I've had a transformation recently. It happened while I wasn't looking, and when I looked, I realized that “gay” isn't part of my identity anymore; it's just a convenient way of describing my reality. I find myself instead living inside a context of love, rather than relating to it as something.

Lust and infatuation aren't love. That's not to invalidate them. They're fun, useful, important, and worth experiencing. But they're not love. Sex isn't love, though there's a reason we call it “making love.”

Love isn't a story, or a narrative. Sometimes the stories are quite beautiful, but the story of two people isn't the love between them. (Imagine going to a restaurant and eating the menu.) They're often beautiful, and they often move people to tears, but it's not the story that is the love. They're worth having and they're worth telling; they're valid. They're just not what love actually is.

Love is NOT a feeling, a sensation, an experience, or something that happens to you. Again, this isn't to invalidate those things, and when you're in a space of love for another person, having those things show up is wonderful, and beautiful, and worth experiencing. Just don't confuse them with love: they aren't it.

Attention, affection, gifts, time together, compliments, service–none of these are love. I'd bet that if you think any of these things are love, you have the experience in your life that love is scarce. That's the predictable result: if you think affection is love, and affection is scarce (which it is) you might think not many people love you, or you're not as loved as you'd like to be, or should be. If your affection isn't appreciated by others, you'd logically, predictably, think that they don't love you either. So thinking any of these things are love is really problematic.

Imagine that all those things are written on the sides of a box, and the box is out in the middle of nowhere. Imagine picking up the box between your fingers and lifting it away from the desert. Imagine that, as you lift the box, a depression opens below it, growing into a hole, a crater, then a giant sink hole, the sides of which are only barely visible in the distance. Around the hole, there's a fence, not a tall one, not to keep people in or out, just to mark the edge, and written on the fence, all the way around, is this, over and over:

“What's important for you is important to me. What's important for you is important to me. What's important for you is important to me.”

That's love.

Now imagine the great, vast space inside that fence, and notice all the things that just show up naturally: infatuation, lust and affinity are all possibilities of how love can show up. The feelings, sensations, and experiences all occur inside this great space of love, and they're all valid and wonderful. The affection, the attention, the gifts and the compliments and the time together and the things we do to serve each other, all show up inside this space, too, as expressions of ones' love for another. Because what's important for you is important to me, those things that are wanted and needed will show up for me as something I can provide, inside this context, to expand it, and to include you in it.

Most of all, inside this space, where all the thoughts, feelings, and actions have already shown up, some truly moving and powerful stories of how people find and create and lose and then find love again, show up like dragonflies, or flowers, or buildings, or however they show up for you. They're your stories.

Love is a great “mystery,” in the sense that anytime anyone answers the question of “Love?” it gets constrained in a certain way. Love isn't a “thing;” there isn't any such thing as “love;” rather, it's a really, really big space, inside of which, anything can show up. The boundary of the space is the declaration, and the willingness, to take on another's priorities among your own; to have them be important to you.

So, while my reality is that I'll only ever have certain kinds of experiences and feelings with men, being “gay” isn't part of my identity anymore. I still tell people I'm gay, because it's a more convenient way of explaining the reality of my reality to them, but it's just shorthand. The landscape of love is vast, and two men building a life together, with sex and intimacy and everything else, is one more possibility that can arise inside love's great expanse.

transformation/love.txt · Last modified: 2012/12/18 03:32 by naptastic
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