The Journey-Chapter 7
From Then To Wherever There Is
Many times throughout my life, I've given the cold ground the opportunity to cash in on another human occupant. I've always thought of life as a,"Slow form of suicide." The gauntlet either takes us out or wears us down in the end. I've been known to chase a cloud because I was bored with sunshine. Each of us has our own unique feelings and opinions about growing older.
All of us have carried worlds on our backs and cried oceans to fill them. Sometimes we carry burdens and don't realize their weight is even there. Even our joys increase our number of heartbeats. If we knew our lifespan was a hundred years, would it change the way we live? If we had one year to live....would it change our pace?
Maybe it's a good thing to slow down occasionally in life and ask questions of ourselves and others. Perhaps it might uncover hidden burdens or joys? Everyone has a question and everyone has an answer. To live a moment or a million years...one can smile at time and say,"I live and I exist." Life is a wondrous book. Time is just flipping the pages.
A thought I had when my little sister passed away.
Assuming that we can partly be measured by how many people we have loved in our lives, including those we have lost, have the number of those you really love, increased or decreased and why?
The many different kinds and phases of ‘love’ enter into my answer to this. Surely we are measured by the reach and effects of our love, both radiating forth and being received. Love enriches our lives, from the brotherly love we feel, to our sense of love for humanity, to our love for God, and to our special love felt for individuals, wanting always to do them good above even our own and never to do them harm - to the best of our ability. Even in the loss of people we love or who’ve loved us, awareness of that love persists to support trusting and passing it along. But that single, extraordinary, intense, unmistakeable awareness and feeling recognized as unconditional, abiding LOVE remains so exclusive and rare, now that I definitely recognize the difference in the kinds of love I am capable of feeling, having - or being, - because it becomes my cherished state of being, along with the possession of wisdom to discern it as a true gift, - of quality, rather than quantity. This may be a gift of long living.
Well, there are many kinds of love. I have only loved two people as partners/Mates, but in general I love people of all kinds. I think as I grow, the people that I meet and or an affected by, has increased but personal relationships that include love have not. Of course, there is immediate family that I love, friends that I have a respectful love for and at the top of the list, my daughter. If you consider the people that have passed away or left, then I have experienced a big decrease in those people, but all those still live in my heart.
If I am at all measured by this question of love then let it be said that I
loved much and lost much. I have had many I've loved in my past and felt a great loss
when for some reason or other they faded from my life. I wish I could have loved
differently. I believe that due to my hardened childhood, my heart was affected and it
hardened over time. Therefore when I met someone who fell in love with me, I was
never really able to love them in the same fashion they loved me. So to say how many
people I have loved is very difficult for me as love has various meanings and shown in
so many different ways by so many of us. My loved ones have decreased over the years
to death and or separation as friends. I envy those who have many to love and who
have loved sincerely and for real in their lives. Maybe tis why I am able to write so
melancholy in my poetry. I hope to find my kindred spirit and soul mate before I pass.
I hope my character is measured by love I’ve lavished on family and friends throughout my life. I am by temperament a nurturer. Caring is as natural as breathing. Family is paramount, with numerous branches on my familial tree. Friendship is one of life’s greatest joys and close friends seem non-blood siblings. I bestow love on those who enrich my life. Email and phone calls outwit geographical separations of a mobile society.Unsuccessful at marriage, I nonetheless experienced romantic love and happiness, fondly remembered now I’m alone. Losses create tangible voids with accumulation of years. I cultivate memories to keep lost ones fixed in my mind, evoked by sensory cues. Love surmounts death.
Lastly is compassionate love for fellow humans around the world. When tragedy touches people I’ve never met, my heart aches for them as I breathe a prayer. Selfless love expects nothing in return, yet enhances the life of one who feels it. New friendships develop throughout life if we’re open to them, so love increases. I cannot imagine life without love for and from many dear ones. Pity the sociopath who cannot love at all.
Wow, if I could really be judged by the number of people I have loved, would I be in good shape! I have been very fortunate and have had a good life and loving family starting with my parents right through to my grandchildren. So many good people and so much love. I would have to say the number has increased as my grandchildren and sons-in-law and daughters-in-law have increased. An ever growing and loving family has blessed me with more and more people to cherish and love. They are all so easy to love giving me no decision to make, just love them! Extended family members and children I have been fortunate to know over the years are all added to that number. The more I think about this the more lucky I feel. I certainly hope this is the case!
