I’m going to try to stop giving exposition supporting my decision to write about personal topics every time I want to post about something that friends or family might find weird to read. I have to be more brave in my work, evolve my style and strengthen my voice. Ok, now that I’m done with what I’m not going to be doing anymore…
I was listening to ELO while working and the song “Living Thing” came on. I will put the lyrics at the end of this post.
I have always aspired to be, what I consider, a generous lover. I have dealt with being ignored or feelings like I didn’t matter, and that smarts. I never want a lover to feel that way. Will has a good word for it. He wants to feel as though he is being “seen.” I try hard to make sure people know they are seen by me. Some people want to be seen, others don’t give a fig if I see them or not. To those who don’t, my effort is not appreciated but also not in vain, because of those who do want me to see them. That makes it worth the effort.
I am affectionate in a variety of ways. I might make food or offer up a gift. I might wash their clothes or put my hand on their hand or leg while we’re just sitting there watching a movie. Just to say, “I know you’re here and I notice you. You matter.” Without saying it. And everybody has different love language. What I might consider a loving gesture could in fact be annoying to the person receiving the attention. I know that that has been true for me. Or what a person wants to feel loved might be something you hate doing. Relationships are complicated like that. There is plenty of room for misunderstanding. Which is why communicating your feelings is important. Because if you don’t like tea and he keeps bringing you tea for five years and you smile and accept it, then one day you yell, “I HATE TEA!” He’s probably going to be surprised. If you hate making tea and he asks for it every morning for five years, it’s going to get old on some vulnerable morning when you’re hormonal and tired and already have stuff to do, and out comes “HERE’S YOUR TEA!” Surprise, there is resentment the other person didn’t know was there. Making tea for five years. You hate making tea. But when you were first together, you kinda liked making it for him – just him. Once those hormonal chemicals wear off and you are seeing a bit clearer, next thing you know you’re back to hating making tea. And the hating making tea starts to turn into resentment towards him. Even if that tea makes him feel loved every single time.
It actually hurts me pretty badly when I find out I have been annoying somebody. This is my own issue to deal with, but damn. It feels like a little stab in the heart.
Nobody could do that voice quiver quite like Laura.
There is one thing you can do, though. If you try hard enough, and if you want to try hard enough, you can make things not annoy you. And how you feel about a person can play a huge role in that.
There IS an inherent danger in trying to be affectionate and kind to people on a regular basis. It can become overwhelming or suffocating for some people. They might even see it as false or tricky because they aren’t used to it, or have had past bad experiences. If you love them, you have to learn to respect boundaries. First they have to tell you what the boundaries are, though. With Will and me it took a few years to learn each others boundaries. And guess what? Because both of us want to come to an understanding and because we’re both invested in validating each other, rather than wallowing in reactivity and blame, we grow. I love it when that happens. Talking about your feelings = good.
So, today I was listening to this song and when they sing, “And you, and your sweet desire” I got pretty choked up. Yeah, I know. I’m silly. It was easy imagining Will saying something like that to me, because he treats my desire and enthusiasm as a gift. I feel like it’s treasured rather than annoying. That’s sacred and precious to me. I sent him a short love note, because I wanted him to know he is seen. And he wrote one back, to let me know he felt seen and that I am seen, also.
Sailin’ away on the crest of a wave
It’s like magic
Rollin’ and ridin’ and slippin’ & slidin’
And you, and your sweet desire,
You took me, higher and higher
It’s a livin’ thing,
It’s a terrible thing to lose
It’s a given thing
What a terrible thing to lose.Making believe this is what you’ve conceived
From your worst day,
Moving in line when you look back in time
To your first day[CHORUS — repeat]
Takin’ a dive ‘cos you can’t halt the slide
So let her go don’t start spoiling the show
It’s a bad dream
[CHORUS — repeat]