Love is a battlefield

Song by Pat Benatar, released 1983.

Disclaimer: I am not an expert on love. These are thoughts and observations which I translated into words as a method of processing.

***

Love has many avenues: family, romantic, self…

I suck at showing it to others. At expressing it. I always mess it up.

Either that or I suck at communication.

Probably that second part, mostly.

Do they see it when I show it? Do they hear it? Feel it?

Sometimes it’s returned, this love. I see the hand reaching toward me. I just don’t know how to respond to it… I fear rejection. I fear misinterpretation. I fear a lot of things…

I’m familiar with rejection. But people tell me I’m too sensitive, take things too personally. They don’t understand my way of showing them love.

I express love differently from what the media or the mainstream dictate. I show love tentatively at first, cloaked behind self-imposed walls and boundaries.

There is a door through which I extend a hand when I feel love consume me.

Questions without answers

It takes time and a lot of trust to open that door and extend my arm across the threshold. The emotional torment I go through by analyzing and overthinking the decision whether or not to take that risk impacts my emotional well-being.

What will it take to pull me out of my protective walls? To coax me over the threshold?

Alternatively, what if someone sees my hand and touches it? Will I allow them to cross over the threshold toward me? Will I open up my heart to let them in?

Love feels like a battlefield.

Family love

I can handle the fickle phases of love with family. Some of the trickiest love is through the blood bond. We’ve all heard the phrase parents hurl at kids during some of the more exasperating parenting times.

I love you to the moon and back, but I don’t like your current behaviour.

parents to kids everywhere forever

Most people understand that love should be – is – unconditional. The bonds, especially with family, prevail regardless of time or distance.

Love for family never severs. Love for family might interrupt at times, but true love lingers and endures, as it should.

I heard a story about family love just this past week. A bond between two brothers was interrupted decades ago, but it did not sever. It endured the test of time.

Uncertainty and fear of the unknown might have delayed contact, but love was stronger than fear. When the younger brother was ready, he took a leap of faith, opened the door and extended his arm. The older brother recognized this as a gesture of love and reached for him. Their hands met, equilibrium was restored, and a new relationship, filled with love, began to form.

I adore this story. It fills me with hope, and love.

Love of self

Before you can give love, you have to accept the love that exists within you. See it, feel it and unearth it. Once you’ve done that, you can reach out your hand to others and share the gift of love with them.

Just be aware that you cannot control the outcome. You cannot force or manipulate the actions of others. Put your trust in love and have faith without expectation or assumption. This isn’t easy, but it’s elemental and crucial. This applies to family and romantic love.

Love is a battlefield.

It takes strength and resilience to recognize and accept when the love you give is rejected, ignored or taken for granted.

Those who reject your love, or ignore it, or take it for granted, they are not your match and undeserving of more energy and dedication. You will feel depleted and become cynical about love if you allow their negativity or ignorance to take hold. You will close the door and turn blind and deaf to love that is still out there and worthy of you.

Love yourself first, only then can you give, and receive, love to others.

Love prevailed in the case of the brothers because it was real, true and unwavering through time and distance. It took one brother to recognize it and take action.

Giving love to his brother mattered more than receiving it.

In this case, the love was returned. The hands met in the middle.

But it doesn’t always work out that way.

Romantic love

Sometimes, you feel like you are traveling on a one-way path. You sense how this journey depletes you, but you keep going. You maintain eternal hope despite indomitable circumstances, evasive messages, ghosting, the physical and proverbial slamming of the door and a thousand other reasons.

You desire a result, a prize for your efforts. You want reciprocation for the love you so generously give to another person.

If that doesn’t happen, and we all have been through this, the hurt and despair can cause damage to your ego, your psyche and your spirit.

Sometimes, it’s not meant to be. The path to unrequited love is mired with danger and obstacles. It can destroy you at your core if you let it.

How to show love

The first step is to acknowledge the love within you; the love for self, and the love you are capable of giving. Only then will you arrive at the gateway of possibilities.

Next, extend your arm. Reach for the hand on the other side of the threshold. If they’re ready, your hands will touch and the journey can begin. If not, you go back and love yourself.

But don’t be fooled, the touching of the hands is only the beginning. The work to stay the course is arduous. Love need nurturing to be sustained. This is where many, most of us, stumble.

This is where I stumble. I’ve stumbled so many times it’s a wonder I haven’t broken any bones… πŸ˜‰

Truth

Love is simple. It’s unequivocally the most universal emotion that each and every one of us is familiar with and capable of.

