Love. That seems to be a running theme for me these days. Unconditional love. Being love. Giving love. Seeing the world through love. Sending love. Sharing love. Loving through compassion.
*Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.*
This past weekend at SWLC, I found myself saying “I love you” a lot more than I usually do, and to a lot more people. I have always been very walled off emotionally to those not in my inner circle. Of course, those closest to me know the sheer depths of love that I hold for them. As an introvert, I’m highly emotionally sensitive, but also as an introvert, I’m not typically ‘open’ in a way that demonstrates that to others. What I feel is both deep and right on the surface, but what I show to others is the emotional mask on top of the surface.
*Sex is the seed, love is the flower, compassion is the fragrance.*
I have this friend that I love. I love him as a friend who is very dear to me. I’ve never actually said that to him, though, until this weekend. We had been joking around outside during DoS, and as I got up to walk away, I turned and said, “I love you.” As I started walking away, I looked back and he was looking at me with a funny look on his face. He said, “Do you really?” I turned to walk back over to him and said, “Yes, I really do. Even when you’re acting like a 12 year old.” I kissed him on the forehead, and wandered back into DoS. That little interaction, though, stayed with me. And it lead to a lot of processing of how I love and how I express love.
*The only way love can last a lifetime is if it’s unconditional. The truth is this: love is not determined by the one being loved but rather by the one choosing to love.*
These past two years have taught me so much about what is truly important to me in life. I have reached a point in my life where I’m not so concerned anymore with what people think of me. It no longer matters if someone likes me or doesn’t, thinks I’m attractive or doesn’t, wants to spend time with me or doesn’t. I live each day in a place of gratitude for the abundance of life. Along with that has come an incredible amount of love for all living things. I look at the people I know, and where I may have seen faults in the past, I now just see beauty. And I feel lighter, happier, open. I feel love all around me. I look at the people in my life, both those closest to me and those in my greater Tribe, and I feel grateful for them. Each one touches my heart in their own way, and I feel love for them. Each one teaches me something in their own way, and I feel love for them.
*Love is the doorway through which the human soul passes from selfishness to service.*
I said, “I love you,” a lot this weekend. And I realized on Sunday, after that exchange with my friend, that people I was saying it to may have thought that I was saying it flippantly. That it was the energy of the space. That I didn’t really mean it. They may have wondered what had gotten into me anyway.
*Only when we give joyfully, without hesitation or thought of gain, can we truly know what love means.*
Almost losing Justin, then rearranging our lives so that I could take care of him in whatever way possible, put me in a tailspin. My only focus was doing whatever I had to do to bring him back to full health. I let some relationships fall by the wayside because I didn’t have the time or energy for anything outside of work and taking care of him. Losing Justin just reignited that tailspin for me and I became a hermit, hibernating in my room, ignoring phone calls and only coming out on rare occasions. I let more relationships fall by the wayside.
*Unconditional love really exists in each of us. It is part of our deep inner being. It is not so much an active emotion as a state of being. It’s not ‘I love you’ for this or that reason, not ‘I love you if you love me.’ It’s love for no reason, love without an object.*
I have really been struggling with where I fit in this community. I’m not into casual play, and I’m not in a place where I’m ready to seek any kind of relationship. But I so miss sex and play! I’m not really a submissive personality that seeks opportunities to ‘be’ submissive. I am a slave who craves boundaries and guidance and protocol and ritual, who lives to obey and serve, but those things aren’t readily available in everyday interactions when one doesn’t have an owner. And so I’m just a girl, kind of hanging out without much to do. And so the idea that I don’t belong in this community any longer has been heavy on my mind.
*Where there is love there is life.*
But this weekend with my Tribe reminded me. My place within this Tribe isn’t dependent upon my being slave to Justin. This is my place, regardless of any of that. This Tribe is full of beautiful, amazing souls I love. People I look at and think I’m so very grateful for every single one of them. People whose energy I have missed, whose love I have missed, whose faces and hugs I have missed. And as I looked around at so many beautiful souls this weekend, I realized that I wasn’t the only one being love. It was everywhere. And it was wonderful.
*A joyful heart is the inevitable result of a heart burning with love.*
So if you were on the receiving end of an “I love you” from me this weekend, please know it was honest and authentic. If I placed a heart on your writing, please know it was an honest and authentic expression of love. And if I see you and happen to kiss you, hug you, or say the words, please know that I mean them. From the very bottom of my soul.