To Be Loved As To Love

Yesterday, I asked my friend Christo for a prompt to write about.

One of her suggestions was to talk about how it felt to be loved. She then listed three separate catagories, three of the MANY ways in which I feel loved.

One was via Twitter. There is something so intoxicating about being retweeted. Having someone like your words so much that they want to share them. There’s something invigorating about having people you’ve never met in person respond to something you’ve said. Forming relationships – friendships, even – 140 characters at a time. There’s something heartwarming about someone favoriting something you tweeted.  On Twitter, I often feel appreciated. I don’t feel like my thoughts are disappearing into cyberspace, I feel like they are being read and maybe even causing a few people to smile.

It’s a good feeling.

She also mentioned friendship. There are some people in your life that just make you feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside. They’ll do something small that they probably didn’t think twice about that fills you up with gladness. You just have this mutual love for one another that can’t really be described, but can be felt – and mutually so.

The third type of love she mentioned was the love of my “little ones”.  She was referring to my cousin’s kids – my Goddaughter and her little brother. The little boy is just over a year, so his loyalty still lies to anyone with the cookie in their hand, but my Goddaughter is now a little over three years old. She has very firm opinions on people and has not yet developed a filter for them. So, when I ring the doorbell and I hear her yell my name from the top floor and come flying down the stairs as fast as her little legs will safely take her? You can bet it made me feel amazing.  And when she introduced me to her stepsister [who I had met plenty of times, but both girls were probably too little to remember], knowing that she wanted me to know this girl who she loved so much? Also amazing. We played Play-doh and Powerwheels and Catch together. The fact that she wanted me to be part of her fun made me happy in ways I never knew I could feel. Every time she called me Auntie, a wave of joy washed over me. And when her stepsister, this precious girl who is a few years older than her, probably old enough to know that I’m not her real aunt, started calling me Auntie, too – well, my heart just about burst with happiness. Being loved by children is one of the best feelings. Children don’t fake it. If they don’t like you, they’ll make it pretty obvious.

I also feel an intense love for my cousins. I spent some time with some of them this weekend and it reminded me. It’s like having built-in best friends. Friends that you can tell anything to and who know how to make you laugh and who make you feel better about anything you’ve been feeling self-conscious about. It’s friends that it’s okay that you haven’t seen in a few months, because whenever you do see them, you’re going to pick up right where you left off.  I know that not everyone can say this, so I’m grateful to say that my brother and my cousins are some of my closest friends. I’m grateful for that.

All I’m missing now is romantic love. I have SO much love in every other aspect of my life. More love than I’m even capable of comprehending. More love than I could ever have asked for. Yet there’s still the teeniest part of me that still wants someone to hold my hand while we walk down the street. Someone to snuggle into while I watch a movie.

I hate that, though. Every time I let myself think that – and it’s usually only a brief moment – I berate myself. I have more love in my life than most. I am extremely fortunate in every way. How dare I want more.

At the same time, though, I’m aware that I am happy. It’s something I was unsure of in my life previously. There was a time that I assumed that I couldn’t be happy unless someone loved me, romantically. Fortunately I know now that this isn’t true. It’s human nature to want that, to crave it even, but it’s also possible to be happy without it. I don’t need to be in a relationship to be happy.

It’s kind of like… when you really want some chocolate.  You have chocolate chip cookies – loads of them – and chocolate ice cream…so you should be totally satisfied. And they’ll do, for now. But that craving for chocolate won’t fully go away until you have your favorite candy bar.

My cousin and I joked this weekend about how three of us cousins could just raise kids together someday. It would be like some kind of twisted commune where the adults raised the kids but the adults had no sort of sexual relationship [because, I mean, ew].  Because there are three of us who have big hearts with plenty of room to let love in, but so far have found nothing but heartache.

This post is a jumbled bit of nonsense, I know. Trying to understand love is about as useful as trying to count the stars. All I know is that I’m glad to have so much of it in my life and that I hope that someday I can find more.

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~ by Valerie Anne on 09/14/2011.

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