love (v.)

[Love and heartbreak and happy]

I think I lied to you before.
…not intentionally. I guess I also kind of lied to myself. Nothing major. Well, not major major. It has to do with falling in love.

I told you before that I had only been in love three times. The fact is it’s been much more than that…much, much more. I just hadn’t realized it. Or maybe, I didn’t want to believe it.

Truth is, I fall in love almost every day. I fall in love with thoughts and ideas and sunshine. I fall in love with moments. I fall in love during interactions and conversations and possibilities. Seeing as very few of these occur in isolation from others, this means I fall in love with people, and have done so for as long as I can remember.

So why the avoidance of accepting this fact? Well, part of it is that I often felt Selfish if I did admit this (more on this later). But mostly, I think it’s because I used to think that if I didn’t admit that I was in love, heartbreak wouldn’t happen if /slash/ when that love went away, that it hurts less when love goes away or doesn’t pan out as hoped for or imagined.

Wrong.
…sort of.

I read this article recently that talked about the seemingly social stigma of saying “I love you,” about how we don’t say it as often as we feel it for fear of rejection or some misguided notion that we shouldn’t say it or feel it or something ridiculous like that. I’m not saying that these things aren’t present or that fear of rejection isn’t scary as hell. Nor am I advocating that you go fall in love with everyone you meet. …actually, maybe I am. sort of.

Clouds, you’re kind of confusing…please explain.
Sure thing, friend.

So I’ve come to realize that love isn’t simply a feeling, but rather, and perhaps more importantly, an action, something that you do, in different ways and stages and presenting forms. That’s why people talk about falling in and out of love. It’s an active thing. What you don’t hear about nearly enough is how this very thing, love, applies to things and people and places, outside of romantic love and significant others. But love is love is love, no?

This is my point. […sometimes it takes wading through some confusing bits for me to figure out the nonconfusing part of what I’m trying to say. And, sometimes, it’s still confusing. Not sure into which of these categories this particular post and point falls but I’m gonna run with it since the bits seem to be falling into place in my head at the moment].

I used to fight against saying I was in love. Not necessarily an active, conscious effort. But, in its place, I would emphasize that I loved but wasn’t in love. I know I’m not the only one who’s done this. Romantic comedies are built on this shit, along with millions of breakup stories.

I love you but I’m not in love with you.

Sound familiar?

This post isn’t about heartbreak per se. And it’s definitely not about romantic relationships necessarily. It’s about love. No, scratch that. It’s about loving. Here’s my logic: I fall in love with friends. I fall in love with sunshine. I fall in love with conversations. I fall in love with ideas. But if I don’t actively take part in pursuing each of those things, at least on some level, I can fall out of love with them too. If this holds true, this means that the opposite must hold true as well: that others can fall out of love. And, an even more relevant truth to this point: that others can fall out of love with me.

Boom. There it is. full circle to one of the first things I said (wrote?):

…if I didn’t admit that I was in love, heartbreak wouldn’t happen if /slash/ when that love went away, that it hurts less when love goes away or doesn’t pan out as hoped for or imagined.

Again, take “falling in love” out of the romantic-relationship context. I think this fear, of hurt/heartbreak/pain/anything but sunshine and butterflies and rainbows, is what keeps me from loving acknowledging that I love as often as I do. If I don’t admit that I love someone who used to be a best friend, then it won’t hurt as much when we’ve lost connection, no longer in each others’ lives for a reason I am unaware of, right? wrong. it still hurts, just maybe not as loudly. If I don’t admit I loved sharing moments with someone who was never meant to be more than a casual thing, then it won’t hurt as much when things end because casual no longer works, right? again, wrong. it still hurts, just maybe not as obviously. If I don’t admit that I love photography or singing or writing, then it won’t hurt as much when rejection in those arenas come, right? you guessed it: wrong again. it still hurts, just maybe not as intensely.

I’m not saying that you/we/I love everyone or everything, or that fading of love doesn’t occur, or that there aren’t different forms of love. I very much believe these things are part of our existence. What I’m saying here is that there’s an intentionality missing on our/my part. We often avoid saying or entertaining the idea, which on some level means we avoid actively noticing or pursuing what we are feeling, which also means that we aren’t necessarily avoiding the feeling itself (as we might have hoped to believe), which also means we don’t avoid the hurt. By avoiding the former (entertaining or acknowledging the love we feel), we not only cheat ourselves (and others) but that will also leave us confused as hell as to what we feel if the latter part (the hurt) is there but we never acknowledged the feeling before. I don’t know about you but that ambiguous unidentifiable invalidated feeling sucks.

So if you feel it, feel it. even if it’s not a I-want-to-be-committed-to-this-forever kind of love, it’s still love (noun), so go ahead and love (verb).

admittedly, I’ve recently fallen in love with: acoustic folk music, hugging my Sisters and telling them I love them, holding on a little longer, dancing with strangers, being honest despite the vulnerability required, letting go, asking for prayers, reading and the thinking it inspires, sitting with discomfort, and unexpected kisses after midnight. some of these lasted only moments. others, moments longer. but all, I love (v.).

…I feel this post took the scenic route. but hey, considering my love for long, winding, country roads, it seems fitting.
now let’s go fall in love.

 

love

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