Wanna strap in for a ride? Try this 15 minutes to write a few minutes to read latte inspired piece:
I’ve been questioning the wisdom of “Love conquers all”, it doesn’t, something else is more powerful.
I’ve had a…weird relationship with love all of my life. It’s the most common theme and topic of millions of songs, paintings, plays, movies, books, etc. It’s glamorized as a goal.
It’s a seemingly constant moving target that people either seem really certain they have it (because they feel it) or can prove it (because of their actions). We pay LOTS of money to “get” it.
I strive for love with my daughter, girlfriend, family and even myself (and wow, why is that last one so hard??). People have said it in my life over the years and it just hasn’t felt true, possibly because I wouldn’t let it in or their love was fully infused/confused with humanness.
The simple act of someone saying “I love you” means a million different things to a million different people.
There are several versions of it. There is an even exalted form called unconditional which other than my daughter I have no experience of (and even with her if I’m being honest there are conditions on my love, it’s impossible not to have them, I’m human and so is she).
I’m starting to believe that presence is more powerful than love.
Presence is binary. I’m either present or I’m not present, it’s that simple. It’s so simple that the easiest way to tell if I’m present is if I become aware that I’m not present.
There aren’t “versions” of present, I either am or I’m not. I can experience it in meditation (usually like 10 seconds per 15 minutes meditated…) or even in dangerous situations where my entire attention becomes focused like it did when my car hydroplaned the other night.
I was introduced to presence about 15 years ago when someone said “I’m present for you”. Having never heard it before I figured either she was going to hand me a box to open or that her skin is actually human wrapping paper for a totally different being (think Total Recall without the disembodied head exploding).
It turns out that her stating she was present was in fact… a present because it intro’d me to the topic.
15 years later I’m still playing with it. What’s clear to me is that presence contains the key to an existence where I can turn to the world and activate a human construct called love with as close to full throttle as possible.
I can claim that I love someone AND not be present which means love proves that it includes all of the wonderful things that make us human.
There’s a twist though, I’m finding that the path to presence is love, with all its humanness. If I really love the most important people in my life, then I’m willing to face the things that are consciously and unconsciously driving my behavior and work on those things.
It’s a fancy way of saying that in my relationships, my willingness to be emotionally intimate is an inherent admission that what I really want is presence. (That one may take a bit to sink in as I’m not completely sure it makes sense…)
Now, I sincerely doubt that someone will cover Whitney Houston’s smash hit and call it “I Will Always Be Present for You” or someone will go all J Giles Band and do a song called “Presence Stinks” or even that a Brit RomCom will come out called “Presence Actually” with a spry Benedict Cumberbatch now the Prime Minister searching for now with his hot intern.
But a fella can hope can’t he….
Ultimately, this is about the search and something tells me what I’m really looking for is right inside me and I may be better able to find it than ever in my life.
I LOVE YOU!!!! wait...I'M PRESENT FOR YOU!!!!