“How can you love me if my own mom couldn’t love me?”

Welcome to my life. No, literally! This is my life at the moment…all consumed in the idea of love. Not love, just the idea. I have asked this question a million times, or more, over the course of just three weeks. Over and over. My head is refusing to wrap itself around the idea of love without a maternal figure…maybe not even a maternal figure, but just my mother. “How? Why? But what if…? What about…? But…?” Etc. Question after question comes pouring out. It’s as if there are no more questions to ask and then another one appears…finding every flaw, ever known to me, to turn that love around. You know, “but what about that time I pushed Susie down the slide, that wasn’t loving therefore I can’t be lovable…”  Silly, incoherent, illogical questions. But they’re not silly…not illogical, and not incoherent. They are very real to me. Just the idea of love makes my mind spin and my stomach churn. Not because I think it’s gross {ok, maybe a little}, but because it is so confusing to me. So confusing I can’t comprehend even the slightest bit of it. I know what love looks like, from more than one perspective. I know what love is from my experiences perspective, but I also know what it looks like at an unconditional level, and at a level that is in between. My kind of love, the love I’ve always been shown, is easy. It’s simple: do whatever you want regardless the effect it’ll have on anyone else. If someone makes you mad, demoralize them and tell them how horrible and awful they are. If you just feel frustrated or your need’s not getting met, just freak out. It’s okay to hit and if you feel the need to pleasure just go for the weakest link. That’s a simple love. That’s the love I grew up with 97% of my life. That love is not okay, because it is not love. I know this, but that “love” is comfortable. That kind of love is what I know…so, when unconditional love is implemented I don’t know what to do. I don’t get it. I don’t understand the intentions of love and that bugs me. The love I grew up with {that’s not really love} was easy to decipher intention: I’m mad therefore I must hit someone to relieve my anger. Or, I feel bad about myself so I’m going to make someone else feel bad about their self so I feel better. Etc. With love, it’s different. Intention is unclear and not concise. It’s as if there is no meaning to it at all, other than to love, and to me that makes absolutely no sense at all. Then I start to ask, “What is the point of love if there is no meaning other than naturalistic behavior and it’s what we were made to do?” “Unconditional love allows someone to love others through all flaws and mistakes. It doesn’t mean that you can’t be angry, because you can be angry at and love someone all in the same breath.” I don’t understand this concept. How is any of it possible? I don’t understand the capacity of love. How can you love more than a select amount of people. How is it that the more people you love the more your heart grows? Does your love for one person not replace the love of another? This is another big struggle: If you love me, even though my mom didn’t, then isn’t your love for me replaced by others as time goes and you create new relationships? My mom didn’t love me unconditionally, but it was evident that once a new person came into her life the love she did hold for my siblings and I dissipated. So, how can unconditional love be different? How can any type of love allow you to love someone and keep that place in your heart for them once you have found a new friend to love? How can your love for that person not impede the love you have for the first? And then the question of motherly love arises: “How, if my mom couldn’t, can you love me unconditionally, or at all?” Because my mind often returns to the idea of intention, I often wonder why someone loves me. How is it possible and how long will they love me for? Can someone be lovable without a mothers love? Can love be reciprocated if you have never been given love and suddenly are? The idea of love, itself, is so massive and so complex–or maybe that’s just me–that my brain and body refuses to wrap around it. It is so different from anything I’ve known for the past 20 years. Why is the love that I was always shown not love? Will I ever have the capacity within me to love unconditionally without returning to my old love? Will I, as an adult, be able to love a child like my mother couldn’t and if so, how? As a 20-year-old, who was never given unconditional love, is it possible that I could be lovable? Because my mom couldn’t love me, does that mean no one else can? How is it possible that I am able to love my mom unconditionally, when she couldn’t love me? Why am I able to let go of all things she did and just love her, but am I not able to love others the same? There are times, like now, that my old way of love seems very comforting–when all the behavior and action is much more tempting than allowing myself to believe that anyone could or does love me–because I don’t understand love, or the idea of love. It is frustrating, it is tiring, and honestly very annoying. What is the idea of love, how did it come to be, and why is it so confusing? Will I ever understand the idea of love and allow myself to be loved, unconditionally–without intention or reason?  One of the most explaining quotes of love, that I have encountered, comes from a book titled, “The Language of Flowers“. It’s about love and how love can be without rooting:

[…]if it was true that moss did not have roots, and love could grow spontaneously, as if from nothing […] perhaps the unattached, the unwanted, the unloved, could grow to love as lushly as anyone else.

So, for now the idea of love is one that is strongly on my mind…and it is up to me to decide if I want to embark on the journey of unconditional love and all its confusingness or to sit and stay in my own love that I grew up with.

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