How do you love?

Do you love many things, many people?

Or are you more restrained, cautious and careful and pensive in your expression of love?

I love many things, many people. It is just a part of me. It’s part of the extremes I use to describe everything in my life. I tend to “love” more things that “hate” or “despise” because they are so very painful and thus something to be avoided (in most instances) but there are so many levels between the love I feel for my husband which is the most… well, the most everything that I feel, and the despair or loathing that I feel for those that intentionally hurt anyone else for their own amusement or pleasure.

The point of this being that I long to know what it is that you love. I long to know how others experience love. I want to experience their love and they experience mine and we can both grow in our own understanding of others and expand how we can love ourselves and others.

I know that the love I feel for the different people in my life is as different as the individuals. There is the sweet, gentle, amusing love that I feel toward a certain 9 month old. She doesn’t melt my heart – her smiles are too infectious to allow such things. Then there is the cautious and protected and slightly painful love I feel toward my father. And the safe and protected and understood love for my mother. The exasperated, eyes-rolling, smiling love I feel toward my brother.

Then there’s the love that dwarfs the others. It’s nearly painful, in an odd sort of way. It’s a sudden swelling over of everything that my heart, both physical and metaphorical, is capable of holding twice over. It’s my brain forgetting to tell my lungs to expand or relax for moments at a time. It’s a rush of energy through my veins, a tingling along every nerve, an expansion of my mind and spirit outside of where I define the boundary between myself and the rest of the world. It’s a desire to feel the soul that can cause all these sensations and experiences to cascade through my entire being. And the relief at that touching? Enough to make me cry when I really allow myself to think about it. And all that is before he says or does something that makes me laugh or smile or shake my head in disbelief that there is someone in this world as absurd and dorky and sweet and wonderful as this man I have tied my life to.

Honestly, it’s quite unbelievable to me that I even have the capacity to feel all that. I was pretty certain I was broken. I had closed myself off to the chance of feeling anything more than the relieved, protecting, gentle happy-sad sort of love that I feel for my cats. See the song Hallelujah for a relatively accurate portrayal of how I felt I would always be stuck at. “Love is not a victory march, it’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah…” Rufus Wainwright has one of the best versions of this in my humble opinion, but that is a very mild tangent.

The point here being that I am curious. I want to know how and what it is that other people love. Or hate. Or fear. Or rejoice. Or any number of other emotions. What do these things mean to other people. What do they all mean to me? How are they the same, how are they different? What do I have to do in order to be given the opportunity to understand or know this? Is that even an option? How will my perception of the world change? So many questions, but no way that I’m aware of to find the answers. At least not in this lifetime, not in this world or using my current understanding of reality.

Maybe I can find a way in my dreams? That would be nice. And a very nice change of pace from what I have been experiencing. On to something new and different? Yes, please.

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