We depend on one another. We depend on people to provide the sustenance to make it through our days. Our self-knowledge increases as we learn to create intimacy and love. Bell Hooks told us long ago that, To truly love we must learn to mix various ingredients—care, affection, recognition, respect, commitment, and trust, as well as honest and open communication. We must learn to live without rigid expectations. The people that love us depend on our growth in the knowledge of love. While we blossom, unfold, and become they wait on our maturation. We become greater lovers as we develop the discipline, faith, and patience to create love. Anais Nin, throughout A Woman Speaks: The Lectures, Seminars and Interviews of Anais Nin, speaks on the transformative and necessary function of love saying:
I could be healed by the sheer courage of continuing to live. I could heal myself. We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. Sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. Mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations. Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source. I take pleasure in my transformations. I look quiet and consistent, but few know how many women there are in me.
Freedoms comes from being honest about our needs. But honesty comes from self-discovery, without self-reflection we crave things we already have. We may need a lover that gives us space to sit quietly, maybe even chaotically, within our emotions or a lover that allows us to be in open relationship or a lover that gives us space to be celibate and gently support our spiritual transformation. Being honest with ourselves allows us to discover our own personal happiness. A happiness that is not dependent on the world, but comes from the beat of our own heart. We learn to love without the assumptions that it has to look a certain way, and only commit to nurturing the soul of another person. Speaking on real authentic human love Anais says:
Where the myth fails, human love begins. Then we love a human being, not our dream, but a human being with flaws. You don’t find love, it finds you. It’s got a little bit to do with destiny, fate, and what’s written in the stars. I prefer by far the warmth and softness to mere brilliancy and coldness. Some people remind me of sharp dazzling diamonds. Valuable but lifeless and loveless.
Others, of the simplest field flowers, with hearts full of dew and with all the tints of celestial beauty reflected in their modest petals. I’m awaiting a lover. I have to be rent and pulled apart and live according to the demons and the imagination in me. I’m restless. Things are calling me away. My hair is being pulled by the stars again. I love humanly. I wept because I have lost my pain and I am not yet accustomed to its absence. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings.
“Do you believe in free love”, asked a student in the crowd after her speech at a college. Regardless of our belief love sits waiting on our recognition. However, our belief in love determines the type of life we will lead. Love is not Santa Claus, or Tinker Bell, and stretches beyond the history of Jesus. Free love is the communion of two souls sharing space that offers gentleness and the potential of self-reflection. This dynamic is created from the will of people–answers the question Anain Nin says:
The only crime is not loving. So whatever form of loving you’ve found, practice it. Whatever form it takes. Because I think the real thing is just to love. Free or not free, married or unmarried, are really things that are too individual. Its different for each individual. There are individuals who are more expansive, there are individuals who are capable of several loves. I don’t think that can be answered; I don’t think you can make an answer for everyone.
Anaïs Nin speaks with warmth and urgency on those themes which have always been closest to her: relationships, creativity, the struggle for wholeness, the unveiling of woman, the artist as magician, women reconstructing the world, moving from the dream outward, and experiencing our lives to the fullest possible extent. Continue reading Anais Nin On Independence.
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