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On reaching out and taking in.

Have you ever tried holding on to something between your lips? Yaknow, that parking ticket at the garage that is always ripped away at the slightest gust of wind? Or grabbed something with just your fingertips, slowly feeling whatever it is you’ve gotten hold of slipping away every so slightly? Like the edge of your phone when it’s just out of reach in bed, and instead of getting to it, you’re just pushing it away further?
And have you ever wondered what would have happened if you’d just put whatever it was you were trying to so hard to hold onto actually IN your mouth? Or just folded your palm around it?

I realize now how dirty all of that sounds – but I didn’t mean it like that. Ok. Maybe a bit, but just because I like perverting the brains of my readers and then pointing out their perversions. But what I actually MEANT to say was this:
How much EASIER would it have been to control whatever it was you were trying to control that way?

There’s an extreme amount of effort in reaching out and grabbing hold of things outside ourselves. Controlling something that is not a part of ourselves or in the realm of our full bodily control takes a whole lot of strength and determination.
If you try to hold a fragile ball of glass in the tips of your fingers you’ll be at risk of crushing, dropping or losing it at any given second. Cup it in the palm of your hand, fold your fingers around it and make it a part of yourself – and it’s safe and sound. Effortlessly so.

Love, I realize, feels much the same to me. I have always treated love as an outside entity. Something I should reach for, that I should earn or that someone else needs to win from me. Something that should be afforded to me and that I should work for and have others show to be worthy of. Love has always been something to grab onto and hold. To fight to keep in my possession. Something precarious. Something uncertain. Something outside of my full control.

In a lot of ways I’ve never really learned to open up my heart and really take love in. Integrate it into who I am and want to be. They way the books say you should. The way the movies make love look.

They way I love people has never been a part of who I am as a person, but always been a part of my interaction with a certain other entity. I will love someone as long as they’re in my life. Out of sight, out of mind, so to say. As long as they choose to stick around and as long as I feel I can hold onto them loving me (and me loving them) – I passionately do so. But it always feels like something ‘outside of me‘.

It’s much like the way we consider clothes to be a part of us. They belong to who we are as an entity at any given moment of wearing them….but they’re never really us. They’re ethereal. in a way, though they’re very much physically there at the same time. Interchangeable. Fluid and not ever-really-there. They’re who we feel we are, until they come off and turn back into a meaningless piece of cloth. I wear love like I do my favorite shirt. When I’m wearing it it is who I am. Who I want to be. A part of me as much as my right foot and left butt-cheek. I don’t see it as separate to myself until I need a shower and realize how easily it is discarded once it comes away from myself.

All I ever seem to be doing is reaching out and grabbing hold of love. For a while. For some time. For however long it is available and welcome. With as much effort as is required to keep my fingertips just barely wrapped around it.

But I never really take it in, I fear. Which is why it’s always so hard. A fight. A struggle. Which is why it’s only easy when I’m actually with the person I’m with. When they’re close enough to be like the shirt I’m wearing. When they’re close enough to be a part of me. Until they move far enough away that I lose my grip and have to start reaching again. And then lose my love when I lose the perceived control.

I just wonder if learning to take it in instead of reaching out is a learnable skill. Maybe they just forgot to build in that capacity into this weird as fuck body.

12 thoughts on “On reaching out and taking in.

  1. I feel your analogy is an excellent one. I struggle with the same exact things. I think the cliche about love being more of a verb more than a noun is very true, but it’s hard for me not to accept that it should just HAPPEN and be self-perpetuating. My mind knows better, but I often don’t pay my mind much mind.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Have you ever held so much shopping that the only way you could open the shop door to get out was by leaning into the door to push it open?

    Except you then remember, at the last moment, when you start to overbalance yourself, that it is in fact an automatic door!

    Yeah, anyhoo…

    Speaking as someone who has web in a place of deep dark emotional doodoo of late… and has at times been lifted by the light and buoyant touch of those around me…

    the fact that I can name you as one of those buoyant rescuer dudes suggests you’re better at reaching beyond yourself than you realise.

    I think maybe I’m better writing silly stories about cheese-driven aliens…

    but as a cheer up strategy, it was worth a shot… and I did come up with the phrase “buoyant rescuer dudes.”


    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a masterpiece, once again.
    The fragility and openness …
    The selfreflection (Yes, you really are a Queen of selfreflection 😉)

    Love will, in a way, always be precarious, and volatile, essentially NOT certain. It’s not a given. “Een relatie is een werkwoord” they say, and they’re damn right. You have to put in a lot of work and you have to keep working for it. People change, circumstances change and to ‘hold’ the equilibrium you frequently have to regain your balance.

    In love there is – and I think there should – be NO control. No ‘zekerheidjes’. That’s why, in my regard, love is a thing of beauty and at the same time so horrendous: you can give it your all and everything and still it can slip right through your fingers like dust or sand.

    I’ve learned to accept that, and by not assuming or wanting too much, by NOT trying to get a hold, I’ve learned to enjoy what comes my way (to the full). Love that actually comes your way is the best, and I believe that kind of love will remain as long as you do not try to get a firm hold on it (or – even worse – neglect it).

    My message: you ARE enough and a love like this will find it’s way to you. Sit back and relax. You’ll be surprised by what ‘eventually’ WILL happen. Don’t force things: you can’t hurry (real) love.

    Remember: “we accept the love we think we deserve” (don’t lower your standard, don’t try to get a hold: the love you actually deserve WILL come your way). Be patient …

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The song Once Bitten Twice Shy by Great White (I think someone else did the song first, but Great White’s cover from 1989ish was the one I grew up with) ( contains the line “there’s blood on my amp, and my Les Paul’s beat,” referring to a Gibson Les Paul guitar. For decades, I always heard that line as “there’s blood on my ass, and my left butt cheek.”

    That has nothing to do with this blog post except that you said “left butt cheek,” so naturally that’s the first thing I thought of.

    Liked by 2 people

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