What’s real about love?
Sometimes it seems like a fake, dressed-up, Hollywood-made, bullsh*t thing that just leads to fancy wedding days and sparkly diamond rings and resentment.
But certainly, there’s more juicy substance to it than that.
Where is the substance hiding?
Underneath it all—underneath the well-scripted ways we pretend, underneath what the world tells us about love, underneath our own ridiculous expectations, underneath our favorite masks and hiding spots.
The raw substance is located in those twinges we feel deep inside our guts, in the tiny whispers of truth we try to shrug off in the blackest depths of midnight.
Maybe we’re with someone for years, and we suddenly realize they aren’t who we thought they were. Or, we realize we aren’t who we thought we were.
Maybe we find that we were relating to each other’s masks—rather than each other’s souls.
It can be stunningly difficult to bring authenticity into our love lives. That’s exactly why we need to do it.
How could we relate to each other in a more real way? How could we love from the purest places inside of us—bullsh*t and shiny, exhausting expectations aside?
We’d have to be ourselves. One hundred percent, achingly ourselves.
Easier said than done? Maybe. It would take balls, but mostly—it would take heart.
So it is my heartfelt hope these words resonate with your heart and serve as a reminder of how wildly powerful it is when we are truly, nakedly ourselves. When we don’t hold back at all.
Who knows where it could lead—somewhere beautiful, somewhere utterly epic and magical perhaps…
I’ve spent my whole life hiding—being this strange, made-up, fanciful creature who doesn’t remotely resemble the real me.
But I won’t hide from you, my dear. I won’t pretend with you.
I can’t bear to pretend anymore—
I’ll rip myself open and show you all there is to see.
I will not be mysterious.
I’ll leave exactly nothing to the imagination, and in a striptease of unparalleled honesty—I’ll tell you every detail of every thing. Every fear, foible, failure, heartbreak, triumph, hope, dream and mistake will fly out of my mouth like a flock of birds. I’ll show you the tattered map of my heart, the uncertain neon blueprint of my soul, the cellulite on my a**, the blemishes on my chin, the tiny wrinkles forming under my eyes. I’ll tell you tales of all the adventurous things I always wanted to do—but never did.
If it’s too much, if you don’t like it, if it’s not for you—that’s okay. Really, it is.
But I don’t love subtly or politely. I love fiercely; wholeheartedly; fantastically deeply.
I need to share everything. I hope you do, too.
So in this wild moment of unprecedented boldness, here I am.
I stand utterly raw before you, my love.
I’m naked. I’m not perfect at all. Scars hang out of my sleeves like crushed apple blossoms and pain is embossed on my cheeks like glitter made of gossamer tears.
I’m human—I’m fragile, vulnerable as hell, but strong too—I’m anxious sometimes, sad sometimes, intense all the time, emotional as the deepest thrashing sea. I’m forever spitting out fires of poetry that never quite quench the burning thirst in my ever-searching emerald soul.
Take me as I am—
But I love you enough to be myself. I respect you enough to be one hundred percent my goddamn self.
Please do the same.
Please love me enough to be yourself. For that is far better, far more precious than the sparkliest gift you could ever give me.
Don’t change for me; I won’t change for you. That would be a burden, a terror, a downright tragedy.
We’ve both changed too much for people in the past, becoming chameleons to be loved—shape-shifting into a thousand pleasing skins that pleased everyone but ourselves.
Let’s do something radical—let’s do something we never thought of, something we always assumed would be far too painful—
Let’s just be ourselves.
Not “just.” There’s absolutely nothing mundane about it. To be ripe in the center of our authenticity is undoubtedly a f*cking masterpiece—the rarest, most precious ruby in the world.
Let’s be ourselves.
No disguises. No well-meaning lies.
Let’s not dilute ourselves in a dried-up river basin of pretty, polite, people-pleasing bullsh*t. Let’s not tiptoe around each other’s preferences and sand down our deliciously jagged edges just to seem a bit more appealing. Let’s not pretend we’re flawless and shiny, without any heavy baggage.
And last but not least—let’s not play any games at all.
Let’s be ourselves. One hundred percent.
And if we love what we see, if we love who we both are—then we will know this is real.
And real—real is what we crave most of all, isn’t it, my dear?
Let’s do this.
Take me as I am.
I’ll take you as you are.
Author: Sarah Harvey
Editor: Emily Bartran