Posts Tagged ‘love’

How many times have you ever heard someone say that they want a love that is unconditional?  That love itself is selfless?  Has no strings attached?  No preconditions?  I say hogwash!

First off, most people that tell you this are generally people who are telling you what they ‘desire’ in a loving partner. The same people will tell you that love itself is a form of desire. Yet ‘desire’ is a form of want and want a matter of selfishness.

When someone is describing the ‘kind of love’ they desire (want) they are essentially telling you what their selfish desires are. Thus it is a bit odd when their ‘selfish’ desire is to find someone ‘selfless’.  Furthermore, when they describe such a partner, it is generally implied that they have the full intention of offering the same kind of ‘un-conditional’ love in return.


Love is of course an emotion. I was a big fan of Leo Buscaglia growing up for a number of reasons. He used to host various television shows and series on the topic of love as well as published a number of books on the subject which I read. Buscaglia described love as a ‘learned’ emotion and discouraged people from using terms such as ‘falling in’ and ‘out’ of love. In fact, he often went on to describe most if not all emotions as being ‘learned behaviors’ and I share this way of thinking.

Consider this. Our minds are rather complex mechanisms that process various stimuli and information on a number of different levels. As we go through our lives our minds create concepts to allow us to sort through the various individual and combined sensory data that our various sensory organs collect for us. For more complex combinations of multiple concepts, our minds will create an amalgam as a new concept. For example when we see a fist sized white leather ball with red stitching we think ‘baseball‘ rather than ‘fist sized white leather ball with red stitching‘.

In our early years we are taught many concepts before we can attach words to those concepts and many of these concepts are the fundamental building blocks on which the rest of our lives will act out. Various schools of psychology place a great deal of emphasis on this early development as key factors in the formation of our personalities and traits. Many of our concepts for emotions are formed at this time in the manner of the way a foundation is formed under a house, and we build upon those concepts over our lives.  But how often do we stop to look at what that foundation is actually made of?

Emotions themselves are learned behaviors and responses, often quite complex combinations of multiple multiple sensory data that relates to either past experiences (concept formation) or to notions we have formed through our process of learning (fantasy scenarios).  If you are told over and over and over again that Love is a magical feeling and is some kind of mystical state of bliss, if you hear or see many stories told in books and movies about fantasy love scenarios that make you feel good (remind you of past experiences or fantasies) you will incorporate those into your fuzzy-wuzzy feel good conceptualization of ‘love’.

Then when you meet someone who’s behaviors and interactions inspires enough of those many many combined concepts that helped you build your notion of love combined with your own excitement, or apprehension, nervousness, shyness, sexual arousal or other factors – woah, it feels like those concepts your brain pieced together over the years! This must be love!!!

You so want love to be ‘magical’, like you have been told over and over and over again, that you don’t stop to realize you have been hyperventilating and your adrenaline is spiking as you are trying to work up the nerve to ask that cute girl for a kiss.  You conform to your concept and believe it to be ‘real’ magic.

Love is a Concept

When in fact you step back and look at all the various factors of what you both believe and think are parts of what love actually ‘is’, if you are honest enough with yourself and thorough enough in the integrity of your reduction of the concept as you know it, you will find that in fact it is based on real factors.  Factors that are for the most part based on things that you consider of benefit to you, but in some cases that you were either convinced were something they aren’t or that may even be irrational in nature.

So if love is just another amalgam of multiple concepts, then you can not only rationally approach the concept but you can strive to both control it and seek to maximize it.  As an ethical egoist, my suggestion of course is to optimize it rationally to your maximum benefit.

So is Love really Un-Conditional?

As I described above, most people that describe love as unconditional ‘seek’ out that form of love.  i.e. they desire it.  They place as a condition, the pre-requisite that the person they seek shares their (flawed) view on what love is.  And upon doing so, they do so by way of selfish reasoning!  The sad part is, that means they are half way there – but they never quite make it the rest of the way.

The truth is that none of us would really ‘want’ a ‘selfless’ love or for someone to love us ‘unconditionally’. For someone to do so absolutely without condition it would mean they gain no individual benefit from doing what is considered ‘loving behavior’ whatsoever.  Just stop and think what this really means:

  • They are not with you because they ‘want’ to be with you, but out of a sense of duty to their concept of what ‘love’ is.
  • They don’t do things for you because they desire you to be happy, but because they feel obliged to do it.
  • They cannot have any pre-conceived notions at all of what ‘they’ think is right or even what ‘you’ think is right. For you to ‘want’ is just as ‘conditional’ as for them

Does it sound a bit robotic?  A tad idiotic?  It’s being mutual slaves out of obligation to self-sacrifice. It makes you ponder that the ultimate ‘unconditional love’ is a suicide pact.  Who wants that?

