Love, actively

“It must be love, love, love” ~ Madness

Or, as defined by my dictionary

Love (vb): To have a profoundly tender, passionate affection for

 

Consider love as a verb not a noun. It’s a doing word. An action. That means our love is expressed not simply in words but what words we use, how we use them, and, most importantly, how we act.

If you claim to love someone madly yet you never ask how they are, never throw them a tender smile or proffer a gentle hug; can that then truly be said to be love?

And, conversely, even if you would never dream to say “I love you” to someone yet you send them messages of encouragement, take photos to make them smile, pause in your busy schedule to check in with them; is that love?

It can be all too easy to say we care, to say someone matters, but unthinkingly neglect them. To get caught up in our lives, our own cares, and not pause to say “how are you?” to someone and really listen to their answer. Listening, letting someone speak the truths of their heart, that is a form of love. Making time in your life for someone else and their life might only take a few minutes of your time but for that person it could make their day. 

So love actively. Choose words that express how you care and make your actions fit those words. There can never been enough love in this world; it’s what makes it go round, after all.

 

Princess

No More I Love You’s?

“No more “I love you’s”, the language is leaving me” ~ Annie Lennox

Or, as defined by my dictionary

“I love you” (phrase): An affirmation of affection or deep caring, especially to a family member. An affirmation of romantic feeling to a lover or spouse. A platonic expression of strong inclination or liking to a friend

 

It’s nearly Valentine’s Day. That day where for years cards have been exchanged, flowers sent, gifts bought, all in the name of love. And, in more recent years, the increased complaints about the commercialism and the statements to not buy into it.

I hear you, I really do. I don’t get those heart shaped balloons either.

But.

But.

I don’t get not celebrating the concept of love either. Tell someone you love them every day? Good for you. So why, for the love of Cupid and Eros, would you not do it on a day that is now set aside in the calendar for such a purpose?

You don’t have to go out, you don’t have to send flowers, to buy presents. My parents bought each other such perfect cards nearly 20 years ago that they have just exchanged them every year since. And as for going out for a meal… Well, the restaurants may inflate their prices, but a bowl of pasta and pesto with some fine green beans, cooked at home and served with a decent bottle of red, that will cost the same as it always does. If you feel like it go crazy and light a candle and share a box of chocolates for dessert.

Just don’t sneer at it. You can dislike crass commercialisation whilst still liking the sentiment. A day about love? Literally what’s not to like? A day for hopeful tentative expressions of appreciation, a day maybe enabling you to contact someone to tell them you like them. Do not dismiss the enabling power of that. Especially not if you already are in a relationship, share that love with someone. Don’t keep it all to yourself.

Because that’s the point of love, isn’t it? To share it, not to keep it wrapped up privately in your heart.

If you would say I love you or do something nice for a loved on on any other day of the year then don’t refuse to do it on this one out of principle; the world needs more love right now not less.

I love you

Princess

Lifted

“Lifted, we could be lifted” ~ The Lighthouse Family

Or, according to my dictionary

Lifted (vb): raised upwards ot a higher place

 

A few years ago I was in a rugby pub in Twickenham. It’s one of the ones where there is a badge of honour in getting your match ticket stuck to the ceiling and the only allowable way of getting it up there has to be by being lifted, no climbing on furniture or breaking out a step-ladder, it’s lift or nothing.

It’s quite entertaining to watch pissed people, predominantly men, with a great deal of strength between them, try and fail to lift anybody. Because to lift another person takes skill, strength, and more important than anything, it takes trust. Trust on behalf of the lifters that the person they are lifting won’t kick them in the face or fall on them, trust on behalf of that person to surrender their own gravity to others. Drunk people are terrible with gravity, it seems.

At this point in the pub, I was on my own. I was only mildly drunk, I didn’t know the guys next to me who were trying, failing, and laughing about it, and I have always been a show off.

So I finished my pint and approached them, “Alright, guys, I’ll do it.”

They sized me up, looked at each other, and nodded. Approximately 5 seconds later, I was hoisted into the air by 4 men I have never met before. They got hands on me in places that normally at least require a couple of dates and dinner. But we had a collective point to prove. So, straight-backed, core tight, head held high, a ticket was firmly fixed to the ceiling, and I was then engulfed in the kind of sweaty beery jubilant embrace you only ever get from rugby players. It felt good.

Great anecdote, you might be thinking, but is there any point to this.

