I've just been reading a lovely article. The writer was saying how they are quick to believe "I'm not good enough", or worthy, or that "I'll just never be enough". And it came to me that all of these very thoughts and feelings are transactional - that the words must be modified in context of, and because of 'the other'. Modified to: "I'm not good enough 'for X'", "and "I'm not worthy 'to be with Y', or that "I'll just never be enough 'to Z'."
That this is so, somehow strengthens my conviction that we just can't know what we need or want all that well - or if ever, very rarely. And I'm damned sure we can't know what the other needs or wants either.
Because - who knows? Maybe this 'other' just so happens to need or want me. Need and want me for reasons they'll never understand or be able to articulate. Ever.
And then it follows that it doesn't matter if I'm this way or that way. Whether the other person who could be in my life is this way or that way. Because to the other's needs or desires - well, I'm just what the doctor ordered.
Simple words, but they mean so much to me. Getting to know what I want or need has been so hard. That it is easy, is a lie our culture and our media perpetuates. And we lap it up. "Just figure out what you want. Find out what you need. And go for it. Fulfill your desires, fulfill your needs (and buy our products)".
And don't be fooled - I wrote "...has been so hard" just now. Don't think for a moment that I've reached an understanding of these fundamentals. Nope. A felt-sense, maybe. But only softly, softly - in the quietest of moments. And the deeper I go, the less concrete the answers become. The message that echoes for me, as I think about crucial moments of connecting or relating with others, is patchy at best. The signal and the words are garbled, and all that emerges, all that's heard is 'I want' or 'If only' or 'I want to them to hear me - to know me - to just accept me'.
'Me'. So simple, so fundamental.
And then I thought about this primal pulse, this drumbeat: "I want to be needed" and "I need to be wanted", softly softly, gaining and losing in volume as life washes by. Put two people together and perhaps there will be moments of harmonics. I mean, there ought to be, or so the odds go. Moments of sympathetic vibration - when my 'want to be needed', and my 'need to be wanted' begins to hum in synchrony with their 'want to be needed', their 'need to be wanted'.
And so when do we know when we love someone? When do we know when we matter to them, that they love us?
Know? That's a hard one. Maybe I know when my heart is quiet. Maybe it's when the waves aren't crashing over us. Maybe at those times when we're both lost in thought, or simply becalmed.
I think it's when I feel, and can hear myself somehow saying that "right now, at this very moment, at this very place, with this person - things are okay". But it's more than that. It has to be more than that. It can't be a few isolated moments. Relationships don't exist or develop in a few isolated moments. Relationships are built over a bedrock formed of a primordial time - older than we can ever know. They span our whole lives, even if we've only known one another for a month.
I remember this feeling - the isolated case of when everything was okay. I was with someone, and I felt that it was a moment without past or future - rooted there and then. I felt acutely that then and there, the world was okay. I knew that after that moment, things wouldn't be or feel okay but that this was acceptable because that's just how life goes. But that the feeling could return, given the right opportunity. Imagine being with someone where you experience this feeling over and over.
Maybe that's love. Nothing more, and nothing less. A sounding, a tattoo, a drumbeat - and when we listen carefully for a while, we both hear "right now, at this very moment, the world is okay".
October 27, 2013
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