November 14, 2013

Sticking Up for Love. ~ Annette Andrews

I’ve been thinking a lot about love—all kinds of love—and all the ways we dance around it.

The ways we undermine its incredible place in life, skim and surf it with our bodies and play with contradictions to obscure it, avoid it and develop habits that support strangling it from our daily interactions.

How, when we try to express it through our bodies, words and eyes, we somehow always do it a disservice. We struggle to control the flow of it, mercilessly destroying its power and honor after it has come into our lives and left us again. Sometimes, we end up closing the valve completely, such that only a tiny vapor escapes. We allow that to be enough to fuel us.

Each time we know love, each time it comes and goes, we clutch at the valve and try to regulate it so the next time we won’t be in so deep, won’t feel so alive.

Instead we allow only enough love to seep into our interactions to call our affairs of heart and body satisfying expressions of basic desire. We call them physical romps, but nothing more. And when we do slip into deep rapture with another person, through whom we glimpse our deepest humanity—our very own deepest potential as an intelligent kind, caring living creature made of hormones, blood, fears and wounds—we are quick to relegate it later. When it passes like a snap of two fingers, we are quick to undermine its power, its guts.

But truly, our own soul guts denuded, the guts by which in loving, we fully and truly live.

When we have loved, we have loved. When we have been loved, we have been loved. Nothing should rob us of that, not talk of broken hearts, betrayals, or pain. Not talk of promised eternal love, now broken, proving that all love is a hoax. No. Because what we are really doing is erroneously blaming love for the state of impermanence within which love came to us.

Why do we blame love for our human condition of suffering?

In fact, we should thank our human condition for allowing us to know love and the joy of being intrigued by another person. We should pay it respect by acknowledging that it cannot be explained in words. It is simply a profound place of being alive that is reached through another person – one who has looked into us, known us deeply, and allowed us to know ourselves more fully, more honestly.

This knowing is love. It is a wordless grandeur that never feels the need to go to battle with anyone, any idea, or any fear. It just is. Today I am sad, because ‘love’, ‘romantic’ love, is slandered after it has radically and wordlessly visited us.

We can not pretend it never existed and then use it in our propaganda of fear campaigns spread among the ‘broken hearted’ to gain support for its non-existence or fraudulence. It is not ours to slaughter through careless physical exchanges.

It is not ours to use to justify our sadness, insecurities, or fears. It is the reverse.

How do you explain to someone that you love them deeply for who they are—that in them you see all the jewels shine that remain in yourself dull? And what greater learning, what greater state is there? None. So I am sticking up for love today, and asking everyone not to play life like a child.

Instead, acknowledge at your deepest core that when you touch another’s skin, you are really and truly touching his or her heart. When you look into another’s eye with tenderness, you are already in a state of rapture, of love. When you hug someone, strange or familiar, you are touching every wordless thing that wants to be known deeply. No matter how transient or brief the encounter, the encounter is profound.

And what is profound I call love because in those tiny treasured moments, our own hearts are bathed in light.


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Assistant Editor: Zenna James/Editor: Bryonie Wise

Image Credit: Author

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