As for me, I ‘want’ a selfish lover. And I seek to be a selfish lover. When I am with someone, I desire someone that I ‘want’ to be with and take great ‘joy’ in being with them – and them with me.  I selfishly crave a partner that greedily craves my company. I willfully desire to offer of myself to them in exchange for their offering of themselves to me.  I want them to be happy, because it brings me joy for them to be that way. And I fully expect them to meet my pre-condition of seeing love the same way.

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Did you know I want to love you?
Did you know I try to hate you?
Did you know I can’t seem to do either right?

Do you know I can’t sleep?
Do you know I’m sad? Have been sad?
Do you know I miss you? Even when you are there?

Will you ever know how I tried?
Will you ever see past how I failed?
Will I ever get it right?

Can I be what someone wants?
Can I say what needs to be said?
Could I just once find out what that is?

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As I lay me down to sleep my mind wanders to another place, a place of warmth and love.
I find my soul buried in your arms, my body absorbed in your warmth, all my cares and pressures washing away.
I breath deeply as I imagine the very smell of you and can’t help but smile.
My eyes already closed, I picture your face – your beautiful face – in my mind.

I am content and the world is a better place.

I may rest now full of joy and wonder and will look forward to morning.

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There was a time when you were by my side.
You stayed there with devotion.
Little did I know I was keeping you away
from somewhere of your own.

With time you would wander away from me,
I let you go – not fully knowing where you sought.
Before long, you would go for longer and longer times.
I let you. I wondered, but did not intrude.

The time came when you seldom returned.
I could no longer wait patiently.
My mind first tried to follow but could not see beyond the trees.
It was up to my feet to find the truth.

So I began to follow you, further and further each day.
Deep into your forest, beyond the places I knew.
Beyond those places where I knew you.
Eventually it led me to your secret place, your secret garden.

I knew not of this place
although you had hinted of it to me many times.
Perhaps even invited me. Did you really want me there?
Yet now all I can do is sit in the shadows and observe.

A glorious place, surrounded by high thickets
brambles, vines and thorns.
Yet beautiful in it’s simplicity,
overwhelming in it’s delicate complexity.

As you would enter, some times you tread lightly
others you dive in head long to tend to it’s needs.
It showed some neglect, but bore signs of renewed care.
but even in your moments of haste, your tending was precise.

A well worn path – older than our time together,
overgrown with time but awaiting your touch –
snakes through the foilage guiding your feet.
You walk it daintily but with subdued passion.

There are now many times after you leave,
I stay to enjoy it’s beauty and admire your work.
Roses and daisies. Marigolds and pansies. Bachelor buttons and mums.
Many more flowers each distinct and beautiful that I have yet to indentify.

The flowers fill the air with their fragrance
The greens grow strong and bright.
Some plants grow with simple purity,
other I see twisted and don’t understand.

Yet you return to tend to them and on occasion,
the most twisted vine of thorns and roses gets your most care.
With time I begin to appreciate the beauty of those as well.
The most contorted twists and turns reveal an intentioned design – beautiful!

You bend and stoop, mind your time, care to your passions, tend to the greenery.
You wander along the twisted footpaths, and between the shrubbery.
Your mind full of thoughts and dreams I can only begin to understand.
Your eyes seeing things in ways I had never seen.

I saw too the chairs and benches throughout the garden,
especially the two in the center. Glorious if not simple.
The benches place about in well chosen places to allow one to rest – reflect
the two in the center as a center focus – perhaps a purpose to all that is about them.

The One seat set higher than the other, and the other at the foot of the One.
Often you would wipe it clean and tend to area around.
You would sit at the foot of the higher chair,
but never on the higher seat. What was it for? A throne perhaps?

Examing closer there almost seemed a purpose – the high seat, the One…
the paths all leading around it, the flowers all leading to it.
All around it tended focused your mind upon it,
the true purpose of this place was what it seemed. Or did I just seem to want it that way?

With time you would bring others to the garden,
as your recent ministering renewed it’s face.
I could see your desire to share this place,
and could sense the need you had within for sharing.

You would show them your flowers,
let them admire the greenery,
walk them before the twisted vines.
Could they imagine how you tended to every contorted twist?

