I Love You Because I Love You
Introductory Commentary #2
“I Love You Because I Love You,” a poem I wrote in 2017, has been coming to mind and then showed up in my memory feed several times over a few days, so I decided maybe it was time to share it once again. With this sharing, I’m also writing a second introductory commentary, as my experiences have guided me to do so. However, I am keeping the original introductory commentary, as it is still relevant from a different perspective. Per usual, thank you for taking this journey with me. Enjoy. 🙂
Love. I’ve been pondering a lot about that word over the past few weeks. It’s a word that bears a lot of weight and meaning for some, though the word itself is just that – a word. It’s the meaning we attach to it that gives it life.
I recently had a conversation with someone, as we were in the process of defining (or not defining, rather), our relationship. As we were sitting in the midst of the conversation about where we were headed and not headed in the relationship, in attempting to clarify my feelings and emotion, I heard myself say, “I’m not in love with you.” And as I said the words “in love,” I knew something was off – it was like my body stood on edge and those words had little meaning. But I’ll get back to that in a moment.
Immediately after I said, “I’m not in love with you,” I followed it up with, “I do feel love for you.” However, he was speaking and did not hear me say those latter words, and with all the emotion in the air, I let it rest.
Almost immediately after leaving that conversation, I began to sit with the concept of love, as well as the words “in love,” and why they felt so off to me. Even before the conversation that evening, I had struggled with the words “in love.” It then occurred to me that we don’t generally fall “in love” with people in the way many use the terms. “In love” is often an idealized concept that we attach to the beginning of a relationship, and sometimes beyond. I’m “in love” with you is often associated with the hormones – that endorphin rush – we feel at the onset of meeting someone we are (often physically) attracted to. This scientifically defined biological response is confused for “love.” That’s not to say that the expression, “I fell in love with…” should be chucked. When we are conscious and grounded in the use of “fell in love,” then it could be an appropriate choice of words to explain how one is feeling. Also, “falling in love” is not only reserved for romantic partnerships.
The other essential clarification about love that many of us miss is that it is a choice. I recently officiated my brother’s wedding and shared that, though love is often mistaken for the hormonal bliss and endorphins we feel at the onset of a relationship, love is actually a choice we make. We choose to show love in action, and actions speak much louder than words most of the time.
I know many shy away from feeling love or being loved or fully opening themselves up to the feelings of love, partly because to feel and be loved is vulnerable. The reality is, though, in thinking about it, we only feel two positive emotions when we are in relationships with others, and those are love and joy. True, there are different variations and levels possible, though that is it – love and joy – that we feel. So, to not say “I love you” or “I feel love for you,” when we feel something for someone else that is grounded and clear is holding back a very essential and truthful aspect of communication and connection for the relationship. And to attempt to stop ourselves from fully feeling our emotions is cutting off a vital aspect of our human existence and experience.
I’ve heard it stated that there are three prongs to a healthy romantic relationship – love, passion, and friendship. I would shift that to more precisely define the three prongs as emotional connection, physical connection, and friendship. The emotional connection, which is where the feeling of love comes in, is a natural progression from friendship that has the ability to grow, and the physical connection can be even stronger when the emotional connection is strong.
The emotional connection, which is what we, as humans, crave though don’t often like to admit it, is the prong that most frequently creates the highest level of vulnerability between two people. It is also an extremely amazing and beautiful thing to experience. When we meet someone that we have a true emotional connection with, and we can be vulnerable and feel safe at the same time, it is rare and something to hold on to. Unfortunately, it is so rare that, sometimes, when we have it, it feels so unfamiliar that we don’t realize the gift in it, and instead, we run from it or attempt to cut it off and dampen it. And sometimes, the connection is so grounded that, when the endorphin rush subsides, we might feel like something is missing (we are also conditioned by society in this way). Though, it is the grounded-ness of emotional connection that allows us to grow deep roots in a relationship and build a strong foundation to weather through life together.
And when the emotional connection is there, love grows. As love grows, we choose to love, and then commitment to love follows. There is also an unwavering acceptance that comes with unconditional love – to say to someone, “I see you. I get you. And I accept you for who you are and where you are. I will support you, though I will not try to change you.”
May we all be in relationships where we can be vulnerable and feel safe at the same time.
Introductory Commentary #1
originally posted on March 17, 2019
Chronic illness can take its toll on relationships.
Trauma impacts our lives in ways that we, the directly-impacted individuals, often don’t understand, so imagine how hard it is to explain it to loved ones or those we care about.
When in the midst of our trials, when we are on our hand and knees begging for mercy and praying for answers on how to keep moving, recover, and find relief and sanctuary, we can feel unlovable. Sometimes, that unearned notion can feel validated when the people we love leave because they can’t handle supporting us through the murky waters we’re trying to wade our way through. Or, they can’t handle that they don’t know how to help us, so they leave.
Sometimes, it might seem like we are all alone that we will never be loved again.
When, in reality, we are not alone in our pain and murky waters. Many have waded in them before us, and many surely will after us… and many are right there in the murky waters with us; though you might not see them … yet. And when you do finally see them, you will see you were never really alone. There are people who care about you, even if it doesn’t feel like or you can’t see them around you. You, like the others in the murky waters with you, were just looking for support in all the wrong places likely as a result of the patterns you learned early on in your childhood. I’m right there with you.
As we recover and begin to understand our patterns, we have the opportunity to create new patterns and form new partnerships full of love and healthy connection. Partnerships that will see us through the rough times, celebrate with us in the good times, and support us ALL of the time.
Wherever you are in your recovery, flare-up, or remission, you are free to be who you are and in no way should you ever apologize for who you are or for what you have or had to do to keep moving and survive as result of childhood trauma and chronic illness. And if people in your life must leave you when you’re down, then let them leave. Chances are you will look back one day and be clear that it was for the best.
I wrote the following poem one day as I was in the midst of heartache and my own C-PTSD and CFS flare … and I was also witnessing the heartache of others around me. Maybe I wrote it for myself as much as I did for others, knowing that one day, I would have the relationships in my life that would reflect these words back to me. It was fun to write, and it still makes me smile to read it.
Originally posted online on August 10, 2017
I Love You Because I Love You
You need not be a superhero or one who walks the stage
You need not buy me flowers every single day
You need not be perfect without a flaw in sight
I love you because I love you, even if you fight
You need not be flawless or drive the best in town
You need not only smile; it’s OK if you frown
You need not say you love me at all if you don’t want to
I love you because I love you, and there’s nothing you can do
My love for you will never cease, your gentle eyes, your smile, your touch
Even when it’s long forgotten, I will never forget my love
We throw the word around — I “love” this and that and the other…
Yet how often we forget to show love for our sisters and our brothers
Love might have its levels, though the truest form of all
It has no conditions, and it’s there at your call
Love is all around us, and love is what heals
I love you because I love you, it’s honest and it’s real
Even if you choose not to play this hand,
I love you because I love you, and there is no hidden plan
No matter what you do, the good or bad or sideways,
My love will not cease through the roughest of the days
I might like your poised body and the times I feel your touch
I might like the hugs that are real and the midnight talks til dusk
And still, my love is not the result of any of these things
It’s a result of human connection and the reflection of me I see
I see into your heart and know the love it desires to bring
Even if the heart has a wall and closed off is its king
Nothing you could ever do could take away my love
I love you because I love you, without a single pause
I might choose to love you from a distance
Sometimes that’s the truest form of love when faced with our addictions
I love you because I love you
I hope that brings you peace
For friends from far and wide, this love, it will not cease
It is simple. It is true.
I love you because I love you