Yes, what a big question with so many different answers….. Brings to mind the song by Howard Jones that accompanied me on my travels through London and Europe in those early months after my father died.
Lately I feel I may be touching into what love really means. For me it involves and extension of myself into the heart and soul and spirit of another, even as I struggle at times with some of their behaviours. As a teenager I was often showing compassion to outcasts, I know I was struggling to understand my family and had the thought they were damaged in some way, as an old family friend spoke to me about this a year or so ago, saying he remembered me at the age of 18 questioning everything.
At times I can stand on the outside of everything questioning it all, not feeling a part of things. As a child I was adrift often in a sea of adults as my oldest siblings were 17, 16 and 7 when I was born. And I was born only two weeks before my third sibling and I think it was hard for her when I came along although as her baby sister even though she may have loved me, sometimes I felt she hated me. She did some hurtful things to me growing up but we were both left alone after school and I am sure it wasn’t always fun for her to have a younger sister around.
When my sister got to be a teenager I remember feeling very raw around her brusqueness, but I now know she had gone through so much damage herself both at home and at Catholic school. Its important I share about this stuff with Mercury in Pisces retrograding onto my Chiron ‘wound’ of separation and feeling set apart in attachment relationships.
When I was only 3 my older sister left and married and had her own sons, they became, in time like brothers to me, closer in age but we were separated and it hurt when I had to go back home to Mum and Dads’ when the family finally moved back to Australia in the early 70s. And then, as everyone knows who follows my blog, at this time of year in 1980 she fell to the floor with a cerebral bleed one afternoon and was found by her oldest son who was 12. Thereafter followed months spent in a coma and my parents were completely preoccupied.. my drinking really escalated during this time and the following years as I struggled to emerge into the world.
I may have gone into life not being able to fully love and support any partner due to my addiction and attachment injuries.. Relationships were a mine field from the age of 16 onwards and I fell pregnant several times in my early 20s as I had no idea of birth control. This may sound so terribly irresponsible to people now but during the 60s the subject of sex was pretty taboo and I went to a Catholic school where we were taught not to love our sexual selves.
All of my struggles with intimacy are slowly being put behind me now. My self esteem is growing. I had to forgive myself for all the damage that occurred as my addiction to booze and drugs escalated from the early 80s onwards to when I finally put them down in December 1993. I also had a termination in early sobriety, only 5 months after marrying my husband. I did not feel capable of parenting and I know this was so hard for him. Today my guides told me to pick up a certain book at a certain page and a wedding photo of us both fell out of it.. I saw how much tension he had in his face and I look just so innocent and naïve, so unprepared for the years of struggle to follow.
That said I am eternally grateful to Jonathan for what he gave to me and I know when the time came he had to abandon me. It was just the way it was… I wanted to do deep grief work, to him it was a waste of time, he got involved with someone else very rapidly and had a daughter and although this made me cry and cry I accepted it. I wish him only love… I truly do…..You cannot force someone to love you or to stay with you, I know this and often we grow in different directions. Love, if it is to be honest and true and deep must be a freely given gift and allow the other the space to express and be and grow as they need to, even if that, in time means they may no longer wish to be a part of our life, taking all the lessons learned deeply to heart and mind integrating the pain over time and growing in awareness.
I hope Jonathan found a consistent available partner and I hope in time to be capable of both giving and receiving that kind of fully present accountable love myself, in a relationship that is mutually supportive. God willing and with enough inner awareness, it may happen, despite my fears. If not and until then, I will continue to work hard on self parenting and loving myself in as healthy a way as possible.