Thursday, 12 January 2012

Do You Really Know What Love Is?

Do you Really Know What Love is?

The above phrase is used by all of us at various times in our lives, but what ‘really’ is it? Is it tangible? Would you know it was love if you felt it?

I know what love is.

Most people use analogies to describe the feeling of love, libraries are full of such things. Some of the greatest literary works have searing, soaring vast worlds that indeed try to best describe this feeling of love.  But alas, despite the descriptions of love from the great poets and writers, most of us at some point in our lives feel lonely for the lack of it.  Quite a few of us are resigned to the fact that love is an unattainable concept and settle for passionate first-time-sex-with-someone-new and close friendship. And further to that some of us settle for what suits our goals in lifestyle and career, whomever we meet that helps to provide that, is the ‘love’ of our lives.

All the above is fine, I am not judging. I imagine some great long term relationships have survived and flourished and long and meaningful happy lives have been had by all.

So I said after the first paragraph, I know what love is, yes I do, I definitely know what it is.  I’m not going to be adding any great literary work to any of the dwindling stock of our libraries, but here is my definition of my feeling of love, my analogy.

If you cannot remember doing this, put yourself in the position of a four year old and you're in a supermarket with a parent or beloved guardian. You do what all four year olds do and run off skipping and jumping through the throng of shoppers. You find something you like and want and turn and ask your parent for it.
Fear and panic rise within you, tears instantly well up in your eyes. Where? Where are they? Your face shows real fear; you are twisting and turning on the spot to find your parent. This happens all within the space of a few moments. The fear of being alone and helpless is strong.

That hand on your shoulder, you turn, that smile, the smile that says everything is alright has been close by all along, you didn’t know it but you were being lovingly watched all this time. What do you do next? You run off again of course! Appears you didn’t learn anything, but you have, you learned at a young age that being loved spurs you on to greater adventures. Having that feeling of relief and the sense of safety and happiness will always make everything alright.

I assume you are big and grown up now reading this, you’re thinking yeah cute analogy but it doesn’t relate to me now does it?

Imagine then a similar scenario; you’re at a party with someone you have gotten close to and proud to be with. You both split up and mingle, you are being courted and flirted at by admirers, you enjoy the deliciousness of being attractive to others, you throw a glance way across a large room to your partner, you connect, a smile and a glance tells you everything is ok. The reassurance of that feeling is more warming than the brandy you are drinking. Later still your back is caressed. A tingle. Your partner has just walked by. A hug in front of everyone that says we are one.

That look across a room, the loving hand, the reassurance that all is ok. That’s love that is. A love that makes you run, skip, jump, want. You can flirt and pole dance in front of your Nan and show people the tattoo on your bum. Knowing someone is there, not to stifle but encourage doing all you want to do or be and allowed to be a bit naughty just now and again.

My wife is way more sensible than me; I’m impulsive, indecisive and often unsure of myself, awkward even. Whenever and wherever I turn when we are together, that knowing reassuring look she gives me allows me to make a complete arse of myself, I hop, skip and jump and these days often fall over but that’s ok, she will pick me up and I will run off and do it all over again.

Maybe whilst you have been looking at the horizon, waiting for love to come, maybe, just maybe the person that has loved you, cared for you, even been there when you have fallen has been standing behind you all along. Maybe.

Right I’m off to do something daft like write about love and then publish it. I’m a hard-nosed Cabbie I am, but a certain someone has just given me the look that says it will all be ok.