This is the time of year that the L word is on peoples lips and written about in poetry and heartfelt posts. Since I don't watch TV, I don't know how the L word is thrown around and defamed the way so many things I value are treated on TV.
For me, feeling treasured and cared for are reward enough at this stage of my hippie life. But being understood and accepted for who I am and where I've been and how I got here is the ultimate unconditional love. For most of my life I honestly believed that unconditional love was a fantasy; a bunch of crap. Something of a carrot held in front of people striving for relationships rich in pretentious symbols for all to see. My jaded view was partly due to the environment of my childhood, but it was easy for me to snag onto the sharp stone wall of disenchantment regarding true love.
There, I said it. The L word. Love. Before I met hubby, I rarely said the word except to my children. And I meant it with everything I had within me when I told my children I loved them. I was a tightwad lover, loving only those who were deserving. Once someone hurt me, they were dropped from my love list. Immature? Ignorant? Bad attitude? Yes, yes, yes.
Today I have a broader understanding of love. For me, in my life. Like religion, I don't believe love is something to be preached. It is learned from what we see around us for those with eyes to see. There are many examples of love in all the small kindnesses and respect humans show each other. What we allow into our hearts and minds by watching and absorbing is what we are retaining. We watch enough smut and we live smut. We watch enough goodness and we are able to share goodness. Not the phony hey look at me I am so wonderful and holy pretend goodness. Love is learned through our experiences and subsequent behavior.
As I continue my recovery from codependency, I am learning more about love. Forgiving others has removed the restraints of regret, hate, fear. Forgiving myself is almost a giddy sensation. Who knew freedom felt like this? At last the L word isn't hollow and futile. It is worthwhile, like me.
Note: Picture found on Google.