May 5, 2016

What is Real Love?

author's photo: Kiara O'Leary (not for re-use)

Real love—it’s not someone to cuddle up to at night.

It’s not someone who thinks about you all the time,
Or someone who you can coordinate a household and school runs with.
It’s not even someone who loves you and treats you well.
Real love is the kind of love that pushes you, challenges you—
The kind of love where your insecurities, your doubts, your fears all rise to the surface,
The kind of love where you want to run and hide three times a day—
But you don’t.
Real love is when they see you—see all the way in—and it terrifies you.
Real love is when you know your heart was delivered long ago on a silver platter,
And as much as you want to take it back and put it safely in your own security deposit box,
You don’t.
Real love isn’t easy—
It’s terrifying.
It doesn’t stop at the surface.
It’s not movies, dinners out and romantic weekends away.
It’s vulnerability, arguments, a strange pit in the bottom of your stomach, and it’s f*cking scary sometimes.
Real love pushes the curtains aside, sweeps everything you’ve been using to keep the world out away,
And says: “I see you.
“I see you—and even though you didn’t think it could happen, I freaking love every part of you.”
Real love is the love that, despite all of this—
Despite the fear, the insecurity, the vulnerability, the unknown, the depths—you stay.
Real love is the desire, the burning passion, the appreciation, the light, the admiration,
The honouring of someone else so much, that even though you want to hide,
Even when you want to curl up in a ball and say, “Get out,” you take a step.
Gently—maybe with shaking legs—but you do.
You take a step away from your fear and towards your love.
Real love is when your heart opens and pours forth and your head says, “Protect yourself.”
But you say, “No, this one is worth it.”
Real love isn’t about romantic dinners, weddings or double dates.
Real love is about digging through the dirt that comes up,
The things we have been so scared to show anyone else,
And loving that person enough, that we’re willing to wade through all of it.
It’s the kind of love that puts aside all of the fairy-tales, the make-believe and sees the truth.
The kind of love that tears you apart, but looks at it all and paints it with a gorgeous, divine light.
The kind of love where you find yourself accidentally walking through a car wash, all of your layers removed—
Scrubbed, shocked, not sure how you got there,
But knowing you are more transparent—more seen—
More you for the experience.
Real love is real.
It’s depth.
It’s vulnerable.
It’s terrifying.
And it’s the kind of love that makes you stay,
Even when it’s all of the above.


Author: Kiara O’Leary

Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

Photo: Author’s own.

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