December 15, 2016

Beyond Saccharine Love.

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 1. excessively sweet or sentimental.

synonyms: sentimental, sickly, sugary, nauseating.

When we talk or think about love ’til we’re blue in the face, its sweetness becomes a little sickly.

I don’t know about you, but I am tired of reading things that sing us into a “cotton-candy” sort of sleep. We’re about awakening, right?

We want to dig our toes deep into the beach sand of reality and feel the ocean wind in our lungs.

We want to be refreshed and revitalized. To reconnect with our cojones and inner wisdom and breathe easy again.

We are sick of listening to the self-deception and superficial platitudes of women (and men) who have lost their substance in desperate attempts to explain away the nature of love, unrequited love and loss.

To the men and women who love honestly, with deep kindness, resilience and understanding: you are loved.

You bring fresh air with you, in your lightness and quiet inner strength.

Keep bringing it.

May it be an example that sets us all free.

Free from aching for love. Free from missing ourselves and extinguishing our own vision, depth and understanding as we strive to impress others. Free from the dispassionate attitude we have for the contradiction we see in the mirror.

What you bring has a light heart and yet carries great depth and wholesomeness.

It doesn’t clasp at the other with a neediness that comes from losing one’s grip, though it has ample compassion for the urge to do so. It can face the pain of separation and lean into life’s ebbs and flows. It is the kind of love that recognizes that life must come in cycles of life and death. Growth and decay. A time for learning and a time for teaching. A time for shining and a time for holding back and going inward. To each thing, its own season.

We always want to go, go, go! We want to move up and up! In so doing, we lose our balance and rootedness in the cyclical nature. The nature of life and death. The nature of reality. Wisdom comes from leaning into each cycle as it occurs, rather than fighting it. Or striving ever upward, without breathing out.

I don’t want to learn about how to hold someone’s attention, ‘make love work’ or ‘be as hot as f*ck.’

I want to learn, in a deep and meaningful way, how to grow my love into a river, rather than a rule book.

I want to learn how to embody the essence of love’s fiercest and most tender understandings, rather than an “I’ll give you this, if you give me that” mentality. For my sake and for those whom I love.

I want to become someone whose resilience is born from learning to love in the most real, gutsy, whole-hearted sense of the word. Not just for one man (or woman), but all people. All of nature. All things. With lightness, humility and humour. Even in the face of all the hardness in the world. Especially in the face of all the hardness in the world.

If my heart were an hourglass and the sand poured through me, I would want to have the integrity to withstand the shifting sands that funneled out from my very core. I want to be the kind of woman with the wherewithal to remember to turn the hourglass over, again and again, without growing weary. To keep flowing. Breathing. Loving. Dying back and springing forth. To keep growing more hearty and resilient in my understanding of what it means to love and live well. Openly. Honestly. Unassumingly. Without rationing my love out like a pauper, looking for favours.

To be a woman, or man, of great courage, with foundations that may as well be laid in the core of the Earth itself, we need to loosen ourselves into the dynamism and awareness of inner worlds that need no outside reassurance. That place no confines on how much love we are able to give. I have love for you. And you. And you. Always.

In so doing, the love I hold for my mate or myself is in no way diminished, only strengthened. As are all my relationships.

We cut ourselves off from the flow of life—The Great River Within—when we subscribe to loving “small.”

Give me the love that grows out of the carcasses and skeletons of your old, malnourished self. That seeps from your bones, into the earth, making it rich and fertile. Give me the love that flows like a chattering river that swallows no voices. The love that keeps flowing in the face of the difficult and un-beautiful. The love that frees your soul from its pinions. Breaking frightened or angry hearts from calcified walls. That love.

It has no beginning, no middle, no end.

It can bear witness to sickness, poverty, death or insecurity and not run for cover. It brings sweetness—but not sappiness. It brings the strength to start again. It’s sweetness is like the taste of cool morning air on our tongues.

It has no fear of difficult conversations and has the courage to walk the spaces in between, though the ground beneath our feet may seem to have fallen away.

It is the love that burns a colossal fire in your belly, at times, while humming a quiet, steady glow at others. It is the wordless melody that sings for the freedom of all who have been suppressed. It refuses to let you keep playing small and fearful. It is the love that quietly ushers in the highest good, without bartering its integrity, or bashing its brains out against the injustice and vitriol we see in the world.

Give me that love. Because that’s the love I have for you.

And herein lies the rub:

Sometimes, I am just a little girl. Frightened, overwhelmed and confused. My eyes are wide and my heart feels small. All I want is to curl up in your arms and be seen, loved and revered. The task at hand feels too huge.

Other times, I am a full and vibrant spirit. Unable to contain myself within the confines of my body. My love is equally fierce, gentle, playful and tender, in healthy measures. Boundary breaking and spirit renewing. It is challenging and yet, forgiving. It is open and flowing. Like a mighty river.

I am both selves. And to love? To love me? Or anyone? No matter whether it be through work, passion, family or friendship. To love—is to understand that.

That in each of us, lies this cyclical nature. And these two beings. One incredibly old and wise, filled with light and glistening eyes. And our other selves. Which long to be held in arms that warm our aching hearts when they are awkward, self-defeating, pathetic and flawed. Which hope to look into the eyes of the other and be recognized—at a deep and unmistakable level—as something exquisitely rare. Though we be chuck-full of discrepancies.

To have the wherewithal to be and love both aspects, in all people and in ourselves.

That is the journey.

For all of us.

Wouldn’t you agree?

Author: Catherine Simmons

Editor: Caitlin Oriel

Images: Author’s Own; Ivan Aivazovsky/wikicommons

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