I used to think my heart would toughen up, it would take the experiences accumulated and build some sort of resistance to the repetitive motions of life. The ups, the downs, the expectations, the disappointments. And yet it somehow remains as delicate as ever. I looked at the news stories of today to find an example of hope and yet all I saw was bleak. A cocktail of death, hatred, and pop culture factoids. Betty White is on Instagram. That was the highlight.
I look outside and I see an old couple crossing the street five stories below. They’re arm-in-arm, moving step-by-step from side to side as the light counts down to One. The cars honk, the woman speeds up a little, his arm at her side. The man stops and stares the honking driver square in the face and I wonder if they really see one another. I wonder – what would life be if we just let ourselves care?
And then the man turns, and he sees his gal, and they make it to the other side together.
Love will tear you up.
It’ll fight a good fight, it will leave you black and blue and bleeding just a little. Love will soak your carpet with tears and scratch up your throat. A love that does not sometimes hurt, that love is just not love – it’s complacency.
Real love, strong love will offend you and make you cry. And real love will crack you, it will break you in those places you thought were toughest and thickest and unmovably eternally solid, and it will scrape your knees in the dirt.
But isn’t that lovely?
Love will break your heart, then mend the area around the crack so it’s stronger than ever, so it’s safe and secure and needs no bearings. Love will crack and tear and rip you open, then meticulously cement and gorilla-glue the sharded edges so that forever on, light will shine through those cracks like glorious sunbeams feeding the flowers. Love will leave you in tears and just when you thought there were no more, in they’ll flow again.
My heart is delicate and my heart is bruised. All the loss and the passing, the way time never stands still and yet sticks with you always. My heart misses my dear friend but remembers his smile. It pangs from betrayal but holds onto the sweetness. My heart aches when I read the news and it sings when I hear the door unlock. Breakups, breakthroughs, they’re all the same, really.
Love makes you feel and makes you come alive.
Love opens up the darkest corners of who you hope never-to-be and draws a flashlight upon the mold-encrusted attics of your soul. You will get lost in love and you will lose in love, but when it’s real you will never lose yourself and you’ll never be alone. In those awful feelings of abandonment even, you will know, this is love, this is what i am here for.
Love knows no boundaries and heeds no parameters. Love is your mother, love is a man, love is your best friend from first grade and your sister-friend now. Love is your mentor, love is your dog, love is that first heart flutter; it always leaves an imprint.
Love won’t fix you or perfect you, and isn’t supposed to make you whole. True love takes all that you are, strips it down, and says look – here is your path and here are your dreams; look how nicely they fit into one another, look how you have everything you need already, look how you are home.
Love cries with you, love cries at you, love sometimes forgets about you because that’s just how life is, sometimes. What would life be if we let ourselves care?
Love is what happens when you know who you are and cherish who you are, and you find some person who enhances those parts, the whole spectrum.
And love is when you see who they are and cherish that, too; when you find you in turn somehow seem to enhance their authentic soul as well.
Keep breaking my heart, keep scanning that flashlight and making me cry. I am here love, I am flying, through those cracks I feel the sunshine.
Shift Of Power is a series on WANT that explores the darker parts of our emotions, empowers us to embrace them, and shows us how they can make us stronger. From loneliness and “uncoolness” to fear and jealousy, Shift Of Power shines a light on the shadows of our psyche – recognizing that these are very real parts of us and can, in fact, serve a higher purpose if we allow ourselves to feel them full-force. Part prose, part essay, part self exploration, Shift Of Power looks at the inner workings of what we truly want from a whole new angle. Because in order to want it all, you need to learn to feel it all.That, my friends, is power.