What is love? This has been the question on my mind today. Strange thing to think about when there is a such a flurry of activity going on around me.
I can explain what it feels to not feel love. When you are used to feeling it and it goes missing, it feels empty. It feels hollow and un-whole. It feels like you are desperately searching for something to fill that hole. It feels like you would do anything to get that feeling of wholeness back… like cooking daily omelettes, waving goodbye as part of you leaves for work in London, work trips, sailing courses with a smile on your face to try and mask the fact that your heart has turned in to a sand timer and the sand is almost all gone.
I can explain what it feels like to feel love again. It’s an unusual way to describe it, but the image came to me as I was trying to think how it felt. It is like the first bite of the first over-ripe peach of the summer; sticky and sweet with the strange, yet familiar unusualness of the furry skin against your tongue, and an excited lurch to catch the delicious juice as it explodes, not wanting to catch a drop; a sigh as you appreciate the sweetness and relief at the recognition that there is a whole peach left to go…..
I have my peach. It is ready and ripe and ready to sink my teeth into ….
And yet I can’t quite allow myself to do it. I am fearful that instead of the delightful honey taste, I will bite in to something sour, find a worm or bruise….and I will have to throw it away, spit it out and be put off peaches for life.
How long do I leave it? To fester and shrivel? Or do I just take one big bite and get on with it? Better to know now, rather than to always wonder. Why miss out if it is amazing?
I pick it up a lot and contemplate it. Look all the way round it. Searching for clues on the outside to determine the certainty that it is good on the inside.
Part of my homework was to listen to Brene Brown again on vulnerability. And it was interesting to hear it and apply her learnings to what I know now, and what I didn’t know the previous time I listened and contemplated ‘the big V’.
As part of her research she says that the people who felt the most love and belonging had the biggest sense of worthiness. Not only that but another of their characteristics was that they embraced vulnerability in a way that they would do something without guarantee, for example, they would say ‘I love you’ without any guarantee the feeling, sentiment and words would be reciprocated.
I suppose that means I need to bite the damn peach and not worry what happens, not care if it isn’t perfect love; sweet, juicy and sticky on the inside, furry and soft on the outside.
The other piece that connected with me today was when she said ‘you cannot selectively numb emotions’. And therefore, I guess, until I am ready to ‘unnumb’ the feelings of anger, pain, sadness… I am going to numb love, joy, happiness too. And that is why I am in this overwhelming sad treacly mess.
I can’t bite the peach until I am ‘unnumbed’. But yet I am afraid of ‘unnumbing’ and the more afraid I get, the more I want to be certain about the peach, about love.
But I know that unnumbing is the right thing to do. I want my heart to be full, overflowing and beating to a loud and proud beat.
Looking at Ashfield House, it is empty. Soulless. Only the echoes of memories floating in a distant hazey memory. Sad.
And Ashfield Paddock is full of happy noises, overflowing with everything possible, people, things, furniture, animals, music, conversation, light and craziness.
I know which one I want to live in. Perhaps with all this overflowing-ness and love in one place, I will become less numb and be able to bite into the peach and lurch to catch the juice.