Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Love is: a living entity

Sometimes life slows down enough, time slows down enough for a moment for us to really see something important. I have this memory of dancing. It was dark, I was drunk off of adolescent angst and silliness and a sugar high and I was asked to dance. He was a tall, funny charming older boy dressed as a plumber, holding a plunger and everything. (Because it was Halloween) There was something so vulnerable in that energy. There was something inexplicable how powerful and emotional it was to dance without words. To be lead or to lead and allow that exchange. To hear in the motion of it something about my own heart. Something so time-slowing-downish that in a very small moment where I felt the world moving in a surreal way.

A few days later I found out that sweet and silly boy hung himself. And then I recognized the importance of that dance. The finality of that moment happening and then closing down permanently.

Life is so precious. So very finite. So full of surprising ends and beginnings. There is an order in the chaos of it all. There are echoes in all this nuance and mess.

It will never make sense to me what happened. That a person can be so broken and hurting and desperate on the inside when all we see is courageous strength and light in a brave smile. People are complex. People are walking around wounded. People are doing everything they can to hide the fact that they live with the chronic aches of healing and re-wounding. And somehow we are taught to feel shame in that.

I think of love a real, living entity. And that is why it is important to love people where they are. In the very moment where you are.

Sometimes we can't know what brought us here together. We can't know what will happen five days or five years from this moment. But we can actually imprint love in our interactions. Our brains are actually wired to change with every new interaction.

Our brains are wired to keep learning with every interaction. 

I can't say that without a sense of awe and wonder every single time.

So I love this man. And absolutely nothing about loving him is easy. Absolutely nothing about accepting and growing together is textbook. It is alive. Love is like our bodies-- intricate and complex and amazing and incomprehensible. One hormonal imbalance can throw everything out of whack sometimes. But with care and diligence, we can always be healed if we are able to seek help and intervention.

Somewhere along my way in life I stopped dancing. I literally stopped wanting to dance. I don't know what brain rewriting lead to my fear and anxiety over dancing--or if I just accepted the things I told myself--that I am not good at dancing, I have no sense of timing or rhythm. Saturday night I danced with my husband for the first time. It was this beautifully intimate surrender of all of my self-consciousness that I will cherish for the rest of my life. It was for me, a transformative moment. A healing moment. A time-slowing down moment where I could close my eyes and feel perfectly safe. I could breath deep into the smell and confidence of my partner. I could feel where he wanted me to move. So many rewritings and relearning done in that blind moment.

And so as not to represent only the bravest of smiling faces I will be honest: It hurts sometimes. It isn't a beautiful surrender sometimes. Sometimes love feels like you are in the last mile of a race you just want to quit. Sometimes in love we can only see in our partners the result of lots of pain and deep, deep wounding that comes out in unexpectedly hurtful ways. We are very rarely honest about the hard stuff. And for good reason. But I just want to share this epiphany I had about loving wholly, loving and healing through the hard stuff. Because it always is transformative and empowering and so so worth it to work through the healing process. I believe there is a sanctifying grace in our suffering. There is an ability to dig in deep and find our strength. And sometimes what that feels like is not knowing what to do, where to go or how to move on. Sometimes that is where real loving and living begins. Sometimes we lead, sometimes we are lead. It is a beautiful surrender when we accept love as a living and breathing entity.

I'm not sure if that makes sense. I'm not sure you can really give anyone your epiphanies or life lessons like handing over a coin. But I do know about the currency of love--that the more you pour out of yourself, the more your internal reserves grow.

 So love. And love big.

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