on love

Love is a complicated concept. Both word and emotion, I feel like the thing intended to convey when that word is invoked varies so greatly from person to person and within different contexts, it’s become more than confusing: it has become a thing which harms.

Because it is a feeling, it is something that cannot be conveyed from one person to another in a way that exactly duplicates the impression within one mind into that of another.

Yet it is one of those dangerous words that, I feel like, people tend to assume has a clearly defined, implicitly understood meaning across lines of culture and language.
Across minds.

“I’m doing this because I love you.”

In my mind, if someone feels the need to say that, it signifies that the feeling the recipient is expected to have as a result of the action in question, is the opposite of love.

Not hate. I feel like hate is the presumptive there, always, and it shouldn’t be. To my mind, hate is something different.

I don’t think there’s a word yet for what I feel like is the opposite of love, so I’ll start by trying to put words to what I feel like love is:

I feel love when my friends trust me to be mature and self aware enough to to not take it personally, in a negative way, when they tell me how they think I could be better, as a person, in whatever way.

I feel love when people do a thing for me, without unstated expectations of me doing things in return following that.

I feel love when people tell me they think what I’m doing or planning to do is a mistake, but do so without judgment, and, once they’ve stated their reasons, allow me to make my own mistakes.

I feel Not Love when people say things like:

“This is for your own good.”

“I’m just doing what’s best for you.”

“I’m trying to protect you.”

“But – I love you!”

These things all imply that someone else is trying to tell me they know me and what’s right for me, better than I do.

Sometimes, perhaps even more often than not, they have even been correct, in the long run, about the benefit to me in choosing or not choosing whatever path.


But phrasing things in that kind of way implies the same sort of mental state that I discussed in the punishment channel.

It implies the necessity to, perhaps, dictate – declare – to me something that ought to be implicitly conveyed via tone, words, body language, and action- via communication in a broad sense.

We are all so unique, each of us, and the world so mind-bogglingly complex, that…
There are practically infinite ways of being that may be healthy or unhealthy in any given moment for any given person.

Two people, living seemingly similar sort of lives, may drink exactly the same amount of alcohol and for one it may be just fine. For another, it may be acid on the soul. Even for the same person, two consecutive days, it may vacillate between those things, somewhere along a spectrum.

No one, outside of our own selves – and regarding our own selves – can predict the needs of a person with 100% accuracy.

Love, to me, is accepting another’s role as expert in themselves, or helping to guide them to gain that mastery. Themselves.

No one else can be as expert in what goes into being Brooke as I am, just as I can never be the kind of expert in You as you yourself are.

This is one of the topics, several of which are still kind of stewing in my mind prior to being able to attempt communicating to others, that reflects a foundational transformation in Brookeness.

It is maybe one of the fundamental aspects of the way I view the world, and all living beings, in any given moment and as a broader whole.


I spent three years living on the street in Los Angeles. I came out of that, changed. This is my story.

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