Jennifer Rae is back at the Pink Heart Society, talking about her search for true love...
Love. It’s not just what I write about. It’s what I do. I love. I always have. I’m one of those people. You know – the ones who love being in love and talking about love and ask you about your love life and analyse why you’re not in love and assure you there is someone out there to love you…ad nauseam. Yep. I’m that person. Unapologetically. But lately, I’ve been having some issues with love.
I’m not sure whether it’s because I’m getting older and a little wiser. Or because I’ve recently been trying out some new ways of dating and have met some people who challenge my beliefs. I don’t know, but I’m rethinking my whole take on love.
I’m a firm believer in mad love. Passionate love. Love you get lost in and caught up and consumed by. And love at first sight. Love at first sight is my absolute favourite.
But lately I’ve been pondering the idea of gentle love. Quiet love. Patient love. Thoughtful love.
This is new for me. I’m a romance writer. There’s got to be drama and heartache and confusion and tears and redemption and dramatic gestures. Doesn’t there?
American Buddhist monk Bhikkhu Nyanasobhano writes “Love, or possibly the myth of love, is the first, last and sometimes the only refuge of uncomprehending humanity. What else makes our hearts beat so fast? What else makes us swoon with feeling? What else renders us so intensely alive and aching? The search for love – the sublime, the nebulous, the consuming – remains sacred in a world that increasingly despises the sacred.”
He explains that most people think that we have nothing higher to live for than love.
It’s true that the need for love and to be loved is so powerful and insistent is that it becomes an ache. Often a painful longing. A craving. Something we desire and cling to. We beg for and we feel real despair and loss if we don’t find it.
But it’s that desperate feeling that makes me question if I have it all wrong. Because doesn’t desperation bring on forced gratification? We stop seeing truths and start seeing what we want it to be. And the reality is; love cools, friendships end. People die. What then? Do we just start searching for the next fix, the next hit? Love can become relentless and all-consuming and can cause a sort of insanity. And this is where I start to question my ideas of love.
Does it have to be like that? Does it have to feel like that? I don’t want that. Not all the time anyway. What I want is peace when I love. A warm, safe feeling that comes from knowing I’m loved and that I love.
Nyanasobhano says that; “When we lean hard, out of passion, we fall hard. But when we do not lean, when instead we stand upright with an eye to the heights, then the love we bestow flows out of us without weakening us.”
What I’ve realised during the course of my search for the love I want to write about is that the best kind of love comes not from offering someone our weakness. Our desperate, frenzied love filled with passion and volatility and unreliability and conditions and need. But real love, love that warms you from the inside, is when you are able to give someone your strength.
When you can stand still and solid and secure in knowing that the love you give is given with a consciousness that it may not last. Knowing that it may not be reciprocated the way you imagine. Knowing that you love yourself first so you don’t allow your love to be wasted or not appreciated. Then, you can let go of that desperate grip and feel true love. Gentle love. Quiet love. Patient love. Thoughtful love.
And that’s the love I want.
What do you think is important about love? Join the discussion with Jen in the comments!
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