I’ve been thinking about, and writing some, about love this last little while. Love is something that I have a bit of a love (ha ha)/hate relationship with and I’ve struggled to define it. Of course, because there’s no such thing as just dipping your feet, the daily prompt for today is Want to Know What Love Is. Yes, what a way to make this whole let’s get back into blogging thing easy.
If you asked me before this last little while, I would have likely described love as putting the ones you love before yourself and doing whatever you can to make their lives easier. However, I’ve been there and done that, and it’s not really love. Or rather, if it is, it’s a bit misguided. That kind of love is a good way to just burn out and get to the point where it feels like you’ve just given it all and there’s nothing else left in you.
I actually spent many years just going through the motions of love without feeling much of anything. I cared about those around me. I did all I could for them, and yes, I loved them, but I was also completely spent. I felt very much like I could give it all and get very little in return and it got the point where I felt pretty resentful much of the time. I just didn’t have anything else left in me to give.
Right around that time, I was given a most wonderful gift in the form of sweet boxer dog. I always say that she taught me how to smile and love again. Sweet Penny was there for me. She didn’t judge. She was happy to see me. She didn’t care how silly I was. She stayed close to be without being demanding. She knew when I was sad and needed someone (or rather, some dog) to be close to. She was so, so special to me, but sadly she was only in our lives for a very short time, but yes, she taught me to be open to love and what it’s all about – being there, being patient, knowing when to be close and when to stand back.
She’s been gone for over a year now (it’s actually very close to the two year anniversary of us getting her….so she’s been on my mind lots these last couple of days), and I’ll admit that it’s been a struggle and I so often get back into the rut of doing stuff to show my “love”. Last summer I posted on facebook about how very spent I was and how I didn’t want to do anything anymore. I couldn’t. I was finished. I talked about how I couldn’t be loving. I didn’t know how. A very wise woman told me that I didn’t have to do anything, that I was love, and that really resonated with me. Love is a state of being, it doesn’t have to be an action where you give and give of yourself to no end. You can show love in all those ways, but really to feel love, you have to be love, and I strive for that every day. It’s beyond challenging, I’ll admit, but one day I’ll really believe and I’ll just be love. Then you’ll see what I can really do. No more waiting for love for me, I’ll have it within myself.