You would sit with them on the benches
Some would hold you while you would would bend over a particular flower.
Few would understand the time you spent here.
Many would never know the things I witnessed from afar.

Yet some seemed to understand certain things better than I.
Watching them I would appreciate more why things were…
Why a bush bent this way or that, why a shrub would seem to lean to the side.
And I would understand why you brought them here, them and not me.

I watched as one stood over you before your favorite rose,
they would smile as you knelt to smell it, a tear streaming down your cheek.
Your hand clasped around it’s stem – no doubt the thorns peircing your skin.
I watched as the blood trickled through your fingers.

You arose and turned around to face him.
He nodded and gave you a smile.
You lowered your head as he came around to hold you.
But he did not see your head raise slight to look around… perhaps for someone else?

Your glance seemed to go beyond the edges of the garden.
Did you know I was here? How I wished you were looking for me.
But how could you know – how could it be?
It seemed you come here to escape from me – perhaps I’m just a fool.

Your search seemed brief but in earnest, and my hiding place sound.
Then your eyes turned to the One chair in the center,
the fact had not escaped me that no one ever sat there. Not even you.
Would that chair be reserved for me? I dare not presume so much.

I can but return day after day,
to watch you work and learn what I can, and take joy in learning.
Enjoy the simple beauty of you here as you toil
and to try to forget the others who share what I cannot.

Perhaps I shall grow careless, perhaps I will mean to do so.
to make my presence known, leave a footprint or make a sound.
Perhaps you will learn I am watching, see where I am hiding,
perhaps you already know. Perhaps I assume too much.

I can but sit and watch you tending to your tasks,
enjoy in your beauty and the beauty of your secret garden.
To learn what I can and to wonder, is there a place for me here?
Is this place here already for that purpose?

(this entry is a work in progress – check back as I will likely edit it many, many times as well as add to it – my observations that lead to this peice are still ongoing. My hiding place still my own ‘secret place’ and personal retreat. My observations still my own personal mission. This entry just one of it’s many results)

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You closed your house to me.
I used to be inside, and enjoyed the warmths of home.
It was a wondrous place to be and full of love for all.
I spent my time without consideration for it’s end.
But my time was wasted, I didn’t fully appreciate my place.
And now I stand outside.

I watch you now from afar, but the blinds are mostly pulled down.
On occasion you peek out, and I smile back at you.
Do you see me? Know I am watching.
The occasional window is drawn to let in the outside air.
I smell the sweet smells from within.

The things that can be seen are nothing I have not seen before,
but they are things I appreciate now all the more.
Memories flood by and but new feelings come with them,
and with them come new understandings and appreciation.

So I watch your windows, peer through the blinds, seek any opening.
Show me what’s inside – do you raise them for me?
Or am I just now seeing what you show to all.
Woe for me for not enjoying what is inside when it was mine to enjoy.
I enjoy it now. I wait patiently for the next view within.

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What can I do?

I thought of you today, many many times.
Happy joyful thoughts.
Of the thoughts I have, many ask the same questions.
Most of those come down to one…

What can I do for you?

When you can’t sleep, I can keep you company.
When you want to share, I can lend an ear.
When you need a hug, I’ll be your teddy bear.
When you want a kiss, I will pucker up!
When you are sad, I’ll be your clown.
When you are happy, I will admire your smiles.
When you find yourself alone, I’ll be your friend.
When your overwhelmed, I can steal you away.
When you feel you have nothing, I’ll give myself to you.
When the weight of the world is on your shoulders, I can help carry the load.
When your feeling lighter then air, I’ll fly with you.
When you feel about to fall, I’ll help lower you to the ground.

Of course, I must stop to check myself.
I’ve been humbled by my own human frailty.

There are times I might not make the best company.
Some things you want to say to me, I might not immediately hear.
My stuffing might be lumpier at times than the average plush bear.
There will be days when my lips may not seem as soft.
On days when I am also sad, I won’t make the best clown.
On days when you are happy, I may miss some smiles
There could be times when you are alone, that you won’t even want me around.
Sometimes stealing you away may involving taking more than is mine.
Should I find myself with nothing, giving that nothing to you may not help your cause.
Holding up the world all the time is not something I am great at myself.
Flying is fun – especially with you
but sometimes I may fear falling myself.

So what can I actually do?
I can do my best…
… and I can try to do what I can,
as often as I can.
It shall be my greatest joy,
especially to do it for you.

