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What Feels Love to Me?

“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.” Buddha

ONCE UPON A TIME there was a handsome, chivalrous prince….who hooked up with a beautiful, naive’ commoner and for one shining moment, so the story goes, they lived happily ever after. And so sets up the most significant disillusionment of every young girls life.

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All my life my heart has yearned for a thing I cannot name, and when I came back around from the continual seeking-searching, unleashing such a whirling vortex of confusion, came the realization that until I fully, deeply and completely love myself, there can be no “other.”

Sixth grade, parochial school. Sitting across from the most adorable boy ever, feeling these hunger pangs and longing for something……un-nameable and surely unholy.

Fast forward. High school. Sultry, summer days mooning over the cute, newspaper delivery guy. Both of us too shy and awkward to speak or look directly at one another. Constant stomach aches, and pain. Is this what love feels like? Oh wait, it’s just my period arriving.

Enormous emotional fluctuations of grief, sadness and loss filled young hearts as we hungered for completion of self through another. After all, it was our destiny to partner, have babies, and live happily ever after, wasn’t it? Or so I understood from the [too] many signals that infused my young life.

Starting with long, flowing white baptismal gown; sweet, virginal, holy communion dress; lacy, white May procession attire; demure, modest, white formal for first prom; plain, decent outfit for that first date; and finally the ostentatious, over the top, virtuous, and very white wedding gown?

From earliest mind I recall feeling everything so deeply, and viscerally.
I cried at the drop of the first leaf of Fall foliage, flowers shedding their blooms, and lost puppies, dead fish on the shoreline, pictures of the poor kids over the collection boxes in church, and on and on. And, all of man’s inhumanity to man, and women.

Having aged out of many of the frailties of youth, I am, and will continue to emote for all the weakness, violence, and inhumanity that plagues our species as we seek to love and be loved. And still, I feel it all so intensely, the thrum and aliveness of life, and love.

So, How do I Love Me? Let me count the ways……

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” LaoTzu

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Lolly odea polvinale: writer, teacher, holistic health practitioner, and adventurer of epic proportions; writing for newspapers in Baltimore and Gettysburg; copywriter for WGTY radio; teaching Penn State’s health classes in Adams County; additionally, offering stress reduction-meditation programs through numerous community organizations.

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