I suppose I would have to say that the number of people I love and have loved over the years has decreased. I was born fifteen years after the youngest of three sisters, all of whom died before they reached their 70s of smoking related illnesses. All my best friends from high school died way too young as well, though all of them, parents, sisters and friends, live in memory.
My wife and I will celebrate our third anniversary on July 11th, and she means the world to me of course. We both feel very fortunate to have found each other.
I have one daughter, now 23, whom I raised partly as a single parent, and we are very close, and she lives within a hundred miles, which is a great thing.
I think that it is true that men have difficulty after high school and college making trusted friends. The business world is a competitive place, and personally, many of the most popular male pastimes, like sports and hunting never interested me much.
I have many acquaintances, but real friends, friends that you can say you "love," are few and difficult to find.
I do have a feeling though, that HubPages offers some real possibilities for lasting friendships.
The number of people I really love has increased over the years. Again, it's all about choices. We are capable of loving anyone and we make a conscious decision to allow it or not. We have measures in place and this is where it gets tricky. When I was young, it was difficult for me to open my heart to others. I had already spent far too much time at funerals for people who had once been a living, breathing, loving part of my life and I was angry, scared, and hurt. My reaction was to erect a wall around my emotional self to prevent any more pain through loss, rather like Mr. Spock who happened to be my hero at the time (and still is for very different reasons...logic is so sexy... but I digress). Within the wall, I learned to love myself, to understand that I was enough and that I could and would survive on my own. I also learned I didn't want to be an island so I forgave those who left me and forgave myself for the anger. My own fear had been in the way of love. I am most fortunate to travel through this life with some wonderful people, some for awhile and others for longer but they all stay with me. The more I open my heart, the more room there is for love and laughter.
Increased. I haven't really sat down and counted, but I am sure that the ratio of people I have loved, although some are gone, I have been given more people to love and have loved them in the process.
The number of people I love has increased every time one of my
children chooses a spouse and has children. That unconditional love a
mother has for her child applies to the people her child loves also.
The number has increased as I’ve learned to appreciate people I took
for granted in my youth: sisters-in-law, aunts and uncles,
acquaintances who become friends. Still, I’ve become more
discerning in my affections, having learned the hard way that
sometimes love is offered to those who either don’t value it or who
don’t know how to accept it.
Also, what a teenager thinks constitutes love is much different from
what a person over the age of fifty knows it to be. As a young person
I tended to fling the word around with reckless abandon. These days
it takes more to win it from me, and it is possible to damage it
beyond repair. I can count on one hand the number of people who have
done that. And even when I think of them now, it’s with a measure of
regret in my heart for what once was.
This is a hard question to answer partly because it can also be assumed that true friends are hard to find. So, if true friends are in short supply, then who is it that we are loving besides family members? If you come from a small family, does this mean that you are at a disadvantage and will be measured accordingly?
I think anyone can love their own kin and love their truest friends, but I think the true measure of a person comes from their ability to love those who are unable to do anything for them. To love…just for its own sake.
On a personal note, I try very hard to love my neighbors and to make others feel cherished, so when someone I love is lost, it seems a chair has now become available. Certainly, there are those whose shoes can never be filled, but to love someone is a choice and it is one of the best things you can do for yourself and for the world.
I appreciate what this question suggests, that concentrating on loving others is more important than accomplishments or worldly successes. I believe the number of people I really love, am able to love completely at one time, has decreased as I have gotten older. In my mid forties I was diagnosed with Tachycardia, a very disruptive and unpleasant condition. My doctor prescribed a “for the rest of your life” medication which cut my energy level, which had always been high, in half. Accordingly, the pace of my life slowed markedly and I chose to spend more time with fewer people. Aside from that, my perspective on the time necessary to love someone has evolved. Intensely cognizant of my personal limitations and aware that the years ahead are steadily diminishing, I choose to invest myself in fewer, rather than more people, and hopefully, in so doing love them more deeply and completely.