With Love…

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Use me,
abuse me
but don’t cast me away.
Ignore me,
avoid me,
put me off.
Spit on my name,
score my flesh,
kick my body laid before you.
Curse my image,
tear up my picture,
defile my property.
Push me down,
hold me at arms length,
force me to go away.
Withdraw from my touch,
avoid my caress,
deny my embrace.
Turn your back,
look the other direction,
avert your eyes!

These all remain a conscious act.
and with them I will know you still think of me.
(even trying not to think [of me] is the same)

If that is the attention you provide me,
the attention I deserve,
I will accept with gracious thanks.

But forget-me-not…
for that will leave me truly alone
and with nothing.

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You have something that belongs to me.
I thought it was something simply to be shared,
Never realizing it was mine the whole time.
It’s simply mine. Always was, still is.
And not knowing fully meant not upholding the responsibility.

You have something that belongs to me.
Some day I would like it back.
But I won’t come to take it. Even though I could.
And I know you would give it back if I made you.
No, I won’t make you. It wouldn’t be the same.

You have something that belongs to me.
I know you’ll keep it safe. Even safe from me.
I must learn what it’s worth and what it means,
and to prove that to you – even if you don’t ask me to.
Prove I can live up to… possessing it.

You have something that belongs to me,
and I finally know it’s mine – all mine.
Always was, still is. I finally know this because
I have something that belongs to you.
It’s simply your’s. Always was, still is and always will be…

And knowing this means everything.

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No more broken promises,
Not a single empty word.
No more things I never said,
and thought you never heard.

I kept trying anxiously
not knowing what to do,
But begin to understand it now
and to know that it is true.

No more hiding things inside,
as I turn to run away.
I won’t try to read your mind
when my pride gets in the way.

I never needed to look to far
to truly understand.
I only need to turn around
and take you by the hand.

Sadly in those times I was
More blind than I could be.
In spite of all the things that passed
finally I can see.

Even though I lagged behind
the path is now clear as day.
Burdons built before me
are all falling away.

Now I follow patiently,
there’s nothing I’d rather do.
Making up for all those times
will hold my direction true.

Don’t make me broken promises,
or think I never heard.
I know the things you cannot say
I’ve memorized every word.

So I’ll keep trying anxiously,
I ‘know now‘ what to do.
I can understand it now…

… I have faith in you.

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Can anyone explain something to me? What’s going on in my head the past few days is more than just pangs from a change (end) of a relationship. I find myself asking all too many questions that seem to boil down to the same two struggling principles. I run through my head any number of scenarios that all boil down to the same thing. Let me see if I can describe it and then see what kind of answers may come back.
I’ll try to keep it as concise as possible, but I’m sure this is a subject I could write an entire volume upon. I find my mind tossling between almost pure reason and pure emotion lately – almost a fatalistic tug-of-war over the last few days especially. I look around me at the rest of the world and see the same thing – different forces pushing each; whether it be science versus religion, male ego vs. female heart, right brain vs. left.
I see movies talk about the virtues of each outlook – one glorifying the dreamer, the other glorifying the beautiful mind. People write songs about Van Gogh who took his own live “as dreamers often do” but then hold up the great works of Da Vinci who managed to laugh in the face of foolishly vain men of God.
My entire life I have had this war ongoing within myself. At different times there has been one side or another that has dominated for certain periods of time. Go too far into emotion and you are can be seen as weak and a target for evil folk. Go too far into reason and you are simply cold and calculating like the Vulcans of Roddenberry’s stories.
Don’t get me wrong – I know that the real world is some mix somewhere in the middle. Perhaps I should go find a text on buddhism and learn about the whole yin-yang concept. But where in the world do you find a balance? How in the hell do you find your own point of equilibrium in the middle of that scale? My dreamer’s mind trying to tell me that love can overcome anything, my reasonable mind saying that love is just another emotion and that reality sometimes deems otherwise. My romantic self thinking anything is possible if you simply want it bad enough to be, my calculating self saying essentially the same thing but knowing that it’s not a matter of wishing but of perserverance and hard work?

You know the old saying – it takes 2 to tango. How can you risk truly giving your heart to someone when there’s the real chance that it’s going to be sent back un-opened? Or worse, roughly used and stomped on. And if you tread lightly, going with caution, taking great care giving of self with the heart as one of the last things given over completely is there not a real chance that they may give up or go away if that’s the part they really desired first?

And where in the hell do you find someone who will put up with your stupid ass while you find that happy medium?

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