I found it really hard to break away to write yesterday morning. The sheer amount of things to do, all before 8:30am, simply astounded me. I awoke to a sinkful of dishes, clothes to unload into the dryer (no time for washing a new load), school notes to review and sign, three children to feed, and baths to give and/or supervise. Plus, I was functioning on limited sleep. Oh, and coffee was just okay yesterday morning. I barely had time to enjoy it. It’s like that sometimes.
Today is an entirely different story. I feel great, got more sleep, and I see a productive day ahead. Woohoo! There isn’t much more time to spare than yesterday morning, but coffee is much better today. I have a clearer head, and I’m a bit more organized about using this time before I hear the sound of little feet, and voices requesting “Mom, what’s for breakfast?” Yesterday, hubby dearest surprised me by coming home earlier than usual, and let’s just say it made for a most pleasant afternoon! It left me very inspired to talk about love this morning. See what a little love can do?
So how does one define love? Being married alone isn’t enough to suggest love. You can’t experience love from a partner until you first find and create love. Depending on your partner to be your sole source of love is a burden that is too heavy to bear – even for the most patient and understanding person – and will certainly snap the branches of the tree of love, as a result of the weight. It isn’t until you first find love – love of self, love in honoring or doing something that is greater than yourself, in purpose, in passion, in something that has become a necessity for you, something that grounds you – that you can love or be fully loved. This is because when you’re grounded in something that is larger and more meaningful than any whimsical notion of relationship, you are more receptive, accessible, and available for love to enter. With an open heart, mind, and body, you can be a vessel in which love can take root, and even thrive.
Love is not a singular act, but rather a process. It is one that bears revisiting on a regular basis, over the course of a relationship. So many times, I witness couples that have been married for years, yet their love lives are lacking, wanting…for love, real love. They seem to accept this stage of their marriage as if somehow this is what marriage is supposed to come down to – a standstill during which love is no longer strived for, no longer the premise, no longer desirable or necessary. They become love-starved in a sense, and don’t even make love. Rather than reaching back to each other and trying to find their way back to each other through love, they look to find love in ways that aren’t so obvious to themselves, but clearly alarming to everyone else around them. The flame died a long time ago, not because they no longer love each other, but because they stopped kindling the fire. They stopped nurturing it. Remember, love is not a singular act, but rather a process. It is one that bears revisiting and redefining, repeatedly.
By my own admission, I’ve sometimes made it difficult for my husband to love me. I had so many restrictions. Part of it had to do with the difficulty of making the switch from mommy mode to wife/lover mode. I’m sure any mother can attest to being in that place. Women are engineered differently. We wear many hats, and our ability to tend to many things at once sometimes leaves us preoccupied. As a result, our partners may have to expend a little more effort. Men, on the other hand, often need less priming to get in the mood.
Another part of not being available to, and for, love, also had to do with a love/hate relationship with my body. While I love what I see on most days, there are days that I just don’t feel like my sexy self. On those days, I am my own worst critic, and all visual depictions of me, make it all the more difficult to engage in the act of making love. All I can see are my physical flaws. I may as well be wearing a sign that reads “OFF DUTY”, “DO NOT ENTER”, or “UNDER CONSTRUCTION”. Can you imagine what that must be like for the person that already sees me as perfect?
So, in order to enjoy making love, we first have to create and find love within ourselves, forgiving ourselves for our own shortcomings, abandoning all notions of perfection, instead embracing acceptance – of our uniqueness and the knowledge that we bear replicas of no one else, and that as such, we are worthy of love, especially from the person that chose us in the first place! Then and only then, can we be accessible for love. As such, we can be portals through which love can enter, and take up residence if it is to survive and thrive. Also, we have to be receptive and open to love not just on our terms, but our partner’s as well. We have to resist the urge to be a command and control center for the act of love. (There is a thin line between telling your lover what you like and shooting him or her down for only attempting to love us the only way they know how.) Special requests and adjustments should be addressed with love, in a manner that leaves the two of you feeling whole and desirable.
So, learn to let go of your preconceived notions of what love should look like, and write your own definition, your own experience…together, so you can have something that’s truly remarkable. Hence, the spark! (Remember we talked about kindling the fire?) Create your own fireworks as you engage in this thing called love. Create love to experience love!