What does love look and feel like for you?

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

What does love look and feel like for you? Does your concept match what's going on in your life?

To me, love looks like a never-ending field of flowers surrounded by the peacefulness of nature.  Love feels like the first bite of a Magnum Ice Cream bar on a hot summer day in Mississippi.

Don't I paint a wonderful picture of what love feels like and tastes like? Can't you see the field of daffodils, swaying in the essence of the silent winds?  Can't you see the beautiful dark chocolate beckoning to feel the warmth of your tongue? I know I can see it. I can feel it.

Well, now the main point of discussion: does my concept of love match what's going on in my life?

I'm not in love or in a relationship. I love God. I love Jesus. I love my children. I love my family.  I love my friends. I love my job. I love my students.  However, the love that I think of and feel isn't the love I have now.

I have been in love. My most recent love affair ended in a disarray and ultimately divorce. My divorce started off bitter, spiteful, and even full of hurt and pain.  Gradually, my relationship with my ex is transforming to more cordial terms. I have forgiven him, which has made my interaction with him easier. For my children's sake, I hope we will learn to be friends. Sometimes, I can see that being friends is possible, but of course, the hurt and pain of the past rears its ugly head and forces us to back to the chopping block.

Did I ever love him? Yes, I did. Do I feel that he loved me? I don't think he truly recognized his love for me as his wife until I moved out, and he recognized I wasn't coming back. At times, I feel like I was loved. At other times, I feel like I was an obligation: a chore.

However, the love I felt for him doesn't coincided with my perception of love.  When you are so head strung about something, psychologically you can convince yourself until it finally manifests. I think that may be how I fell in love. Regardless of how I got there, I did love him and loved him a lot.

I often wonder if I will ever get my true perception of love. We all have so much baggage. Baggage from past relationships, failed friendships, life's challenges, and on and on and on. I don't know if I am capable of handling my baggage and juggling someone's else baggage. Should I have to juggle their baggage?

At this present point in my life, things are beyond complicated. I am still adjusting to working on my PHD. I promise you I am definitely earning this degree. I have two children in school now, plus the third one wants to be intellectually on the same level as his siblings. I am working two jobs teaching English, working as a graduate assistant, and managing my image consulting business on the side.  My time is limited. Life is definitely constantly throwing unexpected curve balls my way. Yet, I have this small voice in my head that believes I should be open to exploring the possibility of finding or letting love find me.

I have this definition of what I want in my next relationship. I even used MINDNODE, an application designed for MacBooks, to map out what he should be. However, can my definition be too definitive? I mean a lot of what I am basing it on is what I didn't get from my failed marriage. Is that fair? Can I do that and realistically achieve that?

Having a strong research background, I often wonder if I should research "this love thing" in order to have a full understanding of what "it" is. Can I define it based on the bible?

I look at the relationship my parents have and know what love looks like in a marriage. I see that love is feeling calm and at ease. They can sit in the same room and not say one thing to each other. I see and feel their love. I can watch my parents sit next to each other on a sofa, each devouring a book of their choice, and notice that they are not having any physical contact with each other. I can see the calm and feel their love.

When I was having problems in my marriage, I envied what they had. I often tried to "make" things like my perception of their marriage. Of course, this perception failed in mine and probably made things worse. Yeah, I am woman enough to admit this.

Can I learn to love again? I often wonder if I am capable of loving again. I can be analytical and dissect a simple sentence. Someone can say one thing to me and depending on their tone of delivery, my receipt of the information is completely different. I second guess everyone's motives. I believe everyone does something with a motive in mind, whether it is good or bad. How can you tell if you are ready to open yourself up to be loved?

What is your definition of love? Are you in love now? Share your story.

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