You know those stellar, awe inspiring light bulbs that come on around 2:36am? I had one of those, it was a great one, or so my sleepy self tells me. Time to see if this epiphany computes during daytime hours. Be warned, this is a train of thought realization, not an essay.
Love comes in many forms. The ones in my life are being IN love with a partner and having love FOR family, friends, mankind, IE: familial, platonic, and charitable love.
To me you can love lots of people, but as a strict monogamist, you can only be IN love with one person.
(If that person is lost, the heart can heal and be IN love again. If you let your self think you've fallen IN love with a second person at the same time then you are a selfish A-hole.)
Last night, just before putting the children to bed, after long tiring days my hubby and I were unusually snippy with one another. Our snippiness is very predictable. It's triggered by sleep deprivation and hunger (we are original like that), but ONLY if the work/home dynamic is out of balance. Which it currently is.
I was ticked, and even though he quickly realized it, and apologized, I was in no mood to kiss and make up. I had things that needed finished before I could sleep and he needed to head to bed for his work schedule (balance thing again, he's on call all the time).
At o'dark thirty I could hear and feel the makings of a nightmare beside me. I, still tired and cranky, responded with less than my normal support. I flung an arm over him, as if that would somehow stop the terror.
Then the voice in my head (it was the nice shoulder angel, thankfully) reminded me that even when cranky at him, I still LOVE this man even if I am currently not feeling all the hearts, flowers, and butterflies of being IN love with him.
Here's the catch. I am the one in control of my feeling love or feeling in love with others. I asked myself, was my crankiness more important to me than my love for this man with whom I've shared everything for the last 15 years? The answer was a resounding no. Not only had I vowed to love and care for this man at all times, not just the good ones, but my love for him is greater than any vow. My love for and in him has become an entity unto itself.
This conclusion leads one to realize that love should be above hardship in other areas as well. We love our children, parents, siblings, friends and other family members, right? Christ teaches that the greatest commands are to Love God and Love Thy Neighbor.
Aside from my kids this whole love above hardships isn't working well for me. I have love of mankind in the form of respect and kindness to those I encounter. But lately it seems as though my circle of loved ones is shrinking.
Is it because of me?
Is it because of them?
I preach accountability for ones life and choices. Don't like something, make a change, work to improve!
I have been searching my life to find what I have done wrong to feel so isolated. Trying to figure out the same for some of my children with the similar struggle. Love, as I understand it, is rising above hardships. I do my very best, which sometimes isn't much, to share that love, but often it feels as though others have a different understanding.
Is it because we have become fully enveloped into the jaded cop lifestyle? I know we are fully enveloped because a month ago I dropped the F-Bomb in front of my kids, it was a serious wake up call. I didn't even start cussing till about 2-3 years ago, and even then it was NEVER that word! Maybe my language is offensive to others. Maybe the reason we are accused of being negative is because we live in a world where rape, drugs, abuse, death, and decay are very real. Regular every day people have a different standard by which they measure negativity vs reality.
About 2 years ago I made the decision to start living a completely authentic lifestyle. I'd been victim to the 'fake it till you make it" mentality for years and chronic illness combined with a difficult labor and lengthy recovery, overlapping with my parents divorce had exhausted my emotional reserves. I thought surely, if I stopped faking the "perfect Mormon life" my friends will see the real situation and help lift me in my time of need.
It didn't happen. A few people noticed I was around less, even fewer reached out. Most just bolted. I was so confused, where were my friends? Good Christians that promised God to love their fellow man?
I am still figuring this out, trying to figure out what to change to make us more appealing in social circles. I realize I am no longer fun to be around, but I have nothing left to give. And now my choice to live a fully authentic and transparent lifestyle has trickled down. My children also live this same lifestyle and we are finding that their friends are also creating a distance.
It breaks my heart.
I am working so hard to repair my broken soul, to recover the zeal I once had for life. To learn that it is okay to set boundaries and kick toxic people out of our lives. And while the break of those relationships is intentional, the loss of what should have been still hurts.
As I try to find a balance between authenticity and being socially acceptable I am learning that maybe the reason they didn't step up to help their sister in need is because they are just a couple years behind me on the journey to self discovery. I think maybe their emotional reserves are on the low fuel light but they are afraid to drop their masks. To reveal ones true self is frightening. I am certain fear of rejection comes into play. Perhaps fear of failing societal expectations is overwhelming, keeping us all from enjoying authentic lives. They can't help me because they lack the same strength I seek.
I share this with my kids that are struggling. Hoping it will encourage them to keep living the right life. The path less followed, the lonely path the leads to long term well being instead of short term satisfaction. I watched my mom give her all to stay on the path most traveled, and then one day the road caved in beneath her. That is not what I want in my future.
And so this Love that should be an entity unto itself has been lost to societal expectations of what should be. It's tragic really. An entire culture living the beauty and majesty of a Masquerade Ball, and eventually the clock will strike midnight.
My goal is to NOT be wearing a mask that night. My goal is to have become strong enough to help others pick up those pumpkin seeds and start again.