To love is to respect (I think)

Perhaps I’m the last person to speak about love and relationships. I’ve failed them all. I’ve made mistakes. I know I’m not whole, or healed, or reasonable, or wise about feelings.

Maybe I’m not the smart one. Maybe I’m not the one that sees the bigger picture, maybe I’m not the one that understands anything.

I am, however, the one that at least tries to learn. Grow. Understand. Heal. Go on. Go further. And stop and look at herself, when needed (oh so often!).

Even through my failed relationships I tried to learn from my mistakes. Tried. What I believed in, what I thought, changed so many times. Each relationship, not just the romantic ones, showed me something new. A new part of me, and a new part of life. Of, well, relationships.

With every new experience I’ve changed. Relationships changed. What I think I know changed. How I see life changed.

Can I really say anything about love and relationship? Yes. I can. My truth will never be the truth of everyone else. Not even of most of others. It’s entirely possible that it won’t be anyone else’s truth. It’s also entirely possible that I share it with someone. Whichever the case is, it is my truth. Today. Tomorrow it may change. Today I can speak of love like this…

I don’t think love is about attraction (but it doesn’t hurt either). It doesn’t need strength (but sometimes it takes strength to love). It doesn’t need sacrifice (but sometimes sacrifice can be made out of love). It doesn’t need gifts, it doesn’t need declarations, it doesn’t need profound poetry or ecstatic music (again, none of those things hurt… I guess). It’s not about saving someone. Having solutions. Taking care of others. All those things can be faces of love, manifestations perhaps, or acts out of love. But… Even when you cannot offer solutions, it doesn’t mean you don’t love. If you cannot take care of someone else, because circumstances are as they are, it doesn’t mean your love isn’t real.

Love is (not just, but also) about respect. I thought I knew that. I did, in theory. I’m just not sure I ever felt it. Really felt it as the truth, as something that is not just an welcome yet unessential part of love. Because of all parts, pieces, elements of love, I now not only know, but feel too: with no respect there is no love.

Respect is not something you can give by saying “I respect you”, it’s one of those things that are true only when really meant. Acted upon. Felt. Lived. Cherished. As is love…

Am I any wiser? I guess not. It’s just another thought… A faint memory of a moment I felt respected. I’m thankful for that moment.

Alenka H., 2022

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *