I am writing tonight in reflection of love. I have often thought that love, in all its forms, was about whether I was worthy of receiving love. I had always felt unloveable. Unloveable because there was inherently something wrong with me. I had been born incapable of any qualities that were considered loveable. I had believed, for as long as I can remember, that love wasn't something people should feel towards me. I knew that I had so much love to give to others. I knew what love could look like. If love were a noun, I could draw it in perfect detail. For all my obsession with loving others - romantically or platonically - I could not fathom the intimacy and vulnerability it takes to allow someone to love me.
In the last two years, I have embarked on this journey of what giving and receiving love means in my life. It was not a purposeful journey. I had not set sail with a map or a compass. I was just tired of feeling alone. Even when I was surrounded by people I loved, and who loved me, I felt disconnected to them. I knew a deep secret - that if I showed my true self that they would turn their back on me, that they would no longer love me unconditionally as they had promised. It filled me with such an unfathomable loneliness. To be so near and yet so undiscovered. I suppose it's the closest thing I can imagine being a planet in a galaxy is like.
People define love as a noun or a verb. There are great philosophies to love. People have even promised ways to achieve love. Love is marketed and sold. Love is everything. Love is also nothing. We have sweeping claims about the power of love. I don't know if as a society we'll ever get to agree on what love is - and I think that's okay. It's part of the journey of connecting with others.
I used to think that if I acted a certain way or did certain things from a moral or ethical standpoint, that would guarantee my place in someone's heart. Like many others, I believed that a set of behaviours and attitudes are what earns you the honour of being loved. I always thought love was something that you earned. In my experiences, love is the transformation of you and your connections. It's what creates laughter and joy. It's tension and relief and anger and sadness and happiness happening all at once. It's when the caterpillar knows to make a cocoon. That energy, that force of change, is love.
I feel more connected and loved than ever. I don't think I've felt lonely at all in these past few years. I remember feeling unloved, and now , I can feel in every present moment, love overflowing my life. It's funny to think that sadness is just a memory. I have spent so much of my writing in reflection of trauma and melancholy. Which was necessary. But I am trying to simply write about joy. And love. Because those things are possible too. There needs to be no other reason that this. I love you.