I was having a conversation with a beautiful friend last night. I was slightly envious of her perfect posture but appreciated her strawberry blonde hair, softly swept over her left shoulder. She was telling me about her trip home and the family love she was surrounded with. She told me about a camping trip that got rained out. It reminded me of a trip to Green Valley Lake where the rain pelted the tent throughout the night and we cut our trip short, packing up in the rain, and then setting the tent up in our living room to air out over a pizza dinner which I preferred over the walking tacos or sauteed trout that was probably planned. Those are the best conversations, right? The ones that revive a memory or a thought of another time and place that feel like home and taste like warm honeyed milk.
We walked and talked and she danced around telling me about the love in her life. I’ve known heartache. She was expressing something I have known and have grown to appreciate. It’s an effort to remember that the love I give is given and not bartered. I have to remind myself that the amazing I see and praise isn’t a chip I get to cash in at the end of the romance. I told her that I loved her. I do. It’s not difficult to admit, because I can say it and know there is truth in it. Am I in love with her? No. I couldn’t see myself putting her above my needs because doing so would bring me joy. I could do it, but it would be about generosity, not personal fulfillment. I can say I love her. I know that as special and wonderful and amazing as she is, I’m not in love with her.
I love pizza!
I love tacos!
I love Fridays!
I love Saturday sleep ins!
I love rough porn star sex! (What, you’ve never heard this one? Try online dating. Or don’t, might be the lesson.)
My loves? Beach sunsets, museums, food joy, but you know this and it’s meaningless. Without a person to love, things are meaningless.
Love was never meant to stay within you. It feeds off of others and that’s how it grows. You can’t force change through fear or domination but you can through love because that is what helps an ideal solidify through intention. We’re all world changers in our way. Wouldn’t you want to impact the world in a greater way? Do it through love. It’s universal.
When you hold in your expression of love, does it feel good? Do you enjoy the wonder of what their reaction will do, or do you let your love sit within you, surrounded by the fear of a reaction. Fear lies to us. It tells us what the worst possible outcome is and we believe this without proof. It tells us to forget what we know and run from what we can’t see. It allows us to hide in stagnant waters that are unable to oxygenate and make us grow. It allows us to die through emotional suicide.
When you hold love in and the situation changes but you kept those words to yourself, you have not only robbed the focus of your affection of the opportunity to be loved, but you’ve robbed yourself of that moment of expression. You have placed the value of your emotions in the fear of someone else’s interpretation without realizing that they don’t count the way you do because you aren’t willing to teach them.
I’m guilty of this. The last time I withheld that expression, it became a withheld confession. I attached guilt to it. Not saying it was about my fear that it would frighten him. It was about placing his needs of being superficial in our connection ahead of my need to get it out of myself. I robbed him of the opportunity to prove me wrong or show me he is who he’s always shown up to me as. I care more about how he might react than a missed eggy breakfast. That’s love. With him, the words were meaningless to me when I could take the opportunity to express it through the action of doing what was contrary to who I am becoming. Life is practice. I’m not done yet.
How you do anything is really how you do everything. I shoot from the heart.