Moral Ambiguity

kissing{photo source}

I log into the private Facebook group intended to celebrate the modern curiosity of falling in love via cyberspace.

Yet in this place where love and romance is celebrated, anger is my constant companion. The discussions about love trigger strong negative emotions.

I scold myself for my reaction.

I am the woman who believes that the meaning of life is the connections we make with other people and here I am pulling away from those who are meant to be the most loving of all.

Some of these people who believe love should last forever, that love is beyond the physical and who champion tradition irritate me beyond what is rational.

In this microcosm of my real world, I wonder why I can’t be loving with everyone. It consumes my thoughts.

It is the one thing that causes me the most pain about my marriage. If I could find a way to love myself with all my failings and flaws, why was I never able to love my husband (perhaps when he needed it the most).

My answer to this question makes me flicker and fade into the world between black and white. It’s a world I’ve shied away from. It makes me feel morally ambiguous – I’m a defender of love without the capacity to show it to all (wo)men.

Curiously, Carmen’s comment yesterday brought up my feelings about connection and disconnection again. You see, for better or for worse, I interpret love as my ability to connect with another person.

Some people I warm to immediately, and some take more time, but where there is commonality I feel a deep connection. It’s like some people are awake and alive. And sadly, some are asleep.

When people slumber in a life filled with prescribed rules and conditioning, I cannot connect. When I cannot connect, I find it impossible to love.

The conditioning that scrapes against my tender skin is the belief that sexual intimacy is either not important or inferior to the love of an omnipotent (and demanding) God. Although I will myself to love/connect with these people, my differences rather than my similarities emerge in stark contrast.

It’s as though I am betraying the love in my life that I hold most sacred by sharing it with those who don’t hold my kind of love in high regard.

So, here I am, loving only those that agree with me and speaking about unconditional love when the love I give lives firmly within conditions.

I cannot force myself to connect with a person who speaks of passion being ‘of the flesh’ no more than I could force myself to love the man I was married to.

And so I fail as a loving creature; unable to embrace the world with all its differences.

Perhaps it’s because I’m still growing.

Perhaps it’s because I’m imperfect.

Or perhaps it’s just the way it is … for now …

Tell me, do you struggle when it comes to unconditional love?

About KatieP

Embracing my midlife sexy while exploring modern love & relationships • Devoted to all things beautiful • Master of Arts in creative writing & non-fiction writing

10 thoughts on “Moral Ambiguity

  1. Why yes, I do struggle with unconditional love (given the role models of my youth). Not so much in giving it, but in receiving it. That said, I also understand this comment: “I wonder why I can’t be loving with everyone. It consumes my thoughts.” Are we meant to be loving with everyone? Sure…it would be nice to think so, but perhaps a tad unrealistic. But still, I often feel the same way. But really, what does “loving” actually mean and look like? That’s where I stumble.

    1. Hmmm … what does ‘loving’ actually look like? Actually, I’m not sure. Thanks for the thought provoking comment Karen. I shall need to think more on this …

  2. Yes, I think everyone one struggles with this, whether they admit it or not.
    I have been online dating for a year now and that shocks me with how people react and how I sometimes see myself react. Just today I was messaged by a man my age, who while coming off as insecure has managed to do quiet a lot in his life. However what I am struggling in picturing us together is the fact that he is in a wheelchair. I have never dated anyone disabled, honestly never even considered it, and am unsure how to react. I thought I rarely judge people on physical appearance, who am I to judge when I myself am overweight and not a movie starlet? But he is making me think about if I could stay in a relationship that lacked in the “physical” department. I honestly don’t know but I am at least going to get to know him better before making that call.

    1. Perhaps being a loving person simply means being open to new experiences and giving people a chance? There are all sorts of relationships to explore. Thanks for the comment Amelia x

  3. My (possibly shallow) take on this is simple. Unconditional love for my son, my husband, my parents – not a problem or a struggle – even if there are times when on the surface they might piss me off (LOL). Beyond that its not a priority. If it happens, great; but if it doesnt, so be it. It makes my love for those that are close and special even more special.

  4. Not shallow Magda, but interesting. How do you reconcile that with a spiritual desire to be a compassionate or a loving force in the greater world?

  5. We accept someone into our lives because we want them there. Flaws and all. What I “tolerate” in one person might not be what is acceptable in another because the need for what that person brings into my life is not as necessary. I believe we are drawn to a person because what is lacking in your own life. They fill that need. Unconditional love? I agree with Magda. Not a struggle with some. With everyone? I don’t think it is possible with me. I think it was you who said “some people are just dicks” why would you want to love them? Conditionally or unconditionally? Life is hard enough sometimes to get through why would you want to make it harder by thinking you have to accept and love everyone out there? Do I still treat them kindly, yes – it’s who I am, but feel as if I have to love or accept them? No. Why muddy my waters with people who don’t make me happy?

  6. I know exactly what you mean about people slumbering! They aren’t awake and they can’t see what is being offered them, or they don’t want to leave the dark cocoon of their blankets and brave the momentary chill before acclimation. While the idea of being able to love everybody is a good one, I wonder if it’s something we can really do. We can be good to others, and make certain our actions towards them are of good and loving intent, but maybe we don’t need to go so far as love them, rather than grace them with loving actions?

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