Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Your Greatest Love...Part One

I would like to start by thanking all of you who took the time to respond to my questions. Over the past few months - through this blog, my column in Grainews, emails, over vodka-inspired punch bowls and face-to-face encounters in the dark shadowy recesses of back alleys throughout the country – I’ve received over a hundred responses. For the purpose of this exercise, I’ve combined all similar responses; for all others, they’ve been included here in their entirety except for any names, which I’ve excluded to further protect anonymity. To the best of my knowledge, the respondents ranged in age from five years old to seventy eight years old. Some chose to answer all questions, others only a few. Some responded simply to say they couldn’t even be that honest with themselves, never mind sharing their deepest, darkest secrets with someone else. That right there is a very brave and honest response in my books – it all starts with self-awareness. Over the course of the coming months, I’ll summarize each topic and then share all of your answers, anonymously as promised.
Now, let’s tuck in shall we? First up: who, or what, is your greatest love? Let’s start by answering the question - what is love? Some say love is the greatest gift, others define it as an unquenchable fire, being consumed by a person or a place, not knowing where you end and the other begins…an unbridled desire to be in their presence for infinity. To these people I say: “Take a breath, grab a crossword – a gin and tonic certainly wouldn’t hurt –and put your feet up. It’s high time you get some oxygen flow to your brain.”

I get it. I’ve been consumed by the fires that rage – some reciprocated, others unrequited. The latter ones hurt, don’t they? Sting. Burn. You can’t for the life of you understand how you can feel so deeply for another person, and they don’t return the favour. That’s a solid WTF. You think, perhaps, they just need a little more time to come around, a little more time to feel it, more time to get to know you better and then, well, how could they possibly not love you back. After all, they’re not made of wood. There’s no harm in throwing down the charm, but sadly it takes more than that. As the earth turns and your planets tumble, souls must connect. Some do, some don’t. It’s as simple as that. Unfortunately, it’s not always apparent to those submerged in their quest. As the old Irish saying goes: May those we love, love us back. And if they don’t love us back, may God turn their hearts. And if he cannot turn their hearts, may he turn their ankles, so that we may know them by their limping.

If all of our prayers were answered, I suspect the world would be full of sprained ankles. But hey, God doesn’t make it that easy for us, does he? No. I think he has something else in mind, entirely. Quite simply, I think it’s His tender way of urging us to love ourselves first. The rest will follow. But oh, that’s a tough one for us to wrap our collective heads around, isn’t it? I can already hear the grumbling: “What do you mean exactly, by saying I have to love myself first? Do you have any idea how hard I am to love? Quite frankly, I'm two seconds shy of a rubber room and a bat.” When you think about it though, if you can manage to love yourself, you’ve already won. Once you can see through the tangles and mess of your own heart, and love yourself – deeply and truly – you set your soul free to fly, to connect with others. And when you find that connection? Oh. O.h. O.H. These souls are yet another gift from God – people who, when we are blinded by fear, self-hatred, loathing, pain and doubts – we can stare into their eyes and remember the good. For in their eyes, just beyond our own realization, lies a reflection of who we really are. A person who deserves to be loved – a person who is loved. Sometimes we forget that. God sends them to remind us.

There will come a day for all of us when our time is up. I'm almost certain that's when it'll hit us with blinding clarity - we'll know for certain that the people and places we loved most here on earth, were our heaven, our sacred ground, our all-things-holy. And we’ll pray to God that we treated them right.

Take the time to tell those you love exactly how you feel. Should you tell them every day? Would every minute be too much? Here’s what I think - don’t let the worrying about it being too much, be at the expense of it not being enough. In my humble opinion, spreading or receiving an abundance of love never spoiled a soul – rather, that kind of love creates human beings capable of doing only magnificent things.

It's all they’ll ever know.
And they danced like no one was watching.
This is what we want to teach our children...
to grab hold of their beautiful life...
to own it...
the pain, the joy, the sorrows, the trials...
to always come out on the other side stronger...
with more compassion for others...
more love for themselves...
for others...
for the world...
Here forthwith, are your greatest loves.  Part One.

 My spouse.

My partner.

My beautiful wife, partner and friend who has helped me created this beautiful life.

I would love to have somebody’s name roll off my tongue here, but my greatest love is travel, hands down.

My life.

Tough to pick but it’s my kids. I know I should pick my husband but I keep coming back to my kids, who wouldn’t exist if I didn’t love my husband at least a little bit.

My wife. She is my best friend in everything. This is my second marriage and I never thought I could find, or deserve, someone as wonderful as my wife.

My family.

Northern Ontario.

My husband.

My children.

My kid. After that, music sung by the perfect, purest voice.

My parents.

My childhood home.

It’s a toss-up between my husband and my daughters. My daughters are my life, my love and my greatest accomplishments. My husband is also my life, my love and my soul mate…we were made to be in this life together. I could not live without them, even when they are driving me nuts.

My Mom.

The process of giving birth – the miraculous, magical moment when your child is placed in your arms and you can barely take in the beauty of the moment, so much so that your heart feels like it’s going to burst. Then to be handed your child…such a perfect creature you can barely take it in. That’s love for me.

To be continued.


Jo said...

Wow that is are at the top of my LOVE list so add sister 😘

Jenny V said...

I love your thoughts on love, sister friend...and I concur. You can never say it or show too much here in our home either. Hope you're well and keeping your head above water. Xoxo
Jenny V

Win said...

This post made me teary, so beautiful. You are a master of our language. My greatest love is my children. I am still learning how to love myself, but my littles deserve a mama who knows how amazing she is and treats herself as such, I want them to love their amazing selves and I hope I can figure out how to project that in time =)

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