(Mommalife, i.e. why my Monday Musings mailed on Tuesday)
Throughout life, you are told who to love.
“Love your family,” they say.
“Love your teacher,” they say.
“Love thy neighbor,” they say.
“Love the one you’re with,” they say.
Yet, how good of a sister, a daughter, a student, a counterpart, even a neighbor, can one be without first being equipped with how to love him or herself. The one you will always be with is yourself. There is no revelation, here. But what might be news to your heart is just how to properly love yourself: a whole lot of time.
We spend time working for our boss, working for our family, working for our dream body. But what of our heart-connected-to-the-head bone? Anyone who has gone through a heart-crash knows we work it, too, but maybe not as often as we should.
Time to explore him or herself, time to know the very core that binds, that moves, that shakes them. And then and only then, very gradually and over what feels like an immense amount of time (thank you, awkward teen and early twenty-something years) can you establish just who it is you are loving before you dare inflict and expect such painstaking efforts on someone else and even on yourself.
Sounds selfish, right? That’s a big N-O. But isn’t hurtling all of those ill-timed, preconceived notions of oneself towards someone more selfish? Just ask any of my previous
victims mates*. I used to love irresponsibly. Like Monroe without a corset, I’d run from my dorm room to chase love down only to realize I’d show up on so-and-so’s doorstep in men’s sneakers and far too thirsty. My love was as young as the nights ’round me–winter hadn’t yet hit. And when it did, I stood like a child who’d forgotten their coat and mittens on the school bus.It was all wrong. If only I’d taken the time to address why I laced up those men’s sneakers initially.
My little experiment of instilling love within myself through the gaze of another, a potential lover of sorts, forever lead one party toward heart palps in the early stages, but can only be followed by heart pains. Because: time. Foresight/hindsight/20/20. Time is sensitive but it always wins. And when it does, you might clarify your perceptions of yourself only to realize that this new you in no way meshes with the same-old, same-old partner. If love and time could co-exist: “Oh, wouldn’t it be lover-ly?” begs Audrey-Eliza’s the world over.
I’m sure some of you reading this know that I’m married if you’ve poked ’round my website. And, oh what a high horse marriage may seem to be riding up on such a topic, but please, this post is of the “learn from my mistakes” category. I beg of you as my ex-loves beg, beg, beg. For if you do carve out ample time–be it lonely and hella confusing–to fall in love with the one you’re forever with, you will not only be giving yourself the freedom to love and to be loved with purpose and clarity from the turmoil that comes with any unknown, but you’ll also be giving all of your future loves the greatest gift: loving all that is truly you with little to fear, little to regret.
*Conveniently enough, those ill-timed mates have all made the last round in the screening process to exist on Mars, and are currently cohabiting an underground mole-hole until word arrives of their blast off/ETA. This plan would be ideal considering there’s an environmentalist, musician, videographer, finance guru, and graphic designer in the bunch = i.e. ability to document said takeover and subsequent wreckage of poor, old Mars.