Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds.
— William Shakespeare
Laura writes: I’m remembering my first love as a teenager. I find myself thinking that I should put quotation marks around the word love, as if to say that I realize, being an adult, that it wasn’t really love, that it was some adolescent approximation of love, and therefore less worthy. I stop myself and let myself remember Ted and not insult him or myself or the intensity that we shared by allowing my adult censor to rule the day. Who among us doesn’t look with fondness on the rush of excitement, the stir of new sexual feelings, the intense connection that occurs in early relationship? There is a saying in the increasingly dangerous world of sexually transmitted diseases: When you have sex with someone, you also have sex with everyone she or he has slept with before. I think of this in relationship: When you love someone, you are also loving everyone you have ever loved before. You carry with you every relationship, every hurt, every joy, every pattern, somewhere imbedded in your memory. This makes your later loves heavier, at times, with the voices from the past, but also richer with experience—and it gives to your first love a lightness of being that is one of the great wonders of life.
A CONSCIOUS LIVING PRACTICE FOR TODAY – JUNE 21
Remember your first significant romantic relationship. Allow yourself to remember both the positive and the negative feelings you had toward the person who gave you the beginnings of your adult experience with relationship.
Spend a few moments honoring your memory and walking back through time as you think about your first love, finishing these thoughts however you wish:
She or he was _____.
Dating him or her, I felt _____.
Dating him or her made me realize that _____.
When I was with him or her, I was _____.
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