I'd have to say it has increased, largely because I understand love so much better today than I did when I was younger. Back then there was more of a dream-like love that, while not bad or ill-intended, didn't have the robustness, the pock-marks, the richness of love as I know it today. Twenty-something love was beautiful, and our movies spend time romanticizing that kind of clingy, obsessive emotion. But it's not really real. It has dependencies, and fears. It has conditions, and limits. As I age, I continue to learn that it can have a fuller character of lasting value and resonance. It's no longer reserved for one, or two, but for many, and it continues to grow. Two of the biggest contributors to the fullness of this realization have been my children, who without trying, have taught me more about love than I could have ever imagined.
To love and to be loved is our unique gift and pursuit during this lifetime. Too many people are in love with the almighty dollar and those who possess them. Much love, loyalty and dedication are purchased in this world. It is love that is freely given to others that is of the greatest value. Those who spend less time seeking the love of others and more time extending their love to others through kind words and actions, with a generosity of spirit, are those who are truly blessed.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
I really like this question as it makes me think. If the number has decreased, I must ask myself why. Am I especially hard to get along with? Have I been too busy to pay due attention to those I have loved in the past? Have I made an honest effort to increase the number of those I love? These and others are valid questions. Next, what so we mean by love? Certainly, I wouldn't think in terms of persons of the opposite sex with whom I've had sexual encounters ( not a factor in my life). But, I do feel love for my family and close friends. At my age, I have lost several family members that I dearly loved. I have added grandchildren, daughters-in -law, and others that I love very much. Possibly, my circle of friends has decreased since I have retired and spend less time in the work environment. But close friends over the years have remained dear to me and I probably try harder than most to keep these friends. Yes, I can say I love them too.
So, the answer is ,they have remained the same or possibly increased. Where would we be without family and friends?
Alan Berry's answer:
I read once that “It is easier to love humanity than it is to love a single man”. Life has taught me the veracity of that remark. I have given myself over the years, much like water, taking the course of least resistance. It is a common malady and takes far too much of our lives before we correct such course. The truth is, love insist we take the course of most resistance, for all of us frequently, are difficult to love. I’ve come to learn that life comes with both pretenders and contenders, both competing for our attention. I suppose, in youth, I courted too many pretenders. It has taken much living and much reflection to learn the difference and it is one of the great benefits of age. My heart is now reserved for honest friend, for wife and children and their families. My quiver has fewer arrows today than then. It isn’t that I love less, I simply love fewer, deeper. I’ve come to learn, over time, that love is the thing you do and not merely the thing you feel. I may have fewer arrows in my quiver today, but, they fly straight and true. I do not fly them indiscriminately any more. I don’t send them out against stone walls. I keep them for targets in want of them.
I have to dig very deep within my soul to find this answer. From a child in the first grade who shared his lunch with me because I forgot mine, to a quote from a man who lived two thousand years ago,"Love your enemies." I believe that love is and always has been about sharing. When "Mine" becomes,"Ours"...love is present. We love family and friends in a realm of bliss but when the going gets tough, who...is...there...to....share?
To love someone simply because they are of our bloodline is not only self centered, it is a ridiculous notion. We all bleed red and we are all related within humanity. I asked myself this: Tom....If you were the only person who absolutely knew a hopeless and fatal global disaster was on it's way, who would you warn? My answer: Not a soul. Why Tom? I would rather share the last days with love and life than fear and death.
I love many more people now...yet....I like (pardon the English) many less people. The internet has opened a realm of rude, thoughtless cowards whose only light is their computer screen. On the other hand, it has enhanced the lives of people and has woven a wonderful tapestry of humanity. If we really think about it. Two people can hate each others ideas, opinions and beliefs. That is fine if we never let it get in the way of love.
The Journey's Table of Contents.
- The Journey - Chapter 1
- The Journey - Chapter 2
- The Journey - Chapter 4
- The Journey - Chapter 5
- The Journey - Chapter 7
- The Journey - Chapter 8
- The Journey - Chapter 10
- The Journey - Chapter 11
- The Journey - Chapter 12
- The Journey - Chapter 13
- The Journey - Chapter 14(to be published July 20)
- The Journey - Chapter 15(to be published July 23)
- The Journey - Chapter 16(to be published July 24)