By Kenneth Stepp
Strange title, but I will unpack it and make it easier to understand. Love is my favorite topic. It is the most important topic on the planet, yet the most misunderstood. Why? Because we have diluted and rearranged it’s meaning to fit into a friendship or romantic situation. Love has become an idea rather than what it was meant to be. Love is radical, but the word love is not. It’s simply letters placed together to describe something it isn’t. Thus, the dilution, change of meaning, and frivolous use. I find nothing sadder, there is nothing as important either.
“I love you”….. Three words, that if understood before spoken are life changing. Few have a clue what these words mean. I have been blessed to love three, non blood relative humans. I know that until the third one, I had no idea what those three words meant. Heck, I’ve used them to describe friendships, romantic connections. Yesterday I even said I love cheeseburgers. In my defense. It was a bacon cheeseburger with a fried egg on it with onion rings. What’s not to love? I would not lay my life down for that plate of food. I did lay down about $8.00. I consider me more valuable than that. I’ve told people I loved them and can’t remember their name ten years later. That was faux love, not real, simply feelings. I enjoyed the cheeseburger more than some of them. How callous am I? Did it just feel good to tell someone I love them? That does happen.
I have readers who tell me they like my honesty. What they don’t know is that my honesty is fairly new. Until I finally became repulsed living my own version of a cheap sitcom based on lies, that’s all I had. Most of the time I didn’t really understand what truth was. An old friend who passed on a couple of years ago had a saying. Numbers don’t lie. People do. My readership jumped when I exposed me for who I was. A flawed, confused, somewhat unavailable tortured soul. It turns out truth has an audience.
My love journey began because I was hurt. I wanted to understand love. Not fake love, real love. I wish there was another word we could give fake love so that I wouldn’t need to write, “real love”. I could just say, “love”. And everyone would know what I was talking about. Let me explain. The most common love issue when interviewing women is lies. Second only to trust or faithfulness. Great topics. But, they have nothing to do with real love. They do in fact control actions behind fake love. Hey, this might be easier to explain than I thought. “I loved him but”. This is the quickest way to know real love wasn’t there. And, the one saying it has no clue what real love is. Most never experience it. Some have, yet didn’t recognize it as the 7th wonder of the world that it is.
“My husband was unfaithful”. The next sentence is always the same. “So I left him”. That wasn’t love. The three girls I have loved in my life could do anything and would have never lost me, providing they loved me back. That is the game changer. Two people who love one another unconditionally make it work, treat one another with respect, they adore one another, they are less important than their partner. When one loves and one doesn’t, well, this has been my journey. It has only been recently that things truly have changed. We create others in the image of our myths. The stronger the myth, the more unrealistic the image of her. A little lie to myself will do it. She loves me.. I mention this because it’s what created the myth for me. From superhuman to something far less exciting. Something that becomes more real each day. So, do I love someone I only created in my mind? No, she’s real enough. It’s complicated.
Real love has no conditions, it is limitless. But, it must be two way street to work. Sadly, what happens is someone gets hurt, changed, and eventually damaged beyond repair. It takes me so long to process these days. I’ve been nicknamed, “Thinker” by my friends. There are times I wish I could simply be the naive guy I once was. Remember when you believed everything people told you? Unknowing things has been a goal for a while now. I know this, when two people have real love, they make it work. Most don’t, maybe almost none do. If you find love, treasure it, guard it, and nurture it if you are lucky enough to find it. Good luck with yours. My mythical girl is real, her superpowers no longer haunt me, her cape and crown no longer viewable to me. Yet love still burns bright, still warms my heart, and my heart still remembers when she told me she loved me. Was it just a beautiful lie? Maybe so, but it’s my story, my dream, and my choice to believe it…
To me, she’s still perfect, still my dream girl, and still in love with me. In my mind she misses me too. My delusion is complete. This is a wonderful snapshot of what love can do. Well, love lost that is. And there are times when this mixed up, crazy love, gets people through their day. Don’t wake them from their dream. It’s their dream, not yours…