What I learned today from tv
January 17, 2012 § 3 Comments
As per usual these days, life lessons come in the form of tv episodes. I’m learning a lot about being a woman, being in love and loving, but mostly, about self-respect and about leaving some for yourself because no one else will. People take and take while you give and you give, and this is as it should be. However, upon the disintegration of the relationship, or whatever it is that’s happening at the moment, there is no giving back, even if you both wanted to.
It’s s terrifying how love turns us into animals – hurtful and hurting, left with nothing to arm ourselves with in the fight to save ourselves. In love, there is no cognition nor grand realizations. Or even if there were, the flesh/the heart is always weaker than the regulatory control the mind or values or the last remaining ounce of self-dignity can provide.
Tonight I feel for the jealous girlfriend who is a beautiful, intelligent, powerful woman, destroyed by jealously and ultimately, love. The unfaithful playboy is breaking up with her for the noblest of reasons – because he does not love her anymore and doesn’t want to cause her further harm. And she begs him to stay. She begs him to stay. And he’s telling her that she can and should find someone better, someone who loves her with all that he is, someone who is worthy of her. And yet she weeps and begs him to stay.
May I never ever beg.
Pride is a frightening thing. But Love and how it throws caution to all you’ve ever known and held to be true is even more frightening. Where does self-respect end and pride and vanity begin? What is the difference between protecting oneself and fighting for something that is invaluable to oneself? If only we all knew the outcomes of all the games we ever played, all the risks we ever took, even before we took them. Life would hardly be a risk then, wouldn’t it? And yet you’d be assured a single drop of self-respect and you wouldn’t have to fight tooth and nail, fight every fiber of your being, for it.
Is it true that we value most what we labor arduously for? Then self-respect is underrated then, isn’t it? For all the fight we put into it, for all the chances we didn’t take to preserve ourselves, it should keep us warm at night. Shouldn’t it? At the end of the working day, lying in bed at night, in the minutes before the fall into unconsciousness, shouldn’t the fact that we still love and respect ourselves be all that matters?
Perhaps there is something amiss with the whole idea of being loved or loving completely. Completely means in its entirety such that giving to one means taking from the other.
One should not love completely and give yourself to someone else. Not at the height of sexual release, not in the throes of passion, not even in the most sacrosanct relationship of matrimony. Leave some for yourself. Always. So that should things go awry (as they inevitable will either due to death or the changing fates), you’ll still have a leg to stand on. There is something of importance to be said about leaving a little for yourself, a little life raft you can use to save yourself when all hell breaks loose and the ship is sinking or if you just want to take a breather from the throngs of people on it. Never give everything away, always leave a little to yourself. For yourself.
Because at the end of the day, in the twilight of our lives, we only have ourselves, alone, to contend with. You owe it to yourself to love you enough to leave a little love for you.