Saturday, February 8, 2014

Nietzsche Has a Point

"We love life not because we are used to living but because we are used to loving."

Yesterday was a "terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day."  It just was.

And I know that it could be exponentially worse (having read this morning of a poet executed for writing. Writing.), so why is it that nearly every interaction, emotion, movement etc...felt like sandpaper rubbing me to the point of complete and utter vulnerability?  With each interaction that left me feeling raw, I kept returning to the inside - the part that feels tender, not raw. And I said to myself, "find the love in this."  The vulnerability: perhaps I choose to feel. I think that makes sense. My armor is paper thin, which is surprising given some chapters in my life. Perhaps my defense, so to speak, is to find the love. I proffer it in spades; I look for it in equal measure. In the sage words of Nietzsche, I am used to loving, above all else.

Find the love when a student stumbles in ways I have no salve to offer.

Find the love when I am in a meeting and a litany of anger is directed at me, because even if I haven't caused the anger, I am the person who hears it and hopefully helps to find solutions.

Find the love when after a day that felt like one hundred days (in a Groundhog Day sort of way), a sweet and sensitive toddler has an extended temper tantrum for which I have no response, save a fumbled request for ten minutes to collect myself, and find the love for this moment with him.

Ten Minutes.

We are told to love ourselves. We tell ourselves to love who we are, warts and all. Being "used to loving" entails the personal loving of people, things, moments that no one else embraces. I tell others this. I grapple with how to give this to myself. I fail fantastically in successfully and lovingly articulating my need for ten minutes: a "Please Pass Go" freebie for behaving like my very own toddler. I struggle mightily - fitfully, even - to recognize that when I ask for my Ten Minutes, I have passed the point of doing so productively, respectfully, lovingly. I struggle because the heart on my sleeve, which cries out "LOVE," sobs in turn... due to my own shortcomings in that department.

Yesterday is in the tender past. The Ten Minutes have been filed away, to be replaced with a beautiful and serene morning, with birds leaping from branch to branch chirping in joyful anticipation of spring, with a good cup of coffee, with the same toddler who gave Maria Callas a run for her money yesterday. Today, he is back to living love.  He has returned to the reflexive act of burying his sweet head of curls and innocence into the crook of my neck, washing clean the spoiled goods of yesterday. I remind myself that it is easier to love than to, out of that defensive mechanism that kicks into high gear, not. That makes me love life, in the crystallized moments that offer a romantic wonder at this great world and all of the singular people who populate mine.There is a lot in life to love, and the bad days remind us of the importance that lies in the loving.

So on a pristine, pure morning, be USED to loving. Make it the norm, not the exception. Breathe it in and out....and when the inevitable stumble happens, begin the breathing anew. Salvation lies in loving, and while at times, my own personal fog obfuscates loving WELL, I have to hope that the loving is our lighthouse. And as we breath in and out, with diffuse beams and a singular spotlight that says, "Yes! This one moment is all for the heart!", each moment is a beacon.

 It is ALL done in love.


  1. AND I love you, my dearest Paigie!

  2. My 10 minutes come in walls. The other day I told my friends I could see my purple walls going up. She laughed and said she was proud I knew the color. I told her that I was choosing to not let them go up. Because you must choose to keep trying to love. Even when it seems like there are many obstacles in the way. You have taught me to try for love is to continue to do just that, LOVE. We all need our 10 minutes but aren't we so lucky when we have good souls that remind us after those 10 minutes, those purple walls, love is still the option. The one that transcends.