Months ago I said I was coming back to this project; and then I didn’t. A lot of changes have come in those months. Life moved again, and I am trying things again with the Ex, so he’s now the “Husband” again. Things are going well – but I’m sure old readers know I believe the most effective magick is the kind you keep secret. Additionally, I’ve joined a new group that’s kept me pretty busy and immersed in the “pagan world.” Things are changing around here and while I don’t know where they are going, I think it’s somewhere good. It just so happens, PBP is about the same place I left off last year and this time, I intend to finish. L is for Love.
“Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is a battle, love is a war; love is a growing up.”
― James Baldwin
This quote from James Baldwin sums up what I think about love. Love can, and even probably should, make you giddy, weak in the knees, and insanely happy. I have had that kind of love. Love can be comforting, the place you run to, a shelter from the storms of life in another’s arms: I’ve had that too. Those are the comforts of love. Those stages come and go, some people only want that part of love. When it changes, when things become hard, they think love has left.
The truth of the matter is, while love is expressed in all of those happy things: love is also a lesson. Love is not just something you feel or something that exists out in the ether, love is a verb: it’s something you do. Love takes practice, patience, and learning hard lessons. Love is accepting others limitations, and working with them not against them. Love is accepting ourselves, warts and all, and believing that we are beautiful and whole. Love is being mindful of how our words and actions affect the lives and feelings of others. Love is remembering to pick up milk or a favorite book just as much as sending flowers. This is the part of love people often forget. Love is not just what we feel, or how another person makes us feel, but how we treat that other person and their feeling toward us. Love is earned, and love is something we learn to do.
Repairing a relationship is always difficult, and I wouldn’t recommend it if you really can’t commit. Sometimes love is telling someone gently but firmly that it’s over. Sometimes love is allowing your child to face the consequences of their bad decisions – because if you protect them forever their bad decisions will never end. Love can be hard, heartbreaking even, at these times. It’s not always the one doing the walking in a relationship that is the “winner.” Most of the time there are no winners. Hemmingway was right when he said “if two people love each other, there can be no happy end to it.” In this situation, both parties are willing to work together to make repairs. Slowly but surely, we can rebuild our life, as long as both of us are committed to working together. It’s strange but from where I stand now, while I don’t foresee a happy “end” to it. I see a happy journey to something new and exciting.
Not all of love’s lessons are easy but I’m grateful to have had these. In the last six months I’ve had a profound challenge in practicing compassion. I’m so happy to have been able to have these experiences and changes, and I hope there will be more to come. If you want to start learning love’s lessons, commit yourself to practicing compassion. You can start with just little things: work with an animal shelter, work on loving yourself, or work with people who are in need. This isn’t the kind of happy, heady love but this is still love, and the lessons are just as valuable.