The L Word

Everywhere love is drawn or needs to be depicted by a symbol, it is done in the shape of a love heart. Even emojis picked it up! Personally, I wonder what this has to do with the actual heart found in our bodies because that usually red, love heart looks nothing like the thing that pumps blood and keeps us alive. Yet, that little symbol possesses the ability to affect the actual organ.

Love. The thing that many a man has lost his mind, wealth, property, money over. This thing that we are told we can’t live without and yet requires so much time and effort to stay in. We have been made to believe it makes the world go round, it can move mountains, it overrides every other emotion. That in order to enjoy life you must have love of something, of someone, of somewhere. 

That feeling you get when you’re first attracted to someone; the feelings that have you constantly thinking about them, wanting to spend every waking moment with them, finding every little thing they do so darn cute. Forget that! In my books, those initial feelings are all hormone-induced – dopamine and pheromones in action. Your body is playing tricks on you. 

I’m referring to the feelings that have you reaching for them at night just to check that they are breathing. The fleeting thoughts that cross your mind as you go about your business during the day. The worry that overcomes you when they are not okay. The need to want to fix things if it will make them feel better. The wanting to communicate with them first over every mundane detail of your life. That sinking feeling you get when you picture a life without them. The kind of love your momma warned you about. The kind that makes you stupid.

My lover and I fight. It comes with the territory. Some are little tiny squabbles that we hash out quickly. Others, not so much. It was one of those fights that even when the talking is done, still lingers, like a nasty fart smell that won’t go away. I talked to a friend about the incident and she pulled out the love is kind, love is patient mumbo jumbo. I wanted to hit her over the head with a pan! Maybe I was too emotional, maybe I was still super angry, maybe the type of support I needed at that time was not meant to be logical. But, yeah, let’s just thank the powers that be that there was no pan close by.

You see, in that moment and even now, I wonder. Does love override every other emotion? 

Because I love you, romantically or otherwise, should it mean that that should be the end all? If a person I love wronged me, should I forgive them because I love them or should I forgive them despite me loving them? That no matter how aggrieved I feel, at the end of the day, is it imperative I forgive because I love them?

This felt like a free pass. Still does. I’m of the school of thought that in spite of me loving you, we gotta deal with shit for what it is and the fact that we love each other should not blind us to the need to resolve issues. If anything, because I love you, I should be able to speak freely and respectfully air my feelings, emotions and thoughts. And it is okay to not always be on the same page. Worst case scenario, let’s agree to disagree. For me, love should not be the blanket we run to seek cover in when dealing with hard issues.

One may argue that because you love someone you are inclined to treat them with a bit more gentleness and kindness and care. But in essence, isn’t that how we are supposed to treat most human beings in general? So what’s love got to do with it? I use the term most here loosely because there are people out there who can really put your patience to the test. 

Love really has me baffled whether in a romantic or platonic relationship. I am still caught up in the wave of emotions that sometimes overwhelm me when I am in love. When I am in love you will know it. I am one of those people. It shows in my words, actions and on my skin. It just pours out uncontrollably. Thank goodness I don’t fall in love easily, but when I’m in it, there’s no holding back. It has led me to make stupid decisions, decisions I look back at and I am left thinking WTF!! 

Love has made people spend ridiculous amounts of time and money on grandiose acts just to show how much they love someone.  Love my wife, why not build her the Taj Mahal, said one Indian fella. Hey, I love my girlfriend, let me have her name tattooed across my forehead. There are lots of ways that we show love and receive love. But, is there a limit to what we can do for the person we love? I largely express love through gifting, but I will not spend all my money buying you lavish gifts. Can never be me. Maybe I am a stingy one, who knows.

All said and done, I think that when you love someone they should know that you love them. They should know it through your actions, in how you speak to them and of them and the considerations that you make for them. Once in a while it does not hurt if you tell them that you love them. 

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