Learning Love… Slowly.

When I was a teenager, I thought I had love all figured out. I wrote poems pretending I knew what love was. Mostly because I desperately wanted to know what love was. I wanted to gulp it down thirstily without tasting its essence. I wanted to believe that the person I was in love with was -The One.-

(He wasn’t.)

At 25, I’ve realized that I don’t know altogether what love is. Maybe because love can’t be pinned down in one place. It looks differently with each person. Love between sisters has a different shape than love between friends. Love between friends is molded differently than it is between lovers. For that matter, love for one sister may differ from love for the other, which we don’t like to say. Favoritism is an ugly word.Β But maybe it’s not favoritism… maybe it’s just that the shape is different.

Maybe love is like me and my kitty hanging out around the house. She lays down on my lap and falls asleep, content. Or, she runs around, batting at my pant legs, pawing my computer cords,Β hiding in the dark of my bedroom, or rushing around the living room like a cat straight outta hell. She can’t be pinned down, then, and if I pick her up she struggles to get down. She’s 2/3 adventure, 1/3 cuddly sweet kitten.

Sounds familiar. I didn’t pick her – I think she picked me. πŸ™‚

Calm kitteh is in the bag

“MOM put me downnnnn…”

ATTACKKKKK!!! (she’s about to bite my hand)

“Mooooom stop using me for a photo op and let me bite your hand!”

Maybe human love and animal love isn’t quite so different. πŸ™‚ Somehow you end up loving a creature that takes over your space and can be kind of annoying, but they’re so adorable you choose to keep living with them.

Learning to love yourself is similar, too.

One day, I might learn the exact exposure that love is imprinted upon, the colors and contrasts that make it up. And I might not. I’m okay with not knowing ALL the ins and outs of love. Some things should be left to mystery, to the journey, to learning what it means to savor instead of trying to gulp before tasting.

“One can’t understand everything at once, we can’t begin with perfection all at once! In order to reach perfection one must begin by being ignorant of a great deal. And if we understand things too quickly, perhaps we shan’t understand them thoroughly.” (The Idiot)

I think I prefer to understand things slowly, if that means I learn them thoroughly. Especially when it comes to love.

And now I want to say to all of you – Happy Valentine’s Day – from me and my kitty Hermione πŸ™‚ I am really grateful for all of my readers; thank you for “seeing” me, even if it is through the internet! I am blessed by the words we exchange here; I find this place sacred so much of the time and it’s because of you all. May your Valentine’s Day be full of love; may you feel precious and cherished today, because you are.


21 Replies to “Learning Love… Slowly.”

  1. Love the pictures of you and Hermiome. Tuxedo cats are awesome. I also really like the quote you included here about not knowing everything all at once. There’s something really soothing about it. Thanks!

    1. Thanks! Yes, they are, even if they are a bit (LOT!) devilish at times! πŸ˜€ I’ve loved that particular quote for quite a long time; I feel like it’s a brilliant reminder that it’s okay to be imperfect and learn slowly. Glad you enjoyed!

  2. I loved this Laurie and I really enjoyed how you described the different facets of love throughout. I’m on my third marriage and I can tell you that you don’t know love until you have it and then somehow you just know it. As corny as that sounds and as much as I think it’s silly, it’s true. I loved my exes clearly or I would’ve never married them, but the love I have for my husband is like nothing I’ve ever thought to be real. Happy Valentines to you too beautiful girl. So glad to share this blogosphere with you.

    1. Thanks, Deanna. πŸ™‚ I get what you mean; I’ve had to learn what love looks like in friendships, too, and I can tell you I totally didn’t know it until I had it. Until I got sober from alcohol I didn’t really learn how to relate to people; now it’s really interesting. I have dear, dear friends who have annoying idiosyncracies but somehow I just love them more for it, MOST of the time. It’s a beautiful thing. I don’t, though, know what it will be like on the romantic level, and I’m looking forward to discovering that if that’s in the cards for me. πŸ™‚
      Likewise, Deanna! So glad we get to share this space, thank you as always for stopping by, I always love hearing from you.

  3. I think human and animal love definitely have some things in common. Sometimes I will just look at my dog and be like (in my super high pitched annoying animal voice): “Why are you so annoying? But so cute? Why do I love you? You’re so annoying, yes you are!” I’m sure I will eventually say some version of this to my boyfriend and/or my future children.

    Hope you’re having a lovely day!

    1. OMG Aussa!!! You always make me feel like I’m a normal human πŸ˜€ I totally do that to my cat all the time “Aren’t you just the most annnnnoooooyiiing little thing in the world? Aren’t you? Yes you are!” Hahaha… Oh man I can totally picture saying that to future family members πŸ˜‰
      You too friend! I hope your little getaway turned out to be somewhat enjoyable after the food poisoning debacle I heard about…

      1. Muahahaha I’m so glad I help you feel normal, though I’m not exactly a great benchmark for it πŸ˜‰

        And… getaway was postponed, argh! But it will happen… it must.

  4. Touching and wonderful post, Laurie. The shapes of love are indeed different, and their shape and pulled and molded by those involved. Love was something I didn’t know or understand until I got sober, fully completely. When I realized self love in the form of forgiveness and forgiving others, was I able to start comprehending love. We may not understand it, but we know it when we feel it.

    Great post.


    1. Thank you, Paul. I am so with you there. I really didn’t know what love was until I sobered up, both from alcohol and from false forms of love. Then I got to see what it really looked like. I love how you put it – self forgiveness and forgiving others. So true. I definitely can’t put it in words, but the connections I’ve formed especially with women in the program have been so precious to me and have really showed me what real love is all about.
      Glad to see you here, hope you had a good Valentine’s with the wife. πŸ™‚

  5. “”Somehow you end up loving a creature that takes over your space and can be kind of annoying, but they’re so adorable you choose to keep living with them.””

    I’ve known a couple of women like that.

  6. Both. It is possible to be heads over heels in love but be completely un compatible, Its not good if one has to diminish ones identity and space to make a relationship work.

    1. Ain’t that the truth; I’ve diminished my identity and space for a relationship before… massive crashing and burning right there. Definitely provided fuel for my alcoholism.

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