Yes. Yes, there is. They could only lift me because I let them and it only worked because I was willing to be lifted. Have you ever tried to lift someone resistant, someone who doesn’t want to move? It’s possible, there’s a raft of techniques to help you, but it’s damn hard work. Equally, how have you responded when someone has tried to lift you against your will? Flailing limbs don’t even come close, I suspect.

But, at the right time, with the right people, with the right mindset, you can be lifted head and shoulders above the rest. You’ve just got to trust it when it happens.

 

Princess

Jump Into The Abyss

“You’re my best friend” ~ Queen

Or, as defined by my dictionary

Best Friend (n): someone with whom one shares the strongest possible friendship, an especially close and trusted friend

 

I think, in the words of Terry Pratchett, Dave didn’t so much die young as leave early to avoid the rush. Because we all know this year has been absolutely awful for death and Dave never was one for hanging around at parties.

I forget sometimes, I genuinely forget that he’s dead, and that whole remembering process crashes over me. Swifter now than before, not always as jaggedly painful, sometimes downright awful. And it’s the lack of contact that is weighing hard on me now.

I didn’t reply to his last text, you see. I wasn’t ignoring him, it just wasn’t something I had any response to. It sits there now on my phone, forever unanswered. I still don’t have anything to say in response to it but the fact I never can is something I will be a long time getting my head around.

Pretty much everyone who ever loses someone, and even more those who lose someone unexpectedly, talks about there not being enough time, to tell people they matter, etc etc. I do it too. But as was pointed out these are wise words that we think we adhere to but actually seldom do. And it’s true. I try to tell or show the people I love that I love them, to make time for those who matter, to take risks and leaps with my one wild and precious life. but I don’t always manage it. There is a heap of stuff unsaid, not done, because I am lazy or unmotivated or actually too damn scared.

The scared rankles. I can embrace my laziness, my indolence, I can’t be doing with scared. But sometimes the pain of risk, of retribution and dire consequence, feels so much stronger that those important things remain unsaid or undone. The timing doesn’t feel right or so we tell ourselves. But the whole thing is about timing, isn’t it? And that, my friends, is finite. The time right now is all we’ve got.

I can’t ever text Dave again. But I can do the other things. Maybe, like Nick Cave says, I’ll jump into the abyss and find it only comes up to my knees. 

Take care, mate. I miss you.

 

Stef

 

 

*Best Friend’s Note: Dave died on 28th August 2014 following a massive brain haemorrhage. These are posts I’ve written previously

https://princessofvp.wordpress.com/2014/08/29/best-friend/

https://princessofvp.wordpress.com/2015/08/28/i-never-could-get-the-hang-of-thursdays-a-letter-to-my-best-friend/

 

You got a friend in…you?

“You got a friend in me” ~ Randy Newman

Or, as defined by my dictionary

Friend (n): a person known well to another and regarded with liking, affection and loyalty


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; The only person you are guaranteed to wake up with for the rest of your life is yourself. 

Isn’t that amazing?

One person who knows just how you like your tea in the morning, someone who will always share that last Rolo. Breakfast in bed just the way you like it, even if you do have only yourself to blame for the toast crumbs later.

And ok, you can’t give yourself a lie in whilst you make your tea, not even with a teasmaid as that still requires some arms-out-of-the-duvet action, but you can make it just how you want.

Having a friend, a friend who knows you well, who is on your side, that’s damn amazing.

But I’ll let you into a secret. The other night I slept appallingly badly. And, after waking at two and listening to old News Quiz episodes that were painfully pre-Brexit nostalgic then a whole Graham Greene adaptation and reminiscing about that time Hugo Speer kissed me, I still couldn’t sleep. Yet as I tried counting down from 3,000 (much more reliable than sheep – have you seen the trouble sheepdogs have rounding them up? Yet we are just supposed to count them orderly jumping over fences? I think not.) Anyway, I found myself listing every single physical attribute I disliked about myself from the top of my head to the tips of my toes. I’m ashamed to say it was a very long list. Perhaps I should’ve counted those sheep after all.

I caught myself, just as I was starting on my personality traits that I don’t like. And whilst I didn’t have the mental wherewithal to counteract anything I’d said with a positive, I had enough about me to say stop. Stop, I won’t treat myself like this. I am better than this.

Because I am. Because we all are. Because we all need to be our own friend. And no friend needs or deserves a diatribe of dislikes ever but especially not in the middle of the night.

So think on it, for me if you can’t do it for yourself yet. Be your friend. If you can’t counteract the negatives with positives yet then try to not give the negatives the benefit of sunlight and oxygen. Save those for the good stuff in life.

Drop me a line on a comment box-shaped postcard and let me know how you get on.


Princess