Sunday, March 13, 2011

Chasing Love

For the better part of the first half of my life I was a chaser of love.  I chased my father's love, who pulled a disappearing act when I was 2 years old.  I chased my mother's love, who made a bad decision when I was 5 years old, and has never forgiven herself for it, and so refuses to think that I could possibly, just possibly, love her.

It began early in me, this habit of chasing love.  So I also chased the love of my siblings, friends, and anyone I romantically set my heart on.  Not saying I still don't get caught up on that wheel, because I do, and there are those who set it up for us to chase their love.  Holding themselves, and their love, like a prize to be won, ( or a drug of choice ), where, generally speaking, we are required to pass some sort of secret test, leap through fiery hoops, to prove our love before they will dole out whatever measure of love they have in their heart.  But where does that end?  When is enough...enough.  ( Doesn't it say somewhere in the Bible, "Do not test God?") 

There are many who associate love with sex, and therefore think that love has only to do with the romantic element between a man and a woman, (or same gender, whatever makes your tree tremble ).  They consider they are chasing love when they are in actuality chasing sex.  Love is not sex.  Sex is sex, an act done either with or without love.  When sex is placed within or under (subject to) the atmosphere of love, sex is oh so divine.  Without love, it is simply animalistic.  Not saying that's not fun too, and has it's place in the whole scheme of things.  If it didn't, we'd have no more animals, or bees, or trees for that matter.  Yet a problem arises when one person is just seeking sex, and the other is seeking love through sex.  It is especially problematic if the one seeking sex knows the other party is seeking love, and preys on it to get sex.  That's lower than the animals in my book.  At least the animals are honest.

 Once upon a time, I chased love, until I realized a truth.  "Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance.  Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him."  (Mathew 13:12 italics mine)  At first reading, that seems a bit on the harsh side, and not very fair.  That was my thought anyway.  But that's when I believed I didn't have any love in my life, when I was chasing it.  I didn't realize that by the act of chasing love, I was saying on a fundamental level that I did not have it.  The more I thought I didn't have it, the more miserable I was.

So one day I backed up, came to an all stop, and asked some questions, "Do I have love?  What does that mean?  Doesn't love come from the outside of me?"  ...and there's the rub.  The answer is no, it doesn't come from the outside of me.  To have love we must give it.  Only in the act, the practice, of giving it will we even recognize we have it.  It can be reflected back to us from outside ourselves, but we will not see its reflection until we ourselves are loving.  The challenge for me began with that realization...well, shit, I said to self, I gotta love.  And loving is not a thing we carry around airy fairy in our heads and hearts, it requires action.  Effort.  A very scary prospect for me, and one that I personally had to travel slowly, because love and trust go hand in hand.  Trust was a BIG issue for me, which, by the same token, meant love was a big issue for me.  Can't have one without the other.  Trust is a decision, which means love is a decision we choose to do.  I asked, "What does that look like?  What does that feel like?"  And my journey to having love began...

Its been many years since I began that journey, and I have learned many things in practicing love.  I learned love is indeed one of the fruits of the Spirit (charity being another name for it), and all the other fruits will occur within us when we love.  We cannot truly claim it until we do it, practice it, consistently.  I have learned we can only be responsible for our part...and that covers all relationships, not just romantic.  I cannot look over there at you and say, "Well I'm not going to show my love for you until you do such and such."  I ask myself instead, "Am I chasing love here, trying to get it from you?  Or am I giving love here?"  If I am trying to get any love from another person, then I am acting amiss, and coming from a place of lack, which for me, isn't true, because I do have love to give.  I am one side of a relationship...and being one side I am responsible for what I contribute to the relationship.  What am I contributing?  If my aim is to get, then I am contributing nothing.  I am looking to gain instead of to give...which isn't behaving in a loving manner.

The hardest, most challenging lesson in love for me to learn was that some folks don't want the love I have to give for whatever reasons they have, which I generally don't agree with.  I desired to disagree with them, and I suppose, force my love on them.  Take it, dammit!  Or, try to prove I love them more heartily.  I don't think there is anything more painful for me than when I love a person, and they refuse the gift of it.  For I consider love is precious, and should not be squandered.  We waste our chances given.  When my love is rejected I am tempted to think my love is nothing, and that means, by definition, that I have none to give.  A view I learned early with my parents.  If my love means nothing to them, then it means nothing at all to anyone.  But I learned, fairly recently, that love doesn't ever force itself.  If it finds no home, reflection, response, in another, then it gently withdraws.  It has to if there is no ground prepared for it to grow.  Gardens must be tended. 

Within love, giving and receiving are one thing.  I receive your love when I am giving it, and vice versa.  It is a symbiotic relationship.  Love flows outward, expresses outward, is given outward, ever expanding, like the Universe.  And it must extend outward from our heart.  If there is anything that rises up in me to stand in the way of love flowing from my heart outward, expressing itself, then that is a thing in me that I must move out of the way, be it a thought or belief.  Easier said than done, truly.  If it was easy, we wouldn't have the issues we do, and everyone, and the world, would be grand.  If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.  Because humanity does like things easy, don't we?  It is the path less traveled, unfortunately.

I have recently backed up again, stopped, regrouped.  Against hate, which is born from self loathing, love has no home.  And it is not for me to argue with it.  Love doesn't argue with hate, it simply lets it be what it is.  If love is not welcome, then there is truly nothing I can do but let another go their way.  I recognize I do not have to sit and take abuse from hate, no matter where it comes from.  My life is changing.  My purpose is outward movement in love and creativity and expression.  I have an abundance to contribute, to give.  If what I have to give or contribute isn't welcome then I will say, "Peace be with you," and go my way, let you go yours.  But I'm done chasing anything, trying to get anything.  I have nothing to add to myself.  I have everything to give of myself.

But I will not throw my pearls to swine, (those who choose to listen to the spirit of hate, or worse yet, are apathetic).  I will lay them, like seeds, in fertile ground, where they are given a chance to grow under the light of the sun, and given the waters of life to bloom.  

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4 comments:

j said...

Wow. I just love this post. I've been thinking so much about this lately - the energy we expend trying to win love from those who withhold it, instead of cultivating the love we have.

Just this weekend on a walk with my beasts (two big rescue dogs), I thought that what we need to do when we feel spurned or ignored or cast aside, rather than try harder to win the approval (love) of someone who is withholding, is to turn to those who are so ready and generous with their love, and love them more. (

For the rest of March, this will be part of my give what you need strategy. Wish me luck.)

C. Fassett said...

"..so ready and generous with their love.." Yes, I've realized its too easy to take those who love us for granted.

You don't need my wish of luck. The light of your intention already goes before you, with stars and magic cast before your feet. It can't help but be fulfilled. (filled full)

jcdagreat said...

a beautifully written blog. Randomly bump into it while seeking for the right images to suit the same title i would like to blog about.~ chasing love... nice reading u =)

C. Fassett said...

Thank you, jc :). I love random finds, don't you? I swung over to your blog and enjoyed reading you as well. Let your voice ring out with song!