessons from her influences. I treasure them. Love and acceptance are 2 of the biggest that are ongoing.   I believe that other than my momma, probably my children are the only people in my life that I was able to love when I couldn’t manage to even feel anything else, like when your whole world crashes, numbness sets in, nothing matters, fuck life, can I disappear now, kind of not feeling anything else. The attachment to my mother and kids keep me going. Its unconditional, its free, and even if they hated me and walked away to never see me again, I would still love them. How could I not? They were born from my womb and I from hers.
Can I love inanimate things, like the ocean – cuz I do. Watching the power of the waves and all the things associated brings the familiar sensation to the center of my chest. It’s an energy that is not easily described, only that for me, that’s how I know its love. I love my pets, does that count?
Ok, ok, I have been avoiding this long enough. The scariest form of love. Relationships. UGH!! (Insert walls here, like tall ones, made of the strongest stone, and a moat. Yes, a moat filled with the most vile creatures) My ex-husband taught me how to build walls. We were together from the time I was 16 til just before my 30th birthday. There were lots of fun times in our marriage, and for most of it I was head over heels in love. The butterflies stayed far longer than anyone ever mentioned they would, but were they actually butterflies or were they some nasty moth eating me from the inside out? BUT after the divorce and the next few years of hard work and struggles, its apparent to me that although we gave it a good try, that was not the kind of love I wanted. When we separated, I was beat down. I didn’t dare look at my face in the mirror, I didn’t know the power of looking myself in the eyes. I nearly turned into that Whore he always said I was through reckless sexual behavior. It was tough, I was a faithful wife, prided myself in this, never even kissed another man for the 13 years we were together, but I paid emotionally for being a girl with a vagina. I got fat while we were together because I felt it kept other men from wanting me and maybe he would see it as an act of my devotion to him. (I’m still fat haha) I have put in tremendous work, into me to get past this. I can look in the mirror. I do love myself, and when I forget to, I find a mirror and stare myself down. I look into my own soul and remind myself of who I am.
My current relationship is a new experience. I could tell from the start that it has the potential to be something awesome, but there will be a lot of work along the way. I have walls and I have let them down a few times, only to feel the heartbreak that can come along with that. But we are both learning. He has had some terrible relationships as well and has an equally hard time being vulnerable and letting people in. He has high walls. Having walls is necessary to protect ourselves, but I do not want to live forever inside mine. There’s something there though, a kinship I have never experienced. I am learning how not to push. I love him. We have come to a point where it gets mentioned once in a while, but its not something I say every day, I show it everyday, he shows it every day. Through all the little things. I think the biggest difference for me with this relationship is I keep a lot of it to myself. I keep the intimate things private for the most part. Every little detail, or fight, or awesome display of love that we share is not announced to the world, I don’t brag or bitch to my friends on the regular. Its between me and him, but every girl needs at least one closest confidant that she can be completely transparent with. Can fess up to her own bullshit and not just twist it to see his. I have this, its a good balance and keeps me centered. I feel myself growing more.
Hearing the call of the CROWS has allowed for a colossal shift in my thinking. I welcome it freely and look forward to the things to come. Who’d have known that a group of small town girls could turn into such influential women. I thank you for allowing me to be a part of this movement and hope to continue to feel the strength of CROWING LOVE.

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