Love is the Decision of an Adult
I don’t remember where that quote came from, so I thought I’d look it up. Can’t find it anywhere. It feels good to know that there are some things that one cannot “Google.” What does manifest itself is that after 6 brief years with my wife, we love each other more every day. Why?
An old and dear friend of mine, although she can be somewhat of a brat at times, taught me a cruel and beautiful lesson: quit looking for the right person, and BE the right person. Love for another, although part of the general universe and the omnipresent Agape Love of The Creator, comes from within. I am able to love another in direct proportion to my ability to love myself.
After being dismissed from by my ex-wife after 16 years of marriage because she didn’t “feel like” being married any more, I had the obligatory period of mourning. Aside from the fact that I had been cast out of the house that I had inhabited for some 22 years, it was the loss of my family. My girls were left in the care and nurturing of my ex’s new boyfriend, and the family holidays no longer required my presence. It was a great time of self-pity and morbid reflection, followed by a resolve that it was indeed not all my fault, and that there was a self in there somewhere worth saving.
Figuring out that there was something to offer to the world was half the battle. The next thing that came to mind was that it was imperative that this wonder be shared with a significant “other.” What wiring the Universe, “God” if you will, put in us to make us feel that we need a mate is a great mystery, but for many it is irrefutable. To me, life is at its fullest when being shared. To this end began my summer of love via Match.com. I was determined that my life was not going to be lived alone. It never occurred to me that I was really never alone, and that God, the Universe, and soooooo many wonderful people were all around me, but off I went in search for the “right” person.
Over the course of the summer I met and “dated” probably thirty or forty different ladies. A couple of times I felt the feelings of infatuation that manifest in the ways of youth: dizzy dancing way I feel, weak in the knees, etc. It was the second time that happened that the realization came to me that it was not about the women that I was with, because they were entirely different. Upon reflection, the women that I have really loved and felt that way about throughout my life have had very few similarities. That wonderful dizzy dancing way I feel is just that. It is the dizzy dancing way I feel.
Love for another, although part of the general universe and the omnipresent Agape love of The Creator, comes from within. I am able to love another in direct proportion to my ability to love myself. The past couple of days have been very satisfying for me professionally: I have a couple of clients that are really listening to my advice, and empowering me to be really creative and productive. That is always a great feeling. When my wife comes home at night there is no insecurity or self-pity to get in the way or our enjoyment of each other.
Giving of one’s self is the most satisfying aspect of a relationship. Whether it is knowing your children will finally appreciate you when they “grow up” and not clinging to them when they do, or simply knowing when to say “that’s great dear, you go have fun” in general. My wife is a senior executive in a global corporate travel management enterprise; therefore travel is a major factor in our relationship. She also has many close friends and a huge family, all of which is very healthy and great. I am envious, as both of my parents have long since passes, and my only siblings are half sisters that are a great deal older than I. Mary is gone lots with her friends, and my life has evolved to be more introspective and solitary. There are many great friends and activities in my life, just not as often as she is gone. I still take great pride and joy in seeing her thrive and be able to take advantage of her many outside opportunities. It is never healthy to have all of one’s eggs in one relational basket. That is why it is so common to see one spouse pass away almost immediately after the other.
I have a deathly fear of heights. I get dizzy at the top of a step-ladder. It showed its head a few times in my youth, like at the top of the Eifel Tower, but really didn’t manifest itself totally until I suffered a severe concussion in a snowmobile accident (apparently they are not meant to jump 30 foot double motocross hills). Mary, not keeping my phobia at the top of her mind at all times, got this wonderful opportunity to spend a couple of nights at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in San Francisco. Thinking that this would be a wonderful and romantic weekend for us in The City, she never thought to enquire as to the vertical parameters of the event. Being aware of my own limitations, I made some queries, and found that the Hotel occupies floors 37 through 48 of a tower that looks down on the Transamerica Pyramid in downtown San Francisco. Needless to say, I had to tell her to have a wonderful time in the five-star accommodations, while my own humble residence for the weekend will be a few blocks (and several hundred feet in elevation) down the street.
The examples could go on and on. We’re going to visit her parents in Vancouver WA for Thanksgiving, and now were going back again at Christmas because all of her brothers and sisters will be there. It happens to be a financial burden that was not expected at this time of year, but the joy in her face made it more than worth it. The list is endless and it couldn’t be any sweeter. I’m quite sure hers is twice as long with me. She wakes up every morning before I do and puts a cloth over my eyes so that her reading lamp doesn’t disturb me. The point is that we made a commitment to love and honor each other, and that is what has made it work.
The more each of us sacrifices and gives, the more we love ourselves. It is a phenomenon that has existed in fable and fact for eons. The more we love ourselves, the more we are able to love others, and I love her more every day.