Locus of Love.
If someone asked (or told you) to love, r-e-a-l-l-y actively love a stranger, how easy or even possible would that be? And what if that request, or instruction, came along with extra caveats?
“Someone needs to take care, prioritise and love this person – we’ve chosen you. It does mean (a bit like having kids) that your social life will be reduced, you quite possibly won’t get as far in your career, and a bunch of (or all) your friends will probably like you less, and wander off to hang out with more convenient, socially available mates.”
Hmmmm… not sounding too brilliant to me already.
“Yeah but they r-e-a-l-l-y need a friend, you can tell. They look kinda wispy, almost invisible, and crumpled and I think they might smell.”
And I suddenly remember that. Being told that, as a kid. Did anything hurt quite as much as being told ‘you smell’? Even though you knew you didn’t. Oh yeah, being called ugly, and that you weren’t so sure about.
Not fitting in sucks balls.
But not fitting in only really sucks balls when your locus of love, has already shifted outside of yourself. Not taught how to see yourself and love yourself but taught how to be, so that when others saw you they could, and would, love you.
I personally think the world is traumatised. Then again, I haven’t experienced most of it. But I don’t think I know anyone who doesn’t feel ‘less’ than their heart tells them their deepest inner self knows them to be.
And for most of us, most people I know, that true version of them-self is barely recognisable to the ‘person’ they have become. Hard to see, like a shifting paper-thin-ghost that you feel you ought to be able to discern the features of. Like you do know them really, it’s just on the tip of you tongue – just can’t quite call to mind their face, nearly-seeing only a hint – a blank that draws an ache of grief, for the face you once knew and loved that you can’t now reach.
I was 28 when I recognised myself in someone else. Something about them triggered a remembrance, an excitement that wanted them to recognise me too. So we could be soulies, mates, best buddies.
I span around inside myself to point “look, look!” at my HUGE mountain self that matched his mountain self. Like the two matching images in the red 3D viewer from my childhood, that would combine with the light of day to make one clear 3D image, we could lose ourselves in matching friendship together. But nothing was there for me to point to .
Just empty shock, and confusion. Empty sky and some dust where my self-mountain used to be.
As science has begun to evidence neurological differences and their long-term outcomes, and epigenetic and neurological changes that trauma brings and has brought to us as human beings, things are beginning to change – education will change. Raising children will change. Making true room for differences will come about, simply because it is in society’s interest to. As neuroscience begins to remove arguable doubt about parenting styles in the minds of society.
Our contribution to that change, the push we lend most powerfully to the snowball, is both inward and outward. It is the relocating of the locus of love. In how we love our self and how we love others.
Seeking and offering no permission.
Especially as ADHDers. Can you think of a worse recipe for children than a heightened physiological fear response to rejection with zero to low fear extinction, and then believing that the love you already have inside you needs external permission. That you be ‘good’ enough, quiet enough, tidy enough, compliant enough, timely enough, efficient enough, consistent enough to be the best and most lovable version of ‘you’ to love in someone else’s eye.
I find the pointers to self-care and self-love just as difficult.
To me, the healing is in shifting that locus of love.
I love me whether I am pretty enough, good enough, or even loving enough for you.
I want to tell you I love you, but it is irrelevant to both of us.
What is true is, that when the love I am resides with me and my experience regardless of any external perspective as to whether it should, I am free, soft, powerful, grateful, creative.
And when I witness you, I am filled with more, incredible, love. it is not something I can give to you, no matter if you try to earn it in anyway, it stays in me and I am grateful to the depths of my existence to experience it. My love for you might guide my actions to be loving, and you might call that me ‘loving you’ but what you ‘have’, what you feel, is not my love. It is yours.
Your glowing, perfect, life sustaining, unwavering, consistent, inescapable love eternally resident in your existence.
When the locus of love has shifted in our awareness it becomes an external ‘permission’ granted to us by where we perceive love to be coming from.
Self-love cannot happen in this state of shifted locus of love, any more than my reflection can get up and do my washing up for me. No matter how hard I wish it! ❤ ❤ ❤