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A really kind mirror

I’m thinking about love.


Falling out of love.

I’m thinking about what makes us fall in and out of love.

And I’m thinking

The people by whom I feel most loved in my life are the ones by whom I feel most understood.

They reflect back an image of me that I recognise, that I identify with, that I like.

Like a really kind mirror.

Sometimes they even see a part of me that I hadn’t yet been able to see, but which I also identify with and like.

They show me myself in a different light.

Each person I meet shows me myself in a different light, providing their unique reflection.

So that is how it feels, for me, to be loved.

And to love?

To love is to enable that in someone else.

To hold up a reflection of them that they recognise and enjoy.

To help them in revealing a little more of what is true for them.

To reveal in them the love they have for themselves.

So that through your love they come to enjoy themselves and their expression of life more and more.

So then,

I was trying to put my finger on what it is that feels so all-consumingly repulsive about falling out of love.

Why it is that we can feel such disgust, so strongly repelled all of a sudden by someone we thought we loved. 

And I wonder if it is because, on the contrary, the person is holding up an image of yourself that, no matter how hard you look, you just cannot recognise. It doesn’t match.

They may continue to love you but to you it doesn’t feel so. It feels that they love an image of you that they have wrongly deduced, or maybe that has expired but that, either way, isn’t you.

You can feel obliged to match, instead, this image, rather than the true one you hold of yourself.

It strikes me that although to be alone can be hard, although leaving someone can be hard, there is such solace in solitude. Because you will only ever have your own image of yourself to match up to.

Granted, even within ourselves it can sometimes get lost, or we can be mistaken. We can see in the mirror things that aren’t really there or we can spend time mistakenly hating parts of what we see that in actual fact we like, or vice-versa.

But deep down, somewhere, we all have an image of ourselves, an understanding of ourselves that is true. That we, instinctually, will remain true to, always. 

I believe that, at least.

And when I think about that I wonder to what extent our love for others blurs into that which we have for ourselves.

How much the words of advice, guidance, care and reassurance that we offer others are found and said, not only because it is what they need to hear but also because it is what we need to hear.

As if each word or action of love has an unintended echo that, as well as reaching the other person, bounces back towards us. 

Like one huge boomerang of love going round and round and round and round…

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