An exercise for which the brief was to write about what matters to me, knowing that there was no intention of sharing it with others in the group. Well, I am happy to share it with the world. This is the first piece that has been edited – only very slightly.
Where to start – people, places, things, experiences? All of these and yet none of these, for love can attach itself to any or all of them; and love of myself rises above them all. For unless I can love myself, then how can I truly love anyone or anything else?
Love is not blind, love comes from knowing that I am meeting my own inner needs, even when that need is to please or care for or support another. For love is not unitary – there lies narcissism – love is of the universe and involves and affects the universe. Love stands both alone and accompanied above all material things; providing inspiration and support and the way to find a route through the most difficult times. “I love you” provides both hope and reassurance, it offers both the giver and the receiver the prospect of a bright and thrilling future. Between lovers, friends, colleagues, acquaintances and even enemies it can lay a platform on which to build, a basis for co-operation and a safe and touching closure when times have been tough.
It matters that I am loved, yet that can only happen if I am able to love others. It is a gift that need never expire, unlike that gift voucher or bunch of flowers. The words seem to carry more meaning when spoken than when written or embodied in some artefact, yet even those can still be touching reminders – the photo of a loved one in the wallet, a faded wedding bouquet, the coffee cup bought in a tiny village in Cuba, the painting of irises hanging above the fireplace. They carry love, but the are not love itself, for love itself resides only in my heart and in your. A touch, a glimpse, an overheard word, all reminders of your presence and my inner comfort.
John Lennon was right.