Friday, March 27, 2009

Love and Lovelessness

I was accused recently of not knowing what love is. This happened on facebook by a person who has not seen me in 15 years, who knows nothing of the person I have become since he knew me, and, I should point out, who has become something of an evangelist, as in Christian, and perhaps he thinks that one cannot know love unless one knows Jesus.

I have to leave that idea behind, seeing as it is so obviously ridiculous, but I do have to wonder if I do actually know what love is. After all, the question has been raised, right?

I know love in several forms. And I believe love is never really all encompassing except in it’s purest divine form, and we call that form Aphrodite. Only the Goddess Love herself knows love itself in a pure and all encompassing way because in a very real way, she is that love.

But as a man, a human being, I experience love in a variety of ways, and each of these ways can feel all encompassing in its time and place.

I am not a very physically expressive person. I am not the touchy, feely, huggy type. I think it has caused problems in relationships for me because people expect the soap opera romance novel type romance, but I am very expressive of feelings in other ways. I may not always seem it, since I tend to write in such a dry way which is often a bit blunt, but I am very considerate, sometimes too considerate, and I show people I love that I love them in ways that, I think, many men can relate to. I give my time, I listen, I give small tokens of my affection unexpectedly, and it often strikes people as odd.

If I see a small thing in a store and I remember a friend mentioning it as something they loved and could not find, I will buy it and give it to them. If I have a piece of hardware, like an old laptop, and I know a friend needs one, I will give it to them. I should probably sell it on e-bay, since I am very needy during these financially trying times, but I don’t, because I think it is more in line with what Zeus, lord of hosts, wants from me than just to be pragmatic.

I love my family, though I have trouble relating to them, and if any one of them needed my kidney, my liver, or hell, my heart, I would give it to them even if it meant I would die in the process. Is that not love?

I love my friends, though I have so few of them, because I love that they love me. We may not be constantly on each other the way bffs are in movies, but I will do for them just like I would for family. Maybe not to the extent of giving up my life, but close. They accept and like me the way i am, and I love them for it.

I love the Gods, though anyone reading this silly blog should probably think that obvious, but I think I should reiterate it, that I love the Gods. I may have a very relativistic view of the universe, but I do believe whole heartedly in them, who are of many names and many aspects, and through them I have come to learn to respect others for their beliefs and practices, even when I personally thought those beliefs and practices silly. I think people who have known me for years on the Hellenism lists can attest that I have mellowed out tremendously, though I am still prone to foot in mouth syndrome from time to time because of the way I write and discuss things. I tend to be a bit imperious in writing, though I am not that way when I speak.

I love laughter, music, art, and the human spirit, in both its light and dark aspects, because they are human expressions of a divine reality.

I love, and love, and love, yet, do I actually know love?

Is it possible that I see the love I generate from within me, but seldom notice or acknowledge the love that others show me?

I guess in that way I am a bit of a narcissist that way. I simply neglect to notice others on many levels. Even when I am very considerate to others, it tends to originate with me. It makes me feel good to give people things because it feels good to make others happy. But, is that not the reality of all love? Does not Aphrodite demand that you love yourself, and that by doing so you can then express that love to others?

Maybe I have done this all backward.


mamiel said...

It sounds very unloving to tell some one they "don't know what love is". If you reacted with anything other than curses and sarcasm then I commend you greatly.

I am new to Hellenism and I find myself confrontational and angry at Christian privilidge, which I define as having the idea that you right and having the entire power structure reaffirming that you are correct. And then whining about being "persecuted"! Puh-leaze.

However, I see Hellenists and other polytheists react with calm and patience to people like this all the time. I really need to learn from such people.

And of course you know what love is. Love is immense and it takes many forms. Love is a teacher, it is a gift, and a demanding task master. It is a joy. It is a pain in the ass. In the end, it is always a choice that we either embrace or reject.

H├ęctor said...

I reacted by telling him he was being a jackass, but in the end I decided that he was not my friend, not after all these years and the way he reacted to everything from simple jokes to this telling me I did not know what love was.

In the end, it pays to examine what my own reaction to a person is, rather than what the person actually said, so in that, it was helpful.

Thanks for commenting.

mamiel said...

I guess that's what's good about facebook. With a click of the button you can undo a "friendship" that isn't going anywhere. Sounds like he doesn't deserve you as a friend.