"...Before You Speak of Love."
I have been hearing people say for years now, "You can't love anyone if you can't love yourself first." I've been thinking about that lately & I have come to believe that that is horse shit. I think that is putting the cart before the shitty horse and I'll tell you why: All you have to do is look at a new born baby. If you are truly honest (and not the parents) you can see nothing but a pitiless innocence there, and it's chilling. Sure they are usually cute and adorable, and everyone oohs, and aahhhs over them, but that's mainly because most people are terrified of them: They have no loyalty, no conscience, no scruple, no qualms, and the reason, evolutionarily speaking, that they can't do anything for themselves is that they'd probably go on blood-soaked killing rampages, murdering everyone within range of their merciless gazes, whenever anyone made them cry, if they had that physical capacity. We learn to love ourselves by being loved, just like it says in The Velveteen Rabbit. And that takes time. I feel like I have been loved very well by a great many people and animals, all out of proportion to what I deserve, and I try to love others back, as well. Certain others. Not all. First failing. And my love itself even when bestowed, is not perfect, it's a work in progress, and will never be unconditional as say, a dog's love is for it's companion (I detest the term "master" when referring to human/animal relationships almost as much as I detest it when referring to human/human relationships.), or as universal as say, St. Francis' love, (second and third failings) and I know this for a fact because I believe we reap what we sow. (Let me interrupt myself here to say that I am aware of the dissonance inherent in knowing something for a fact based on my beliefs. I'm not mounting a crusade based on them, nor am I persecuting anyone so I'm just going to let it slide here, OK? It's just a blog.) I would much rather not be a victim of love gone wrong. I would rather hope that I have the capacity to learn, change and grow. But the evidence, as made apparent by my results, is that I have learned nothing, changed mostly just my hairstyle, and grown only in girth. It's very painful for a coward such as myself to look at my real actions, my real motives, my real intentions. Going back to 2001 when I had PTDS (Post-Traumatic Divorce Syndrome), I hooked up with a man I'll call John, because that's his name. We met in Divorce Group Therapy (Hahahahahaha! I'm a genius), so of course it was doomed, and seriously, I just wanted someone who would be nice to me and tell me I looked pretty and have sex whenever I wanted to and he fit the bill. By the time the relationship ended we were both pretty much done with each other and to this day there are no hard feelings over that. The second one was also the very last one. Why did I think round 2 would be any different from round 1? Because, I am essentially the same person, that's why and apparently I still believe in fairy tales! The third was Brian, who was hysterically funny and DYN-O-MITE in the sack, but was missing a few emotional chips. He was my rebound from #2 and if I am completely honest (Ouch! That hurts!) I used him to bolster my ego and get over #2 (like my friend Meg says, "The best way to get over one guy is to get under another!"). Unfortunately, after about 6 months we got attached or at least I got attached, and then I ended up getting hurt when the scorpion acted like a scorpion and stung me. I really had no right to be surprised, cheating cheaters who cheat will always end up cheating, just like scorpions and bees will always sting. Then there was He-Who-Shall-Never-Be-Named, mainly because I am ashamed that I ever let it get as far as it got. He annoyed the FUCK out of me, (come to think of it, they all except #2/#5 annoyed me, but he was the most annoying of all) but he pursued me relentlessly and for a really long time and I finally just gave in. I was tired and vulnerable and it looked like it would be a little more fun than introspection so I went along with it, and I distinctly remember thinking to myself, "At least he'll never leave me...". So, one night about 20 months in, as I was trying not to listen to his inane blathering on and on about something or another while cooking me dinner (Gawd, I'm a self-centered bitch and apparently all you have to do to get me to stick around is feed me), that little inner voice, the one that I always know I should listen to but usually don't because my ego is running the show said, "You're settling." I was a little startled and then I said back, "Yeah. I'm OK with that." Well, apparently the Universe was not OK with that, because a month or 2 later he left me for a newly sober, overweight crack-head (how does a crack-head get fat, anyway?) he met while visiting his daughter in jail(!!!) Yes, I am aware that I dodged a huge fat fucking bullet. HOWEVER! What does it say about me??? It says I am insecure. I am afraid. I look to others to 'save' me. So in all my dealings I was never honest, at least not with myself, and I got back exactly what I put out-dishonesty. With #2/#5, I tried to be honest, as honest as I could be, but I was concentrating on walking a fine line between sharing and dumping. I kept some big things from him. I told myself it was a burden and he didn't need to know. But the cold facts are these: a.) my ego was in image-management mode and b.) there was a kind of irrational caprice at the center of him that would strike without warning every now and then. And I deliberately chose to ignore that. So there I am - being all dishonest with myself and others, and whadday know? I got hurt. Huh. Who'da thunk it? My therapist says (he doesn't claim to have coined it, just passes it on) "Love, before you speak of love." I'm going to give that a try. It's going to be a stretch.