Thursday, July 11, 2013

Good Lesson Learned

Shona loves me. She tells me so, and from my observations, I believe her claims.

I should offer at this point, that I love Shona too. And one of the things I love about Shona is that she can say she loves me in any situation or any context and own her words without requiring any reciprocity, she just puts it out there and it is up to me to take it.

It was not always this way though, Shona freaked me out for years with the casual ease she could make such declarations and her dogged persistence in doing so.

I would seize up, get anxious and try to speculate as to how to respond appropriately. How to articulate in some kind of socially acceptable legalize exactly just how I loved Shona, or that I didn't, did I love Shona? How many people can I love? What if I give her the wrong idea? Is it worse to not say I love them, than to say it and then have to redact or clarify?

I got quite uncomfortable, my own family doesn't use the word much. More so now than it did, and probably because of Shona's influence, so that was part of it. Also contributing to my discomfort was the trauma of being told by our mutual friend Bryce what an idiot I was to tell Sarah I loved her as my first act of dating a girl ever.

It's only really recently that I've realised that amongst the girls that have freaked out when I told them I loved them, beyond freaking out, nothing bad came of it. They all just sort of froze up, took it on board until they could deal with it.

To Shona's infinite credit as a human being, as a partner to Grzergorz, mother to my niece Austin, she seemed to intuitively understand what took me years to figure out.

I always freaked out, more so than anything by the feeling of control I assumed I got from the disparity in our professed stances toward one another. Accept it felt like being trapped, trapped by my own insecurities, what I figured out after some years was that Shona was the one in control. She knew herself, how she felt, and how to express it.

What I learned from Shona, is that in this world very few people have such an extraordinarily distorted concept of love, that loving somebody is ever threatening. Loving somebody is a wonderful thing, and the challenge is to live up to it, as per what some author wrote to his kid.

If anybody kept a scorecard, and I hope nobody does, between Shona and my professions of love, I feel I would come off looking incredibly weak by comparison. Most people accept that love makes us vulnerable, so there's an inclination I believe to think that the lower your tally of 'I love you's the stronger your position, but it's the reverse, the person who lives most comfortably with their vulnerability is the strongest, the freest,
the most valuable player.

Shona in many ways is the persistent teacher that never gave up on her remedial student, and she once expressed frustration that english only has one word for all the nuances of 'love' she didn't teach me this per se, but if somebody loves you, or you tell somebody you love them, generally they will know exactly which nuance you mean.

Did I mention that I love Shona?

Foot-note to absolve personal responsibility - I don't know you, and it is possible that you have a pathology where you have grossly misinterpreted 'love' to be some flattering form of possession and control that is sacrosanct and inviolable to those you confer it to, and possibly are quite unwilling to be vulnerable or harmed by your notion of love, and quite possibly feel that any hurt you suffer by your own sense of entitlement, entitles you to exact hurt on the people you claim to love. My advice to you, if telling somebody you love them has been met with fear and withdrawal (very distinct from 'freaking out'),  is to closely scrutinize and evaluate your concept of love maybe enlisting the help of professionals. Your dilemma is not the dilemma found in the post above.

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