The Loving of the Loveless: What Do I Teach Best?
“You teach best what you most need to learn.” ~ Richard Bach
I read this today, and I was struck by its meaning. And it made me start to wonder… what did I teach best? The answer came straight away. Unbidden from deep inside me.
What do I teach best? I teach love. I always have. People always tell me I am one of the most loving people. I love everything. I was once told that I love too much. That it’s not natural to love as I do. I thought that was the strangest thing to say. What’s not to love about this amazingly beautiful world?
Love is my currency. And I give it freely.
I am a lover of life, a lover of humanity, a lover of nature, a lover of all things big and small.
And sometimes I love individuals too. And when this happens, I love fast, I love hard, and I love long. Love beckons, like a twinkle that I just catch in the corner of my eye, the sort that when you turn to look it’s gone. And its pull is irresistible. Off I go, running towards it, running without a thought for my safety, the protective gear is off, there is no armor here. Past loves that ended in heartbreak, they matter not.
In that moment, love calls to my heart. And I always answer.
And it is this type of love, the one shared between lovers, that has hurt me more than it has sustained me. You would think that my heart would shiver in the darkness of remembrance, and shrink from this kind of love. But no, instead, it throws open the door, and it says, I see you, and I am ready to love again.
For it believes and tells itself, has it not been the ripping, the tearing of my breaking heart, that has made it stronger? And allowed it more room to love again? And as it believes, so it is.
And this is my love.
Or is this instead, the loving of the loveless?
Yes, I teach the language of love.
But there is one I do not love. She is too different. She wasn’t made right. People stare at her in the street. She was denounced at birth a mistake. Something wrong. Something that was not like the others. Something that must be changed. People stare at her in the street.
She dwells in the shadows of her past. A past that whispered to her as a child, “You are not good enough,” “You were born wrong,” “We are fixing the mistake that is you,” “Come dwell with us in the shadows of all things broken, we will show you who you are.”
And I did. The shadows were my home. And the shadow-makers my masters. Their words weaved the magic of the shadows into my soul, and most importantly into my heart.
But then later, I managed to slip away from the shadow-masters, and thought myself to be long out of their grip. And out into the world I went. I was not a child anymore, I was now a grown woman. I put the shadows behind me, and did not know how well their lessons had been burnt into my heart and soul. And out in the world I taught the lesson I most needed to know. I taught the lesson of love.
And then somehow, through all this, over all the years, I finally saw the truth of my lessons that I taught. That the one who needed the love the most was me. I was the one who was not loved. So I found the not-loved one, and I took her by the hand, that still small child who lived inside of me. And I said, I love you. I love you. You are lovable. And you are perfect just as you are.
So now, the loving is loving the lover. The lover of life, and lover of all things great and small. I give that lesson to my self. I give that love to me. I stepped out from the shadows to stand in the light of love. Never to dwell in the darkness again. And now, I still love hard, and I still love long, and I still love all the things I once loved. And I still love all things great and small.
But now I love me even harder.
The loveless has learned how to love.
Kim Turfrey is a mother of two who lives in New Zealand and enjoys writing. She was born with a disability, and has used crutches for her whole life. She spent the majority of the first 12 years of her life living mainly in a hospital, away from her family, and now she writes about life as she sees it. You could contact Kim via Facebook.