The Intricacies of Love: Post-February Review after a Week of Floods and Rain

I’ve exhausted myself from the adage,
“Before I can love someone, I must love myself”
(Nevermind if I adjust that to read, “learn to love.”).

Though sound advice, it is too broad a statement, or dull, to be of use. I’m susceptible to being mislead by such advice, too.  This week, I’m a fool for believing in over simplifications. I’m now questioning–not in an act of angst, but out of search for understanding– the reason love is treated so generically; everyone has something to say about how to love, but there is never an exact remedy or formula.

I blame the defaults that make people susceptible to believing that it is okay to be in love, and happily so, only forty percent of the time (**actual advice from a mentor once. And how unfortunate that it may be true for so many people). For myself, I’m realizing that relying on how I’ve been taught to love–default acts of servitude, showing up, and listening–are a start, certainly, but can starve my soul overtime. Even the boundaries and asks that I have found as safe defaults for my self, lend to eventually wear out or fall inadequate in some way.

I’ve been thinking of love as that big river. I’ve been thinking how rivers come to form out of the culmination of permanent, semi-permanent, and spontaneous additions (streams, springs, floods, and what not). For myself, I am only only a tributary to a larger river and an even bigger body of water: love; aren’t we all? But in being so, I am fluid. My needs are fluid. And the equation for happiness in love must be fluid, too.

I know to continue to check in with what I need, and I know to keep asking. What I underestimate time and time again is how much work it is to keep track of these things, how exhausting or treacherous it is may be to map and measure a big river. Not doing so means letting the waters be wild, and maybe that is someone’s idea of love, but not mine because if a river can flood at any moment, then it can dry up, too.

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