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Saturday, 4 November 2017

Love makes us vulnerable

A conversation with a friend inspired this (hehe; she knows who she is). When we love someone, whether they’re our friend, partner, family member; we’re giving a piece of ourselves to them emotionally. We’re putting ourselves in a place of vulnerability. We’re opening our soul up to them which gives us the potential to get hurt. With love, there is always the risk of getting hurt.

Take the mother who loves her children. (Cateyln Stark, Cersei Lannister, my dear mummy). She will do anything for her kids. She will fiercely protect and defend them because that’s what mothers do. If she sees her kids are in pain, it cuts a piece of her inside. If her kids turn against her, it hurts. Of course fathers love their kids as well, I know my dad loves me and my siblings dearly, but I guess the love a mother has for her children is different. She gave birth to them and carried them in her body for nine months. Most mothers will always have that deep bond with their kids. Even if their child is a psychopathic serial killer they will still love them.

With love comes pain. I’ve never been ‘in’ love, but I have been in ‘infatuation’, and it is one of the craziest feelings ever. You feel like you’re losing your mind, like you need to see the other person, like they’re everything to you, they’re the love of your life, and you’ll be sick if you can’t talk to them. It’s one of the most intense and emotionally dangerous things to feel. I’ve experienced it twice, once aged 14 and once aged 16. (Neither of the guys were boyfriends; one was someone I didn’t know that well and the other was a friend). I guess it’s a very ‘teenage’ thing to feel; I have had strong crushes since and thought I was in love, but not on the same level or for similar lengths of time. It does feel like being on a drug, with incredible highs and awful lows. I’m sure love is not the same as obsession, it’s more ‘serene’ and mutual.

But I have experienced love, just not ‘romantic’ love. I love my best friend dearly; she is one of the best women I know. If something were to happen to her it would cut me deeply; physically it would be so hard to function as normal. Friendship is complicated, and I believe just as complicated and confusing and crazy as romantic relations, except in a different way. When a friend leaves you or hurts you it breaks your heart. And when you love each other it fills you up. Friends can be ‘soulmates’, loving each other in deep and fulfilling ways. I think our society places romantic love on a ‘pedestal’, but naturally all types of love are wonderful and valuable to those who feel them.

We chase love despite the risks. We all long for somebody to hold us and care for us; someone to talk to, to share a piece of ourselves with or to spend our lives with. People get married believing that the love they share with their partner will last forever.

I’ve had so many difficulties with emotional intimacy in my life. My first instances of love with my family was beautiful, but my friendships were not. It’s made it really hard for me to emotionally trust others. I’m a very emotional, affectionate person and I tend to give myself emotionally to people once I’ve engaged in a deep sense of affection and love for them. Once I’ve crossed that line I’ve almost given them ‘permission’ to hurt me. They disappear from my life? Break up with me? Cut me off? Are in trouble? I’ll feel the pain. I suppose that’s made me cautious overtime; I never know who to trust, I never know who has my ‘back’, who’s on my side, who really cares for me. There are a handful of people in this world I deeply trust, mostly family members. Even for them the percentage is not 100%.

I think we would all benefit from loving and caring for those already in our lives rather than placing romantic love on a pedestal. One person can’t fulfill you emotionally anyway, whether it’s a close friend, partner, sibling, parent or child. We need love from different places to feel whole, and the most important is the love within you. Love yourself, and let it fill you up. Do the things that make you happy and bring you joy and inner peace. You don’t need anyone in this world to ‘complete’ you because you are complete as you are.

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I'm Zarina Macha, an author, blogger, and musician from London. I write about stuff on the internet 'cos having opinions is fun -- if you want to join the games, please note your thoughts below. All thoughts welcome, even if they're mean (just no spam links please -- can't tell you what a liability those are to remove).
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