But it doesn’t feel simple. It feels the opposite of simple.

Love is complicated.

Love is a battlefield (Pat Benatar)

We are young
(Heartache to heartache)
Heartache to heartache
(We stand)
We stand

No promises
(No demands)
No demands
(Love is a battlefield)
Love is a battlefield
Whoo

We are strong
No one can tell us we’re wrong
Searching our hearts for so long
Both of us knowing
Love is a battlefield

You’re begging me to go
Then making me stay
Why do you hurt me so bad
It would help me to know
Do I stand in your way
Or am I the best thing you’ve had

Believe me
Believe me
I can’t tell you why
But I’m trapped by your love
And I’m chained to your side

We are young
Heartache to heartache we stand
No promises
No demands
Love is a battlefield

We are strong
No one can tell us we’re wrong
Searching our hearts for so long
Both of us knowing
Love is a battlefield

When I’m losing control
Will you turn me away
Or touch me deep inside
And when all this gets old
Will it still feel the same
There’s no way this will die
But if we get much closer
I could lose control
And if your heart surrenders
You’ll need me to hold

We are young
Heartache to heartache we stand
No promises
No demands
Love is a battlefield

We are strong
No one can tell us we’re wrong
Searching our hearts for so long
Both of us knowing
Love is a battlefield

26 thoughts on “Love is a battlefield

  1. Love is definitely a battlefield! I’ve had my share of going to war with my kids and parents, but thankfully I’ve accepted more of the downsides of those relationships through healing the pain I experienced.

    Self-love trumps all of the others.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts. It’s a difficult topic to talk about. I was prompted by a friend and finally just said, to hell with it and put it out there. I appreciate your feedback, thank you for reading and commenting.

      Like

  2. Personal POV: trust is all mixed up in love, no matter if we’re talking oneself, family, romantic… even parental love to a certain degree. I agree that you have to love yourself to give and receive love from others, but you have to also trust yourself to know when something isn’t working.
    How many chances do you give yourself, and conversely then give others before you find the moment you say no more, this isn’t good for me or whoever else is involved. By far, being a mom and trusting/loving myself as a mom and turning that trust and love toward my kids as been the easiest and thankfully long-lasting.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes. Something like this:

      Recognize the point of no return.
      Navigate the love for children regardless of circumstances.
      Ensure love for self and own needs aren’t buried.

      You hear me loud and clear and your words are filled with wisdom and understanding. Thank you Deb.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Very interesting thoughts! It’s seem like you have a theme in your life – being vulnerable (in writing, in love) as the threshold we have to cross to get to the next step. Very wise!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Love that song! Pat Benatar is awesome!
    Lately, I’ve been thinking about the limits of love. I love my family, but I don’t trust them enough to tell them certain things. I love my husband, but I question if love is really enough to overcome a marriage that has considerable issues and is not really working. I don’t know if I love him enough to not hurt him. And I think that I like myself, but I don’t know if I would say that I love myself.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Every one of your questions resonates with me. When I think about how some act of self-love may hurt someone else, I am immediately faced with two choices: which is more important, them or me? Do I continue to put myself on the backseat to preserve something I no longer value the same way, or which doesn’t suit me any longer?

      It’s a long, drawn-out struggle to find the correct answer to these question.

      Like

  5. Great insights! Very important to be strong in self-love and self-acceptance. Nothing will work out right without that. Gotta have a strong foundation or the building will fall.πŸ˜‰

    Forget finding that special Hollywood Rom-Com person who “completes you”. We must be whole in ourselves before we can share a healthy partnership with another person or people.

    Love had no strings! We should give it freely with joy, expecting nothing in return. A relationship is different and those need to have communication and compromise.

    Families… I experience great love for my daughters and Ben. I care about my brother but we’re different people leading different lives. πŸ€·πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ My mother is toxic for me to be around much. I’ve had to remind myself that I’m NOT required to be the “loving, doting daughter” she expects me to be. I have a jumble of feelings connected to her that resemble something that cat coughed up πŸ™„ I guess love is in there tooπŸ€·πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ

    Self love!! It’s the first place to start… it’s the longest relationship we’ll ever have, and the one person you can always, absolutely depend on to be there for you.πŸ˜‰

    P.S. Pat Benatar is so awesome!!πŸŽΆπŸ’ƒπŸΌπŸ₯³πŸ’•

    Liked by 3 people

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