Infatuation and Love

I just want to listen to that song again
So I won’t forget how it feels

Not like every day isn’t alive
But I forgot
Not like every day I don’t see beauty
But I forgot how beautiful it all is

∞         ∞         ∞



I have a theory about infatuation that I came up with a few years ago while checking books in to circulation at the Guilderland Public Library–a job which requires little attention and so allows for musing. At the time I was still very much under the spell of Johnny Depp–post Pirates of the Caribbean–and I spun into a little fantasy of feeling involving him. Nothing in particular, but a fantasy of love-feeling, in which I felt “in love” and Johnny Depp was the object of that feeling. At the time I was aware I was fantasizing, the way you might become aware you are dreaming while you are dreaming, and I began to observe myself as I went through these feelings and question what I was doing and why. Because obviously Johnny Depp is a total stranger and I’m waaay out of his league anyway, why would I have such a fantasy of feeling? It occurred to me then that when we are infatuated with someone, we project upon them what we desire for ourselves–in my case feeling in love. We become infatuated also with certain characteristics we imagine the person to have, but in fact these often are characteristics that are liminal and possibly suppressed in ourselves.

In the case of Johnny Depp, I wanted to feel in love, and he was a very safe person to project that desire upon. But what if I took him out of the equation and simply fell in love with myself? Oh no, you say (I said), that isn’t allowed. It isn’t allowed for us to love ourselves as we love others. It is unseemly. Instead we must give all our love to others and hope that they return it.

I have thought long on this topic and have come to believe that indeed we are the ones who must love ourselves as we wish to be loved. To give ourselves the love we need.

Who says you can’t give yourself the fathomless love you’ve so long wanted from others? This is one of the biggest, most destructive lies we believe–that we can’t get love except from outside. It is this falsity that fuels the power of commercials. We are not good enough–we don’t look right, we don’t have what it takes to get and keep others’ love and regard–so we must try this product and that, keep up with the trends so we fit in, and we will pass as one of the beautiful people, one of the people who deserves love and respect. It is this falsity that fuels an excessive preoccupation with what others are thinking about us, whether we fit in to the “norm,” and the fear of rejection.

So, how does one love oneself? This ultimately has a different answer for each of us. If you are like me you have a lot of shit to work through before you can get to a point where you can truly love yourself. It has taken me years of hard slogging in the muck of my mind, cleaning things up and putting it to order, and this loving myself has been very gradual, and I’m always sliding back into the muck, too. But I’d say a good start is to make believe you do until you actually do. Really–I mean, tell yourself you love yourself and feel it. Call yourself Honey or Darling. When one of those bullies in your head starts picking on you, stick up for yourself. Wear the clothes you feel good in. Look into your eyes in the mirror and love yourself–see the love in your eyes.

But don’t forget that all the people you meet out there are you, too. Not only the people, but the trees, the air, the water, the animals, the insects. We all are One Being–it’s a scientific fact–so when you go about your days, love them all as best you can. Bless people as you walk past them (silently), bless your food as you cook it and eat it, bless your water, bless yourself.

And I guarantee it–you will feel in love.