Questioning my love...
Jen Lemen has an amazing way with words and photos and videos that has touched my heart since the first time I discovered her blog a few years ago. When she stopped blogging last December, the blogging world lost one of its best writers, and I lost one of my life's role models; her importance and influence in my life are greater than she can possibly imagine. When she started writing publicly again last month, I cheered; literally, I pumped my fists and shouted for joy in front of my computer.
Yesterday she posted a blog about experimenting with the truth and, once again, put into words so many things that I have been feeling of late: fear and doubt and love and vulnerability and worry about what he thinks of me and what she thinks of my writing and why so few people leave comments on my blog or send me email anymore or respond to my texts.
Like Jen - and everyone else I know - I struggle with how to deal with my longing for the approval and pleasure and the very presence of those that I love. Like nobody else I know, I have countless questions about this thing we call love. Every single day, I spend way too much time questioning my love.
How do I let the ones that I love know how much their presence in my life means without being melodramatic?
How do I show them that I am doing well in my life without their approval, presence, or permission without giving the impression that I don't need them in my life?
What happened to us as human beings that we have gotten to this place where sharing our affection and love and need for one another feels riskier and more frightening than expressing road rage towards complete strangers or losing our tempers in line at the post office or even supporting war and defending our right to bear lethal, life-ending arms against one another?
Why do I struggle with how and how often to tell the people that I love that I love them, that I care about every detail of their lives, and that I am here for them and with them - without sounding phony or desperate or manipulative?
How do I say, "I love you more than you know" without scaring you away?
Or sounding like a broken record because I say it so often?
Is it possible to hear that you are loved too often?
How much am I willing to risk by saying such a thing to you -
or anyone who is neither my husband nor either of my children nor some other blood relative?
Is it really love if I'm this afraid to tell you, to say it out loud?
Is it really love if I'm more concerned about what you will think of me if I tell you the truth
than about whether or not you know the truth?
Why do I not just take my chances and tell you the truth?
Which is simply this: I love you.
Does it matter whether or not you believe me?
Does it matter whether or not you love me back?
Why do I spend so much time worrying about all this?
Why do I keep questioning my love?