Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Four Loves: Appreciative Love

Well, I'm writing again. I was a bit concerned with posting the last post, but it seemed to be a necessary step. For me all I have are the words to sort through to make sense of the emotions.

I don't know what I am longing for. I had a mini-crisis yesterday when I got to thinking about next year. Never have I been this clueless. At the same time it is a tad liberating to think that I don't have any big requirements of where I should be.

The freedom could be intoxicating, but for me this kind of freedom isn't free. It comes with my own expectations, my own concerns of how the future is to unfold. I need to be tied down, tied to a commitment. It motivates me. Without that motivation—whether that be academic, personal, or professional—I am nothing. With that motivation I have the willpower to make things happen, to pursue things and people to the ends of the Earth.

There are a few people that fit that build, but I don't sense that same drive with even a few of them. But this lies again in the area from my last post. I don't know what kind of friend I am supposed to be. More importantly, I don't know if my reality is set where theirs is. As it is, a relationship of any kind needs not reality, only mutual understanding. Where I am lacking is the sureness of the mutual understanding.

How does one address the feelings, the stirrings of the heart for a friend? If there was one thing I wish I knew, of all the secrets of the world, this would be the one I would want to know the most. I doubt at times how well-rooted my friends are even now, after all that we've been through. I fear if I even push the least again the friendship that it will fall over like a plant weakly rooted in soft ground.

I'm now endeavoring to read The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis again, a year after reading it before. I read it for the first time last fall, the most dynamic emotional period in my life. It was then when those rose-colored glasses came off. It was then when I awoke from my emotional slumber. This awakening is something I have yet to fully reconcile, but the battle is being won slowly. I read The Four Loves last fall to attempt to gain some insight into the feelings that waged within me, attempting to discern what those turbulent feelings were exactly. I still don't know what those feelings were about. I still don't know where that friendship stands. It stands on the shakiest of ground, but the book did provide some comfort in reading.

What I did learn from reading it that first time, which prompted my first poem—the one that is contained as a seed in every one of them since—and the relationship that it indirectly spoke of is encapsulated in the following quote from the book:
Need-love says of a woman 'I cannot live without her'; Gift-love longs to give her happiness, comfort, protection - if possible, wealth; Appreciative love gazes and holds its breath and is silent, rejoices that such a wonder should exist even if not for him, will not be wholly dejected by losing her, would rather have it so than never to have seen her at all.

Yes, those weren't the four loves. This pertains Lewis's initial divisions of the four loves' components. I wrestled with all three sub-types of love for the other that fall and into the spring. Slowly that love was put into its correct perspective and has now remained part-and-parcel wrapped in appreciative love. However, the seeds of the others remain and, with only the slightest of touches, can bring alive those sleeping dreams.

What my hope is in re-reading The Four Loves now is to do a self-assessment and to awaken myself to the inadequacies, to learn myself even better so that I can become a better person, a better friend, and hopefully in the future the kind of lover that I want to strive to be.

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