samuel johnson + feelings.

“…nor do I expect ever to repent of having thus opened my heart.”

So Samuel Johnson wrote to Mrs. Thrale.

I like it.

In the Great Saga of All Which Is Red, I find myself thinking often something like I should never have opened up to whomever, it was just a terrible idea, etc., etc., etc. I probably ought to shake this sort of thought for the reason that I cannot stop having the thought that one day I will have this thought. (Got that?)

Basically (and this happens mostly when thinking retrospectively about boyfriends rather than friends, although the friend regret question does occur)…

late 2012/early 2013 Red: “I should never have opened up to the Freshman Boyfriend”

late 2013/early 2014 Red: “I should never have opened up to the Senior Boyfriend” / “I will someday regret having opened up to Mormon Guy”

mid 2014 Red: “I should never have opened up to Mormon Guy” / “I will someday regret having opened up to Minnesota Guy”

late 2014 Red: “I regret having opened up to Minnesota Guy”

mid 2015 Red: “I will someday regret having opened up to Sam”

mid 2015 Red: “I need to stop waiting for the other shoe to drop in terms of opening up to people”

mid 2015 Red: “Imagine a Red who does not regret her relationships with people, who has come to terms with her own humanness and that of the people she loves, whether they stay in her life or not”

mid 2015 Red: “NAHHHHHHH”

(This is starting to sound like an episode of Reasons Why Dan’s A Fail.)

I wish so impossibly that I were to the point where I don’t freak about love.

This is what the big revelations were about in 2013, right? Learning to rise above the asking price? Let me dig out some of those posts again.

From “Stuff I’ve Been Reading: The Other Side of the Sun,” 3/30/2013

Stella, when she arrives, is given Mado’s journals to read. One of them says this:

‘Therro came to me the morning before he died and said, ‘Mother, I want you to know that the only good thing that has ever happened to me is that you have always loved me with open hands.’ He held his hands out towards me, but instead of touching me, as he had seemed about to do, he returned his hands to himself and buried his face in them. Through his fingers I heard him say, ‘The others have clutched, and I can’t bear it any longer.’ Then he looked at me and gave me his warmest, brightest smile, and said, ‘I think I’ll go for a small sail,’ and went, and Kitty with him.’

Love with open hands.

Love with open hands. Love does not possess. Love means you don’t dominate or manipulate or control. Open hands. Not clutching. Not grabbing. Not possessive. Loving. Open. Free.

I interviewed Mr. Bird recently and posted it on this blog and one of the things he said was that he’d read recently someone who had written, ‘We say God is love. But that’s it. God is love.’

God loves with open hands. God is love with open hands, He is an openhanded love. Given. Love never takes, it has to be given. With open hands.

Uncle Hoadley says in the book that ‘Nobody gives love. There is always an asking price.’

I think that is what we are called to do. To rise above the asking price. To give, openhandedly. Not taking. Not grabbing. Not clutching. Ours is not to possess or dominate or manipulate or control, ours only to give.

Give. Give and let go. Let go your need to receive in return. Let go your need to possess anyone else’s love. Simply give yours.

I may or may not be talking more to myself than anyone else, but that is neither here nor there.

And I think I get it now. Give your love, shamelessly and fearlessly, and that is all. Love, only love, no matter who rejects you or what planet your best friend is on. Love, and that is all. Love. Do not possess. Love. With open hands.

Loving and open and free.

Not, mind you, that I’m about to tell my boyfriend not to spoil me with love so I can learn to get along without it. Heck no. But let’s take another look at the last bit.

Let go your need to receive in return. Let go your need to possess anyone else’s love…Give your love, shamelessly and fearlessly, and that is all. Love, only love, no matter who rejects you or what planet your best friend is on. Love, and that is all. Love. Do not possess.

I am already inspired.

Perhaps I will never lose my need to receive in return. But perhaps that is the point – perhaps that is the process by which life is lived. Constantly trying – perhaps constantly failing – to let go of the need to receive. Maybe that’s all it is.

In which case, especially if it does include constant failing, I am kicking life’s ass.

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One thought on “samuel johnson + feelings.

  1. Pingback: a year. | Along the Milky Way

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