Love, Loving & Loved

‘One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.’ – Paulo Coehlo

This quote made me think about all the people who have loved me, past and present. I definitely feel blessed to have been well loved. Especially when I think of family members. Last year was hard for my family, we lost two of my beloved uncles and I won’t lie it was brutal. I cried a lot last year, as did my uncles, aunties and cousins. Children lost their dads, a wife lost her husband, brothers lost their brother and a whole host of us said goodbye to our uncles. It hurt .. a lot.

But, I did have good thoughts as I dealt with the grief. I looked back through old photos and saw how present they both were in my life when I was little, in fact, all six of my uncles were actually like extra dad’s, especially when my mum was a single mum (up until I was about five). There were bath times, dinner times, birthdays, Christmases and holidays, where what folks would call my extended family were actually at the centre of my life. I thought more than once, and I’m thinking it again now, how lucky I was to have that many people to love me. Especially because I did have a mum and dad present in my life too. 

My mum and dad who also loved/love me in a perfectly imperfect way. I say that because I know if I outlined certain aspects of their parenting, or my childhood, some folks out there would say it was lacking. I know this because I’ve told many stories from when I was younger and someone has said something along the lines of ‘I’m sorry you went through that/that must have been hard/you deserved better than that’. From my perspective though my parents loved me with everything they had, gave me more than they had at times and to this day my dad is still determined to help me out as much as he can. 

I also haven’t always been easy to love, not that I think we should be or that we only deserve to be loved when we’re easy, but self reflection makes me grateful that people have loved me for me, warts and all and not just the parts that were pretty or inviting. 

I think outside of the family I’ve already discussed I’ve found that kind of love most of all with Mr F. I say that because I’m fairly self aware. I know my moods can be less than pleasant sometimes, I’m often unnecessarily stubborn and can struggle to ask for help/comfort when I need it. These things combined can often make me a total pain in the ass. I know this because people have told me how difficult or hard to love these aspects of my personality make me. Only romantic partners have pointed this out, my family would never point out the negatives in each other. Just like Mr F doesn’t either. 

Mr F and I aren’t the couple who tell each other the love each other multiple times a day, we’ll, not in terms of I love you. In fact, to date, we’ve never said I love you out loud, we have however written it down. We also verbally affirm each other regularly with other words. I have no idea why we don’t say I love you, but I do know that this is the most loved I’ve ever felt by a romantic partner, because I truly feel like Mr F loves all the versions of me, including the ones I’m less fond of myself. His love feels secure and as unconditional as I believe love can get. 

Our love exists because it does, we love each other just because we do. There was no fairytale beginning or grand gestures to get us started, lust and friendship just mingled together, love grew quite slowly I suppose and here we are a few years later happier than either of us have ever been before. 

Our love is kind, patient, passionate and it radiates out of us and into our little family and I love that for my boys. Given my own upbringing (which as I said before I don’t reflect on as bad) it feels so special to me that my little ones get to see a healthy example of loving and being loved. Small Human (11 now) is old enough to express his observations and thoughts on the world around him and he loves that Mr F and I are always nice to each other. His dad is a great role model in many ways, but as a step-dad Mr F offers up the example of being a man that nurtures and loves without antagonism and misogyny.

Speaking of the small ones, how I love them is both exceedingly simple and bigger than I can ever explain. For me, I loved them the moment they existed, not as fully formed, birthed babies but as a tiny bunch of cells that showed as nothing more than a line on a pregnancy test. They weren’t babies then, but they were mine and they have been loved every second from the moment I knew about them. They drive me wild sometimes, I could tear my hair out in frustration some days but I love them no less in those moments. There is no question of me loving them, I just do and I always will. 

Love is big, it can be complex, it can be scary, it can be hard but sometimes it’s just there and lovely and simple and I love that I have that, that’s the kind of love I need. Love that shows up and exists just because, that’s how I love, how I’ve always loved and I’m grateful to be loved in that same way.

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