Archives for Love
People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be. ― Abraham Lincoln There are two ways to read this quote. Lincoln might be telling us to “accentuate the positive.” That managing our emotions and deciding to be happy will make us feel happy. In which case, this quote is kind of ironic, given that poor Abe struggled with depression. Seems like there's a little self-loathing mixed into the words.
You are what you love, and not what loves you back.—Jenny Lewis This is a lyric from a ditty by Jenny Lewis, and it has has taken my brain hostage. This little quote, the song's hook, is on a tape loop in my head. Lewis is singing about a stuck, mutually exploitive relationship, but I keep finding different shades of nuance in this quote. You are what you love, and not what loves you back. In a way, it’s a torch song. I’ll love him forever even if he never loves back, because he is part of my soul. It gives a little nobility to unrequited love. You are what you love, and not what loves you back. What attracts you? Who do you fall for when you fall in love? That person is mirror of your needs and self image, whether or not the love is reciprocated.
Would raising children make the best use of what you bring to the world, or would not having kids do that? – Carolyn Hax As Oprah used to say, frequently, raising kids is the hardest job in the world. And I don’t argue with that. (I wouldn’t dare.) But choosing not to have kids has challenges of a different kind--not the least of which is censure from a segment of society that assumes you must be selfish, self-centered, or in arrested development. My husband and I are childless by choice and have some very good reasons for this, which are none of your beeswax. Fortunately, I am past the age where people want to debate our decision with me, but you can’t imagine how tiresome that was. Here’s a hint, people: Asking someone who has chosen not to have kids if she fears regretting the decision someday is uncool. Duh. It's not like we haven't considered that. Would you ask a woman who does have kids if she fears regretting that decision? Not having children is challenging in that your life is not mapped out for you according to the needs of your children. You have to take full responsibility for your own life trajectory, which can be oddly daunting. And you have nothing to distract you from complicated adult relationships. I know a lot of marriages crack under the pressure of parenting, but a lot of other relationships probably last because of the needs and distractions of children. But I really like the quote from Carolyn Hax, part of a response to someone wondering how to decide about having children, because she acknowledges that some of us are better off contributing something other than our DNA to the world.
The opposite of loneliness is not togetherness, it's intimacy ― Richard Bach I’ve never read Jonathan Livingston Seagull, and probably even mocked it back in the day, when it came out. It just sounded so silly. But here is a very wise quote from its author. Of course. Doesn’t everyone know the feeling of being lonely in a crowd? (Does everyone? Or is this more of an introvert thing?) You needn't be alone to be lonely. Intimacy is the opposite of loneliness, I get that. But that takes me only halfway to enlightenment. The trouble is, I can’t put my finger on what intimacy is. It’s one of those words that I understand on a cellular level, but struggle to define.
Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye. -- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.* Certainly what makes us love is often invisible to the eyes of others. How often have you said, “I don’t know what she sees in him.” (Or vice versa, of course.) No, you don’t. You can’t. Love is intensely personal. And sometimes even the lovers themselves can't see the why behind the emotion.