(the misadventures of an expatriate corporate dropout)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

how one becomes worthy?

another message in a bottle.

I've been ruminating on this for awhile. perhaps all of my life. well okay, maybe just the last 15-20 years or so.

just what is it that one does to become worthy of being loved? I don't mean by one's children. or one's parents. or other relatives. those seem to be a given. the relationship stipulates for love, and from that point love can be diminished and such, but never earned.

but what kind of exemplary (or non-) life does it take to be worthy of another human's love? you know the kind I mean ... the non-related, non-friendship sort of love. now, I've tested any number of approaches and yet appear to have miscalculated on my formulas ... each and every one.

there's the be a good person formula. keep your nose clean, do the right thing, follow the golden rule, and someone will enter your life.

there's the bad girl recipe, be the one his mother warned him about, what men want is more black eyeliner, dress a little slutty with your FMe pumps. you know, be a spinner. unrepressed. unapologetic. fanfuckingtasticly free.

there's the daddy's girl syndrome, where your innocence, batting eyelashes and beguiling nature prompts a desire to pitch in ... do the heavy lifting, open doors and chop firewood. be a boy scout.

there's always the strong and independent woman. accomplished. reliable. admirable. able to stand on her own 2 feet, and even give you a helping hand up. no pressure, no foul ... just quality time with no expectations.

oh, let's not forget the best friend and confidante. intellectual equal. humoristically sympatico. emotionally bonding on various levels while we compare bruises and scars, laughing over the injustice of it all. checking out each other's asses when we think no one is looking.

Throughout my life, I've independently exhibited each of these personas. Later in life, I've carefully adapted many of the qualities of each into the one, pretty cohesive entity that is me.

Whether individually or collectively displayed, it has never really fucking mattered. I'm still alone. don't get me wrong, my life alone has shaped up pretty well. and if it remains this way, when it is all tabulated I will still end up more than okay. on the plus side of the equation.

I look around and see any and every sort of character that has managed to find herself loved. cared for. appreciated. treated with tenderness. and that frankly couldn't hold a candle to the life I've had to lead, couldn't begin to face the obstacles I've overcome, possesses less than a tenth of the moxy and generally witty survivorship that I've acquired (not trying to toot a horn, I'm sure I'll hear about my arrogance ...), not to mention the fact that I fucking clean-up pretty good.

frankly, I've never even really been sure I believe in love. l'amour n'existe pas and all that. (I'm talking love, not lust.) but hell, I want the fucking opportunity. what am I, chopped liver?

reminds me of a book title (slightly amended).

'Face it, they just aren't that in to you'.


ALL of them?

to quote one of my favorite bloggesses.

le sigh.

no regrets, mind you.

just askin'.


La Belette Rouge said...

Le sigh, indeed. You may not like my answer, but I would say that you were worthy of love the very moment you arrived here and that even if you had not taken on a single one of those personas you still would be worthy of love. Anyone who sees the light in your eyes, the warmth of your smile and the generosity of your spirit will see that immediately. The issue is that sometimes when we see another that is so absolutely worthy of love that it brings up our own sense of unworthiness. It goes like this, I see you are so lovable and I feel like I am not and so I contract so you will not reject me.

Well, that is just one weasel's, who is prone to great Gaelic sighs, opinion.

Non, Je ne regrette rien said...

Lbr-I'll probably have to email you my REAL reaction to your post ... here, thanks will have to suffice.

I'm looking at my *visitor roll* and thinking, great...today's the day I have like 40 new readers and they are all probably like 'good, god - another woe is me pitiful blogger...can't click out of here fast enough...'


Randal Graves said...

I'll give you a dude's overseas, third-party perspective: you ain't chopped liver, on all fronts. Not very helpful I know, but I have no magical answers. If I did, I'd have my own infomercial.

