“Grief is love’s souvenir. It’s our proof that we once loved. Grief is the receipt we wave in the air that says to the world: Look! Love was once mine. I love well. Here is my proof that I paid the price.”
― Love Warrior
Which is hard to believe sometimes when most of the time you feel unlovable and that is not a pity me statement. Instead, it is 42 years of pent up “ugh” being shown, told and directed to how love looks.
It is kind. It is easy. It is hard. It catastrophic and minimal and the list can go nauseatingly on. My problem was always thinking I needed to be mad at all the people who said it. A sense of regret all wrapped up in resentment because I didn’t love the way the TV showed, or my relatives told me, or how the books I immersed myself in painted images. They all had so clearly loved and who the hell was I to question that?
Me a girl who has had a long and windy road of loving people for all the wrong reasons. The love usually filled an empty space with a bad relationship I had no business being in. A friendship that worked because I let it make me feel like I was not worthy of love. A misdirected passion and love for a career that I could deeply care nothing for. None of that was me despite my best acting attempts to make it so.
And I suppose the argument can be made that love came easy to me when I married a man who did really love me and that love was and has been equally returned. But in all honesty…I have never made it easy. Again harken back to this idyllic concept of love and what it was supposed to look like compared with what it did look like. That idea is pretty hard to live up to when there is no happy hallmark music and things like trigeminal neuralgia exist.
The world fills us with these unrealistic expectations of what love looks like and the belief that real love is easy love; but I am here to tell you after spending what I hope is at least half of my life feeling let down and not good enough for that brave four letter word. Let it go. Let it all go. Love who you want and how you want.
Love because it is hard. It is harder because it is worth it. And don’t let the world tell you what it looks like. Only you get to decide what you feel and how you feel.
I am so sick and tired of that. I have lost five people in my life that I loved dearly. Some were lost in death, some were lost in communication, and some were lost because I walked away or vice versa. One thing remains consistent, I cared way too much about how others thought I should love. When instead I should have loved the way only I know how.
I remember at my grandmother’s funeral feeling like I was smothering. Go stand by her. Tell stories about her. Nod. Cry. Hold her hand. At one point, I left the funeral home and walked across the railroad tracks about half a block away to a bakery. In that bakery they had the most beautiful peek-a-boo cookies. I bought one and I sat on a bench and I ate it.
I sat there for twenty minutes in silence enjoying that cookie eating a cookie I loved, beside a person I loved in a moment that I found a whole lot of love in. But it didn’t look like the love I was supposed to be feel experiencing of sorrow, sadness and tears. But I realize now that that was my love, my expression of it, and that was my grief…my way. A tiny taste of my childhood, on a warm July sunny day sunbeams in my face, a bench with a hand to hold.
I show my love in words, in actions, and in moments. I also show my love in ways that embrace me whole heartedly. If you love me, you love all of me…the anxious me, the obsessive me, the compulsive me, the wordy me, and all of my faults fully exposed.
I know this now more than ever. For me love is sharing my faults and admitting it is not easy for me to love the way the world tells us to love. To love through the hard stuff, to love when it doesn’t look pretty or sound romantic and to love when it would be easier to not love.
The one and only “easy” love that I have ever been given is for my beautiful, precious daughters because I want them to know that the world is wrong and that love isn’t always beautiful and easy, but for me as their momma my love for them is true, consistent and without fault or matter with no ifs, ands or buts that could possibly come with it. Love is always there for them…boundless and endless and unconditional.
The rest of the love I have to share with the world is a choice. My choice. If I tell you I love you then you should know it is because I mean it. If I don’t tell you, but I show it chances are that that love is really real to because I am willing to be me with you. And if I tell you and show you watch out world cause that is fierce and meaningful.
I believe in love above most all things. I believe in the people I love even more.