“Love is about noticing joy in the presence of another person” – Alan Downs, The Velvet Rage
I guess I feel that that definition is fine in as far as it goes, but it does feels a little limiting to me.
What I am more interested in at the moment is the love that doesn’t require the presence of another person, or an animal, that doesn’t need me to be in a particular place or with a particular object. What I am fascinated with, and by, is the love that bubbles up on the inside when I am present to myself, when I am still and quiet and available to it. For it never went anywhere, I am learning.
That is the love that I have felt starved of. That is the love that I have ached for on the inside. That is the love that I have been frozen and warped for lack of.
I know, I really do know that my parents, Margaret and Eric, did the very best they could.
That being said, it was a remarkably shitty experience growing up as their third child.
By the time I, a mistake of a pregnancy, came along, they were in complete melt down, and didn’t, in truth, have much to give, not to their children or to each other.
What they did give was a truly fine lesson in how not to be grown up, how not to respect yourself or your spouse, how not to be present, or honest, and, they passed on, with huge attention to detail, the intricacies of life in the addict lane.
I learnt very well. I was, for the one and only time in my life, a Grade A student. I think, looking back, it would be safe to say that I graduated with honours from that particular course, and I believed, deep and strong, what I had decided was true, from my early learning. So much so, that I was willing to die for it.
It was the mistaken belief that I am somehow separate from love itself, that underpinned my particular platform of existence. This was the mast that I lashed myself to, in order to weather the stormy seas that I was going to sail. I had no idea that it was that very belief that was going to create the weather I experienced.
NO, that understanding would come much, much later.
My chosen beliefs lead me to drag myself through deadly, deathly addictions that would anaesthetize me for a while so I could continue my crazy and pointless search in the various gutters that I have dredged whilst searching for……… for what?
Something or someone to put me out of my misery?
It is this mistake that led me renounce every last shred of self respect, when I believed that behaving in a different way, or turning myself inside out and becoming what he wanted me to be would get me the love that I was desperate for.
It is this mistake that led me to believe that I was so disgusting and unworthy that I shouldn’t really take up too much space on this planet at all. In fact the world would probably be better off if I wasn’t here at all. It would be better served by my dying of my dis-ease.
So this love on the inside is the love that I am currently invested in, that I am spending time with. It’s such a deliciously selfish pursuit, so indescribably luxurious an experience, to close my eyes and bathe in a richness that wells up from deep inside, that warms and expands and relaxes and opens and washes away some of the years of damage and disaster that I have surrounded myself, fortress like, with.
This love slowly, defense by rigid defense, dispels the notion that I am unworthy. It releases me from my favorite story, the one I have told myself for years. A long, convoluted, dramatic, sad, heroic story, that had a title something like,
“ I, David, Am Forever Unlovable.”
It allows me to lay that story to rest. It doesn’t pull it from my grasp, it just laughs at my demand to keep reading from that shoddy book. “Just one more chapter”, I insist. And it lets me, waiting patiently for boredom to set in, and then gently swells and inundates my inner landscape, washing over the debris of my life, like the newsreel footage of Japans tsunami, pushing vast amounts of dross before it.
My favorite, cherished, much read and recited story lies in tatters. Sometimes I still search for fragments of a page here and there, to piece together a couple of paragraphs of a sorry tale to tell myself or another so that I can wrap myself in the dark, familiar cloak of self pity a while longer.
The cloak doesn’t fit so well anymore. It smells, and has holes in it.
This love on the inside gives me the courage to say no to getting wasted, to sucking a strangers cock, to snatching at quick answers to satisfy the starving voices that still scream and shout on the inside for re-cognition.
It gives me clues, and leads me slowly and gently, sometimes pushes from behind. It is plays with my illusions and fears, showing me their Emperor has no clothes like transparency, as if it has all the time in infinity.
I guess it has.
Oh, how sweet it is to feel love on the inside, to fall into love and be immersed in its radiance. To feel it fill the empty spaces inside, washing the remnants of wounds to the surface to be greeted, “I remember you, I used to believe you were the truth that I had to live by” , and then let go of.
I still cant take too much of it. It’s strong. I can only sit for a while, and sometimes only allow a trickle, just a sip.
My chemistry isn’t used to this frequency, and it takes time for me to adjust. But adjust I do, bit by bit.
I think that the whole world is starting to remember this love. I think we are all awakening to the presence of this eternal truth. I think the gates of the prison we have chained ourselves into are rotten now, falling apart, and we are pushing from one side, and Love pushes from the other, longing to reunite us with It Self, with our Self.
Copyright © 2012 David Manning.