Two quick things: it's not arrogant if you can back it up. Yeah, that sounded un peu américian, but it's the truth. Secondly, if the new readers don't like it, fuck 'em. There are 70 gajillion blogs and anyone who has a blog is, by definition, a narcissist and won't please everyone. It's your place, do your thing. This is kind of getting away from the theme of your post, ain't it.

L'amour n'existe pas ? En realité, probablement.

La Belette Rouge said...

Hey, I have never found that my "woe is me"posts makes readers disappear. I always admire and am more interested in blog posts in which people share the real stuff.

And, yeah, I am looking forward to that email.

Kathleen said...

my two cents.. we all come in as love and light (look into a newborn's eyes if you want to test my statement.) However, as we create an identity, we forget about our true nature of love and it get's replaced with a huge dose of unworthiness (particularly during our teenage years). After much stratagizing, scheming, acting out, heart break, finding the wrong person, etc., etc. we finally get a little tired of the whole thing and return to that lovely person within us who has been there all along, loving us no matter what. Did you ever think about who stays with us through thick and thin, good and bad, wealth and poverty, dries our tears, pulls up our bootstraps, etc.? It's really that lovely person within who never leaves and is always there to get us through the next scrappy turn in the road. I believe that once we stop turning away from that glorious being and turn inward to see her/him, then we actually begin to feel the love we've wanted all along. It was always there and the irony is that we are always so willing to give it away to others... they see it in us, just read what la belette rouge wrote, "Anyone who sees the light in your eyes, the warmth of your smile and the generosity of your spirit will see that immediately."

So, sooner or later if that 'state of love' begins to circulate more and more within, someone outside of us who is also beginning to have that experience within themselves, or desires it more than anything, will recognize that love and light in you and want to share the love and light they have in themselves with you. So it's not based on someone being able to give us something we don't already have... in fact, if they could give us the love we need, they could also take it away and that's not what true love does... it can't be given or taken, it just is.

Take a look at what the poet Derek Walcott says so beautifully about love:

Love After Love

The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other's welcome

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you have ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image form the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

FrogBlogger said...

You mention the "strong, independent" personality in your list... that's probably the one thing that comes up in 'blokey' conversations the most - ie just how much assertiveness is challenging the traditional ideas of masculinity and femininity, and in a way that makes a significant proportion of men feel... well... like they are losing a part of their identity somehow.

Not that guys are necessarily looking for submissive partners, but something somewhere between the two. Hard to describe, really.

This is proving impossible to write without appearing like some kind of misogynist - which I assure you, I'm not! So I'll give up while the going's good ... ;-)

Michelle said...

Bloody hell, that's all a bit heavy for me at this hour of 7-40 AM. I've not even ingested any caffeine yet.

For what it's worth, I think you seem like an awesome package overall, and if you are alone it is probably because they are not worthy.

Coffee time.

Non, Je ne regrette rien said...

RG-yer probably right ... screw'em all! lol (yep, new readers AND prospective dates...ha) and thanks for confirming my suspicions re: l'amour.

kathleen-beautiful. insightful. aggravating. most likely true on all counts.

frogger-not the first time I've heard that. I know you were having difficulty getting your message just right. I probably won't get this just right either ... but I've never been good at the 'dumbing down' of myself in order to make someone else want me. hard for me to describe exactly as well, but I think I get what you are on about. thanks for pitching in ... I've heard it described as men wanting to feel needed and in today's society feeling it less and less.

michelle- caveat emptor.

And to all the readers who feel pity ... or have looked askance ... Don't cry for me Argentina! lol. the truth is, my life and times are good. My blog isn't meant to be just the morning traffic report. Occasionally there will be an outburst of angst, of emotion in the moment. Lots of folks who know me in real life read here ... and are probably reticent to respond to some heartfelt feelings expressed in writing that haven't been said in person.

After all, Kim's the hard nut gal who can do it on her own. Always has and everyone know that. So what's she whining about?

Well, just because one CAN and just because one WILL, doesn't meant that one always WANTS it exactly that way!

