How do we love?
Disclaimer: I too, stan Beyoncé.
When Beyoncé talks about love, it’s like madness carries her as she speaks.
She makes very bold (almost wild) statements about the things she’d do for her man including taking him back after rumours of infidelity and the likes. And so according to Beyoncé, to love is to love crazily, dangerously, drunkenly, or not at all. And I continue to say impossible for a number of reasons. Sounds like labour, sounds like a choke hold by feelings. Sounds exhausting. Sounds like a version of me.
I love love. It’s pretty beautiful, and yes I have some (read: many) qualms at times but romantic love, gestures, feelings (embarrassment aside) births a warmth in me. It’s like coming home. Entering a space where you feel safe and appreciated and wanted in the purest way possible. It’s cute isn’t it?
A lot of people think I’m cynical about these things, and I am. I think it pays to be cautious and have sense. Not only for my sake but for the sake of others. I get it to the point now that I don’t. People do stupid things in the name of love, people are reckless, people move mad. It unearths a range of emotions you didn’t even think were possible to experience. There’s a ferocity that comes with loving someone so much that it sometimes means negotiating and compromising what you value. I don’t think that’s love but sometimes, we move like it is. What might have started off from a good place sometimes warps into something else where we refuse to acknowledge the truth, giving a pass to any and everything. We get to a point where we give our all no matter the cost. And that’s not healthy. It’s scary feeling like one person controls that much of you. But even using the word control, seems a bit off. Like there’s possession involved, someone owns a part of you. And we are autonomous beings no? We have agency so being gripped by such intense feelings? It’s scary.
Some people think there’s ‘the one’, a sole great love in your life. Once you miss out on them, that’s it. Others say there are multiple, so missing this one is okay, there’ll be another one eventually. Thoughts of romantic love birth things like what’s yours will come or right person, wrong time and whatnot. When it comes to love, people talk about loving one person at a time, it’s impossible to juggle such a concentrated feeling and disperse them equally to different people. You’ll always love one more than the other. On the other hand, that’s one person’s opinion, that doesn’t necessarily ring true for all. So what is the truth about love?
In the spirit of letting go (years ago), I deleted an old ranting journal I had* a in sixth form out of shame, embarrassment and all round growing up. I have very few traces of some of that content. But I found this.
‘Are you loved enough?’
There is no right or wrong way to love someone but I love now, I love still, I love and I know it because I pray (which says a lot because I don’t even pray for myself). I think love is sickening and deadly and amazing all at once. It makes you foolish, stupid even, lonely. But maybe this is one of the greatest lessons I will ever experience in my life. What you call wrong loving, mistaken loving, half-hearted loving is love indeed to someone else. Maybe next time I will learn not to give myself to someone who doesn’t love me half as much as I ought to be. I feel like a wretch that cannot be saved sometimes. A joke, spending unreciprocated love. But on other days, I feel golden and glistening. So to thee who ask and who question what they see; there is no right or wrong way to love someone. I am more expressive and maybe, just maybe, that is alright.’
As you can see, my brain do usually lost. As far as I’m concerned, this was written in my ancient days. I don’t agree with half of what I said there. Should love be ‘lonely’, ‘mistaken’, ‘half-hearted’? Should you be so overwhelmed by your feelings that you’re more focused on the other person than yourself? In all honesty, I don’t even fully understand what I was writing. And I guess that’s part of my point. Sometimes in love, you get lost in it or what it means; it’s chaotic. Should it even be chaotic? With this, I’m not really sure where I stand. I guess romantic love in its healthiest form looks pretty different to a lot of people. I’m still trying to decide what it looks like to me.
*An online journal but that’s what I called it back then.