I've been pondering. No, it's never enough for me just to feel a feeling and leave it in peace. Sometimes I can do it for a while, but most of the time I have a... need? No... a THIRST to understand. What is it that I'm feeling, why do I feel it, what are its limits, if any? What are its depths, if I can even reach them? I dive into myself and begin to tease apart the water weeds, comb through the Lorelei's hair, insinuate fingertips into the oyster and root out the pearl. Then I can put it back and resurface and just be. The rest when the quest is complete.
My idea of unconditional love has been a bit simplistic. Not that the feeling itself isn't radiantly elegant in it's simplicity, but the words I reduced it down to in my mind were, "loving without wanting anything back." Does that seem right? It used to, to me, but now it seems... subtly wrong. To miss truth by only a slight shift. Maybe it's more loving without needing anything back? Or maybe even closer, loving without needing anything else, anything different. Even God, it's not that He doesn't *want* to be loved back. It's that not loving Him back does nothing to change His love.
So if a person loves and you don't really feel like you deserve that (and really, who of us *does* deserve it? who of us will never hurt, never disappoint, never fail in some small or large way?) but if you don't feel like you're worth that love, maybe it's tempting to think that the person doesn't really love YOU. They must really love the person they *think* you are. They don't know you, really, who you truly are, and if they did, they surely wouldn't love you. Because obviously they want something different, want something back.
Of course they *want* something back. But the full knowledge that they will never get that something isn't necessarily the cure-all you think it will be, the magical silver bullet that will kill this unwanted feeling and make the world a safer place for them in spite of themselves.
If that love is unconditional, it is what it is. No matter how you hurt, disappoint, or fail them, that doesn't stop it. Even if they can't honestly say they want nothing in return, the lack of return won't change what they feel. And if you try to prove them wrong about you, about their feelings, you can hurt them well enough without proving or changing a damn thing.
I've never been the sort to try, and I'm arrogant enough to think I deserve the best of most things, though in all honesty, I'm humbled at how many of the best things have come my way. Humbled by the people who love me deeply, even when I turned away and flew out on my own. Even when I was sure I had failed, and could only hurt and disappoint. I've never been so low that I would dispense with the people who cherished me, though sometimes I would wish some feelings for me different, for the good of the people who felt what I couldn't return.
Still, something in me always knew better than to try to change that feeling through actions of my own. I could never hurt someone any more than necessary, and I think it's the respect I tried to show and the care I felt that allows me to still be blessed with the friendship of those people today.
These are things I'm only starting to think on seriously. Maybe it would have come to my mind sooner if I'd had a child, because I'm beginning to see and feel the depths more and more when I see my Dylan friend. Those depths are glowing, and I hope I reach the light some day, feel the very utmost of all I can feel for a little someone of my own. There are other depths that are darker. But if I keep going, and keep untangling, maybe I'll find the light there, too.
This has all gotten far from the point, and it's time for bed. And for once I haven't made any more sense in my ponderings than I had when I started. Thanks for bearing with me.