I am writing to you about love. I hadn’t planned to nor do I know exactly what I want to say, but I was inspired tonight as I was scrolling through facebook just before heading off to bed. I noticed a poem.
It is a beautiful poem, I’m not disputing that, and I pray that one day you will feel this kind of love, as I have. But this love is not the only kind of love there is. I think, although I don’t know, that this love is a partial explanation of what real love is, it expresses a segment of love, but not the whole. This is certainly how love can feel in the beginning, and I imagine toward the end of a long long relationship. And yes, it is definitely there, or perhaps I should say, ‘here and there’ in between, but it’s not what I would call an accurate description of love as it plays out in real life. This romance and bliss does exist and is one of the most wonderful experiences you may ever have. But its not all there is to love.
What a hard year it’s been; lots of ups and downs and changes. Your dad and I have really suffered and I know that you are watching us so closely and taking in this thing called love. You are making all sorts of subconscious decisions around love and relationships and men and women and how you fit in and how you will be and what you will repeat and never repeat and so on. I worry that you see us at this time and may think that love like this does not exist. But this is what I want you to know…
REAL love, can be hard. It doesn’t have to be, but it can be. Real love is not always smooth and peaceful, it doesn’t always look good or speak well or behave in the way we think love should. Real love takes time, it takes commitment and it can hurt. The days you are at nannas, your dad and I are working on our love. We are talking and exploring the ways in which we can make this love better, how we can take this love to new heights, how we can grow together as individuals within this love. We fight. We yell and cry and we question and search for answers. We blame and point and swear and argue; I’m cynical and your dad is persistent. I am hurt and so is he..and so it goes on. And on and on. We leave however always with the same conclusion – not even a conclusion as it’s always clear regardless of the pain and tears; we want to be together.
Ruby laughs. She sees us mirror each other and recognises the true beauty and gifts we bring to each other in this lifetime. We laugh too when we realise what we are doing, how we are perfectly playing out the role the other needs in order to shift and grow.
Real love knows that if we walk away we will face ourselves in someone else, somewhere else. Real love knows that everything is healable and that nothing worth having comes easily. Real love is patient and does the work when it’s necessary; it’s humble when things are smooth because real love knows that life can change in an instant.
I don’t know anything about other peoples love, but I know a lot about the love your dad and I share.
As I read the poem by Pablo, I was somewhat moved – I remembered all the good times and the early days, and the days where I had sleep and wasn’t so cranky and the days when things were easier. But I realised that that’s not fair – its not fair to only think of love in those terms. We are in love NOW, while things are hard, while I am cranky, while things are tough, while we are working hard to even communicate some days. Why should THIS love be negated because it is rough around the edges, because its not poetic? This love is just as real as that love. This love is present in its conscious working and sorting and struggling. This is real love. After reading this beautiful poem I was left feeling as though it didn’t allow for humanness. For imperfection. Perhaps it is implied? Assumed? I don’t know.
All I know, is that to me and your dad love is all about loving imperfection. It has to be! It’s all about the good days but works overtime on the bad.We have known all kinds of love in our time so far: forbidden love, new and exciting love, romantic love, boring in-a-rut love, arrogant we-will-always-be-in-love love, despair and broken love, disconnected love and tired-exhausted-new-parent love. But there is always love.
It means everything to me that you know how spectacular love can be, and how much I love Craig, even now when we are fighting to reconnect with the love we have always known. Inspired by Pablo, I wrote this for your dad.
Love doesn’t have to be about surrendering who you are or becoming a part of someone else. Love is an opportunity – to see yourself clearly through the experiences of love and everything that feels so completely remote from it, so that you may choose to grow and unravel and explore deep within. It doesn’t have to be addictive and engulfing nor perfect and easy.
Hang in there with us my little one… we will show you the full spectrum of what love is, what love can be and where love can take you if you’re willing to lose yourself, in order to find yourself.
Real Love, always, Mummyx
Note: I am not suggesting that you can only find yourself when you are in love. I will encourage you to work on yourself everyday as a teenager, a young adult, single or with another. You have this life to discover who you are and every person you meet will influence you along your path. Love with another person is one way. And when you meet him or her, if you do, remember the gift they bring is to show you more clearly who you are. Be gracious and grateful for your experiences; I will continue to do my best at being the same.