Self Exploration (day 18) – Love

My grandmother took this photograph. She’s 97 years old and half blind and deaf and it seems her short term memory is deteriorating. Last night I showed her a book I’ve been writing my old English script poems, and she saw something in it that I have never taken the time to reflect upon. It’s beautiful to get your deep thoughts acknowledged as so. She showed me a book that she used to carry around with her, she called a Poesy. The definition of this says: the art of writing poetry. However, she explained it as a book that you carry around with you and invited the people you connect with along your journey to write something inside of it. Typically this turns out as inspiration and holds with it memories. As we read through some entries, I could see it was touching memories that she held deep.

Love. Accepting somebody for them, as they are. I don’t think that’s the full of it though.

Love is built in the time it takes to learn about somebody, to have a glimpse into their life through their eyes. Awareness I guess. I’m learning that for most of my short life so far I’ve felt that love is the other way around. That love is blossomed with passion and we try to make love work during the testing times of our relationships.

I know love has many shapes and forms and intensity, and can co-exist with that initial lust.

But I feel that love is more like knowledge. Love is the full book, not just the first few pages of the exiting introduction. Love is cultivated and nurtured like a seed, sowed and watered and observed and helped. Love is the memories that are built with smiles and tears. Love is the infinite effort and patience to understand, and everything in between. Love is the effort to read the whole book itself!

I really feel I’m only starting to understand what love is. I always thought I did, but the more I learn about myself the more I realize that what I thought was love was more of a romantic passive fling.

I’m learning that being committed to an eternal understanding is more a definition of love I feel aligned with.

I believe that love becomes dominant over lust after the honeymoon phase of a relationship. When both people have that ‘oh shit this is life’ moment and realize that this relationship is going to take work.

Love is easy in that it naturally builds itself when you really, authentically show an interest in somebody’s life. That authenticity is the hard part. Like becoming a professional, that doesn’t happen overnight. It’s hard to realize you’ve never taken the time to appreciate a persons history to know what makes them how they are now. This is an awareness that’s easy to justify as knowing by proxy.

Sometimes I don’t even want to know a history. I don’t want to learn about my lover’s past lovers I don’t think. Should I?

The hardest part of all, is realizing that somebody doesn’t want to put in the same effort and commitment towards me. My capacity to love that person doesn’t change, but it does make me realize the romantic fantasy I may be having isn’t love, simply just lust.

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