And marriage & diamonds don’t necessarily mean love.
I have received three and a half proposals of marriage in my life. (Yes, “and a half”!)
None of them were, so to speak, traditional. There was no gent who got down on one knee or a big secret hullaballoo planned with flowers, champagne, or a fine dining restaurant. And you know what? I’m okay with that. Because love to me isn’t represented by big fanfares or expensive gifts. Not to say that any of these prior relationships were the perfect image of love, mind you. Obviously not.
Don’t get me wrong. I understand the tradition to a certain extent. Personally, I identify with the overflowing desire to announce your undying love for another in front of the world. I cannot fully explain my fantasy of standing on a picturesque mountain top and yelling, “I LOVE HIM!” at the top of my lungs. (I absolutely adore that one jewelry commercial with the guy and girl standing in a square in Venice and he screams, “I LOVE THIS WOMAN!”)
Maybe I want my family and friends to share in the love and joy I feel. Not because I want to brag or show off, but because I love them and want them to feel even a piece of what I feel. In particular, I feel a unique sense of elation at the thought of my parents KNOWING I’m finally happy and at peace with myself. Besides, why wouldn’t we want to share all the love we feel with others, to conjure a happier, lighter world all around?
Or maybe it’s the feeling of taking another “step” in a loving relationship, to announce out loud that you’re madly in love. Not that whomever I’m with would need additional validation or affirmation. The act is simply another method of expanding our connection through the support of our loved ones.
Now that I think on this more, I’m wondering if this resulted in a huge snag for me when experimenting with polyamory. I’m sure it could be different and it probably is with many other poly families, but in my situation, I always felt like my feelings had to remain hidden or secret.
First, I felt judged and scrutinized for my choices. Keeping the specifics under wraps made things less… tumultuous. Second, although I got to the point that I could handle the multiplicity/complexity of things, I hesitated to be free and open about certain things to protect others. Which I guess is an admirable trait, but not how I want to live my life. Whether it’s external or internal, I want to discard all restrictions directed toward my person.
Maybe this was all in my head. Actually, I know it was all in my head. And that’s the point. Our perception is our reality. And clearly I had some major personal hang ups with the lifestyle that only just recently surfaced.
Anyway, I’ve gone on a tangent!
My point – love has absolutely nothing to do with diamonds or a marriage contract. This doesn’t mean I will NEVER get married again, but I won’t budge on this statement. I do not need a rock or a piece of paper to tell me that someone loves me. I did, once. And look where that got me!
Love emanates and expands within the moments we spend together, the amount of presence we feel, the strength we feel within the silent connection. The joy within the present moment holds more love than anything. Actually, NOW is the only place where love CAN exist. Not only is the past, the past, and the future, non-existent, but we ARE this moment.
The notion of change applies to the most molecular of levels. Theoretically, technically, we change every instant, every nano-second. We will never again be who we were a moment ago. Same goes for love. Love changes constantly because we change, because our perception changes.
However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that we fall in and out of love with a snap of our fingers. It may feel that way but I don’t believe it’s possible. A friend recently said to me that if something, some event, or some person can make you question or reconsider all that you thought you believed in and stood for resulting in a psychological turn of 180 degrees, then those beliefs may have existed in your mind but they never lived in your heart. More likely, the enlightening instant re-awakened your true self and instilled within you the courage to embrace it.
So, how can we be absolutely certain what we’re feeling is true and that it is as awesome as it seems? Honestly, we can’t. Nothing is absolute. Nothing is certain. But I have found the best way to live to harness as much love as possible…
LIVE NOW. Be present. Simply BE. Especially when it comes to love.
Love, any love, requires care and maintenance. The love between two people is a third entity in a relationship. Just as two people should tend to themselves, the couple must tend to their love. If we are always mindful in the time that we spend with our love, it will never escape us. This ultimately means we accept rather than resist. We live, rather than worry. And if we remain present, the love that we hold within will be continuously reflected without, through the complete reciprocity of another spirit.
A marriage certificate and a diamond ring are signposts. And they are most often symbols for things other than what we intend. In my mind, they frequently serve the same purpose as an offensively oversized truck or sleek sports car…
When it comes down to it, I believe love is quiet. True love doesn’t need a party or much ado. It exists between two people. And it simply is. So, although I don’t need verbal or written documentation, I also know now that I don’t want to be limited in any way from expressing or sharing the love I feel. Because my love IS me and I AM love.
And feel it, in the depths of my soul, I do.