There used to be quite a long list of things I knew of, but did not know, as in 'had firsthand knowledge of, or experience with'.
I knew that as humans, we are created with the capabilities to love, and we require love to be stable, well-rounded members of society. I also knew that along with that come feelings of being cherished, and cared-for along with contentment. My faith taught me that in a balanced marriage is the experience of teamwork, beyond knowing the end of each other's sentences, which means that because you are truly together, the scope of what can be done extends beyond the ability of your own household to stand firmly. It benefits your extended family and friends, then the community and the world at large.
Four years ago, I met my husband. Until that moment, I knew the damage that people could do to each other, to hurt and hinder and break another down. I knew it to such a degree that to love someone would be a mistake on my part, to trust another I didn't think I was capable of, to be loved I was undeserving of and even the security of a friendship was non-existent.
It is not a cliche to say to have a friend, you must be a friend. Friends are people you can lean on when the times are hard, trust with your secrets, feel the truth of their compliments and critiques. To be a friend, you must be dependable, trustworthy and truthful. For self preservation, these days you must reserve these things for those deserving. With the ability to be a friend comes the open space that love needs. Love must have open air-space, good soil for growth and the warmth of the sun cannot be hidden. The ability to have a good time can be done in the dark, in the dirt, with the fertilizer (manure), but will wither in the warmth of the sun if it was not genuine and natural, or capable of real peace, joy or love. The Gardening references are appropriate because they require work on the part of our inner self.
To be loved continues on: We, in our inner self, must be lovable. We know we are lovable if we can love ourselves. With that comes, self-trust or self reliance, our inner truths, independence.
I did not have that. For a long time, I thought I was strong, but I waited. I thought I was strong because I could wait. But wait too long and everything inside you eventually breaks down, sooner than later, because it wasn't strong enough to begin with. So, really, I was only strong enough as the others I depended on, who I could not trust or rely on, to take care of me. By that I mean myself, first, then anybody else.
So, when I met him four years ago, there was not much going on inside me. I was empty, devoid of faith in myself or anyone else, scarred to a degree that must have been visible to total strangers, having reached the point of giving up and proceeded beyond it, searching for happiness, joy, sunlight, a place to belong but believing with absolute conviction that searching was pointless and a waste of effort if surviving was all I could do.
I kept all that inside without sharing until he demonstrated that was where he was too. His opinions were mine, but he was still confident enough to voice them, I'd given up finding a friend who cared to hear what I was trying to say. We admired the same things, had similar likes, dislikes, at the same food and drank the same stuff (he just drank more Coca-cola than I do), listened to the same music (his stations are more set, where mine are everywhere that's not sitting still), understood each other and both of us appreciated the strengths of the other.
It became quickly evident they way we complimented each other, too. He will jump in and do something at the moment he realizes something needs done, where I will attempt to figure out how to tip-toe around a problem so that can be fixed with causing additional problems. Sometimes the answer is his way, and sometimes it's mine. He's learning to do things my way, and I'm enjoying the pleasure of doing things his way, too.
I'm learning a lot. With the chemistry in a couple, I'm learning nothing can beat they way we fit each other, heart, soul or hand in hand. Where I fail to do something for myself, he sees my failure and takes care of it, as if it were easy, no thought needed, nothing to it. If I can find a way to put a smile on his face, my reward is instant recognition for my effort, gratification of instant gratitude.
Here's something he won't want to hear, but it's my blog, so I can say it: The other day, I was reading about Jesus and how he was such a good man. He was gentle and caring, could exhibit such strength and determination, yet still be moved to cry. I realized as I was reading about him that I can, NOW, believe a man could be that way. Sure, Jesus is the son of God, and because of that he had the ability to be a good man, but I now know a mortal man who is gentle and caring and can exhibit strength and determination and still be moved to cry.
As his wife, he is a hero to me. In my heart and in my head, Superman is the name ~ in love ~ I will call when I need him. Every moment I need him and I call him.
I've learned you can have someone close to your heart, who will move heaven and earth not to hurt you or let you be hurt by others, who can take your simple truths and make them a beautiful, appreciated drop of water in the desert. It is possible to do more for others, while not always financially, because you have had something done for you. I know, now, is why there are so many love songs. Some are silly, like Paul McCartney said, because sometimes you feel like you've been inflated with helium, but sometimes they are really beautiful. There is no way to express what being loved really, totally feels like, but to keep trying is the only way to get close to the truth.
Four years ago, I never would have thought this possible. But tomorrow, I find some other little thing is a blessing. And the next day, there will be another. And the next day... And the next day...