Most days one DOES WANT it exactly that way though. Stuff it, I'm a basket case. There, I've found my own answer. And through commenting!

How very bloggesslike of me.

jonnifer said...

The woe-is-me posts help the rest of us feel less embarrassed about our woe-is-me posts! Anyway, we're only human. It can't be happy-in-France all the time.

bonnie-ann black said...

i don't know, but when you figure it out, please let me know... the damndest thing i find is there are women who dress to lure, but have admitted to me that while they like men okay (mostly for whatever they can get -- money or a home, or children or whatever) they just don't care for sex that much. i *love* sex... and have never tried to lure a man. be alluring, yes, but not for what i can get from them *except* love and sex.

i've kind of gotten to the point where i'm getting to be one of the "invisible" women. so if anyone has an answer, i'd love to hear it.

Non, Je ne regrette rien said...

Jonnifer~ well thanks for that! and you are right, my fairy-tale existence is only 95% perfect! :P

Bonnie-Ann~ Sex is the least of my problems, but I hear ya! In the words of Beyoncé (LOL) get your 'freak-um' dress on and get out there! Women of any age can be like ripe fruit on a summer's day ... men's mouth water at the thought of the plucking ...

My lamentation (sorry to all) was more about the morning after...and after.

You are anything but invisible, once you can visualize yourself in all your glory ... trust me.

Diane said...

From what I can tell men are looking for women who will treat them like crap...as long as they are pretty. I just don't want to be that kind of woman so I guess I'll end up alone. There are worse things I suppose...

Mrs C said...

I have been with my spouse for 11 years and last night I was struck by how good we are together.

And I don't know why. I wish I could tell you. There were a lot of times in the last 11 years where I wondered what the hell I was doing with this dud(e).

But I have to say that I don't think that I would have found a spouse this challenging back home: my last boyfriends before I left were spineless wussies. So maybe you'll find your match here in France.

My fingers are crossed for you but even if you don't find that guy, it doesn't matter.

You like cats, right?

La Framéricaine said...

I have actually read this post 5-6 times in its entirety and also read the comments several times.

I wanted to comment on it but I wanted to wait until I had the time to reflect upon the message in the bottle a bit.

I would like to start at the end, in a sense, with your solitude.

It seems to me that your current solitude is the perfect, acute form of aloneness--due to your cultural and geographical displacement--from which to totally reevaluate what love and relationship mean to you and what you mean by them.

It is the rare individual who finds him- or herself, as an adult, divested of all of the social and cultural trappings that pass for love and relationship, as vulnerable as a newborn, freshly launched on a journey of self-discovery and reinvention, while, simultaneously, possessing a level of self-knowledge that helps to establish and maintain oh so important personal boundaries.

When I first met Le Framéricain, over a front office counter in a marble fabricating shop in SF, I was married to a Japanese friend with whom I was good friends but not the least "in love." We had joined forces to accomplish certain things and we had great affection for one another, but we were not kindred spirits.

For some inexplicable reason, when I saw Le F's face, in July 1985, it was un coup de foudre for me. It was not the same experience for him, however. It took him a long time to love me like he does now. In fact, it was not until March 1986, when I saw him for the 2nd time, unexpectedly, that I called him afterwards and asked him if he would like to go out on a date. He told me that he had to return to France, so I would have to call him back in April! We finally went out together on April 13, 1986 in SF and have never looked back, but our path together has been anything but conventional.

So, I want to say, from my point of view, that love is a surprise that one doesn't have to be worthy of at all, thank gawd, but that one has to have given one's self permission to receive from another and that one has to have the sheer audacity to seize it when it presents itself.

I'm happy that you chose to write this post. I believe that you went to France to follow a dream and bring to fruition a self who had outgrown her life at home.

Trust yourself to find the love you seek right along with the new friends and new language your new home and country put at your doorstep!


Non, Je ne regrette rien said...

laF - you've given me much to ponder. It is reassuring to know that even if not with a first punch of love, there is hope over time. merci.