I am listening now with all of my senses, as if the whole universe might exist just to teach me more about love. I listen to strangers, I listen to random invitations, I listen to criticisms, I listen to my body, I listen to my creativity and to the artists who inspire me, I listen to elders, I listen to my dreams and the books I am reading. I notice that the more I pay attention, the more I see order, clear messages, patterns, and invitations in the small or seemingly random things that happen in my life. In all these ways, I meditate on love.
“Truthfully, this is the fabric of all my fantasies: love shown not by a kiss or a wild look or a careful hand but by a willingness for research. I don’t dream of someone who understands me immediately, who seems to have known me my entire life, who says, I know me too. I want someone keen to learn my own strange organization, amazed at what’s revealed; someone who asks, and then what, and then what?
From The Giant’s House, Elizabeth McCracken
Yet it can happen, suddenly, unexpectedly, and most frequently in the half-light-of-glimpses, that we catch sight of another visible order which intersects with ours and has nothing to do with it.
∆ John Berger, from Opening a Gate
“There are so many crushes in a lifetime, so many friendships that mix desiring-to-have with wanting-to-be. It’s the combination of wants that makes these longings confusing, dangerous, and queer. There is a desire to know that is already knowing, a curiosity for what you deep down recognize, a lust for what you are or could be. Writer Richard Lawson describes it as “the muddied confusion over whether you want to be someone’s companion or if you want to step inside their skin, to inhabit the world as they do.”
Excerpt From: Jenn Shapland. “My Autobiography of Carson McCullers.” Apple Books.
- Am I emotionally available for a relationship?
- Am I aware of my triggers/how they show up in my relationships?
- Do I really like this person?
- Am I familiar or comfortable with this person? There’s a difference.
- Do I have to perform or alter myself to be loved by them?
- Do our core values and beliefs align?
- Am I attracted to their heart, values and character?
- Am I willing to honor our differences?
- Am I willing to accept their flaws?
- Do I like who I am with this person?
- Do I want to be like this person?
- Do they challenge me to grow?
- Does this person respect me?
- Do they respect my boundaries?
- Are they an active listener?
- Do they know how to emotionally regulate during conflict?
- Can they handle constructive criticism?
- What is their relationship like with their family and friends? Would I be okay if they treated me the same way?
- Are they self aware? Do they have a healthy sense of self/emotional maturity?
- Can I trust this person with my heart?
- Can we have fun together?