13 February 2010

Love makes the world go 'round.
   - anonymous

About love and intimacy with men.

I've been learning some lessons recently about this very thing from watching my son with his brand-new daughter. Shortly before she was born, he was agitated enough to ask me, "I've never been so happy in my life; before I was married, I was nowhere. What will happen if the baby comes, and she doesn't love me any more?" So here I was, facing his deepest fear directly. I was gentle with him, and explained that yes, the relationship with his wife would probably change because now there would be a baby to take care of, but if he'd welcome that change, it would provide them with the chance they'd end up with more love between them, not less. I said that love is additive, not subtractive, in nature and that as long as he trusted his darling's heart and listened to his own, they'd do just fine.

That was in September. His baby was born in mid-October. In early November I went to California to visit. I asked my son what he'd discovered about having a baby that surprised him. His answer was, "I think it's how protective and maternal I feel toward both of them." I watched his face every time he looked at his girls--the one he married and the one he made--and love was absolutely manifest in his expression toward both. I hope he never loses that feeling. I can see how love is going to shape his future--everything he desires and he's going to do with his life rests in the cocoon of what he feels right now toward his wife and child.

I believe that at the root of what fuels all the pain and suffering, the hunger, wars, and saber-shaking, is fear. Men who do not experience unconditional love in their lives or who lost unconditional love are always afraid that they'll be hurt or condemned as bad, so they act from the basis of their fears, to the detriment of everyone and everything around them. Worse, when women turn relationships with men into a quid pro quo, they demean themselves and devalue love entirely. That, in turn, reinforces the fear in men that something's going to be taken from them, and the whole cycle takes another dreadful downward spin.

Women have it in themselves to stop the vicious cycle. All that is really necessary to reshape the world is for women to move from the premise, "I will love you if..." to simply, "I love you." Intimacy is easy to achieve when it's not tainted by a desire for something one or the other has. It's always based on trust and lack of fear. Men must feel loved for who they are, rather than for what they can do, earn, own, or bestow. The sooner we understand and embrace that idea, the sooner things will change for the better. We can re-shape the world, one man at a time.

Power, money, and sex don't make the world go 'round, love does.

And in conclusion, I'd have to say that Shakespeare had it right and said it best when he wrote, "My bounty is as boundless as the sea, my love as deep; the more I give to thee, the more I have, for both are infinite." (from Romeo and Juliet, Act I, Scene V).

Excuse me. I have to send out my St. Valentine's Day greetings to the people I love.


No comments: