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My love, I am writing this on a day where my doubts about us are as thick as the dreary, grey clouds outside.
It seems like that’s one of those things we aren’t supposed to say aloud, which is precisely why it feels so freeing to say it.
The movies, those sparkly, romantic movies—they make it seem like love should always be shining brightly. Ever-blooming. An infinite, star-studded spring.
But there is no such thing.
And though we are divine beings, I like that we are tethered to reality.
Because even the sun does not shine 24/7—even the brilliant sun tucks itself behind clouds as the inky dark of night sets in.
On this earth, there are rainy days. Storms. Misting fog. Snow. Ice.
We need those things, too. They are valuable, too.
And so it is with love.
It is not a perfect, shiny thing, an object, a medal.
Love is alive.
Yes, more than anything, love is alive—a dynamic, a spirit-like force with the vibrant energy of a two-year-old that runs around with joy and possibility and perhaps some mischief-making, too. But it has incredible, watery depths. It has moxie. It has wildness. It has dripping petals of passion to boot.
And because love is alive—that’s what makes it a treasure. Absolutely stunning in its jaw-dropping mystery.
And maybe like me, you have big expectations of what you need love to be: The answer. The cure. The perfection. The thing we’ve been waiting for forever. The storybook fantasy. The thing that can complete us. The long-awaited item we can check off our to-do list and get people off our backs since we’ll finally be married.
And I’m a romantic, through and through. That will probably never change. But I am changing in certain ways.
My expectations about love are changing.
And it feels really good. It feels…freeing.
‘Cause I’ve known for a while that I’m a perfectionist in all I do—and I see that I want our love to perfect at all times, my dear. I want it to glow and glisten infinitely. I want every conversation to glean in its polished beauty, our every interaction to feature us, on the same exact page, breathing in melodious harmony.
I want to freeze-frame those dazzling, wistful moments when we are laughing and looking into each other’s eyes. I want to live in those delicious seconds and store them, so they are the only things we see.
And yet, that is stagnant.
That is not moving forward.
That is not real.
That is not life.
We are two human beings with huge, dripping hearts that beat loudly behind our rib cages. We are sensitive creatures who feel a lot. And sh*t comes up sometimes.
We have arguments, we get triggered—and in those flight-or-fight moments, I sometimes want to run away.
I have days where I feel uncertain and scared about the future.
And yet, this is beautiful.
This is juicy.
It is exactly what I need.
It is exactly what I struggle to allow myself to feel…
And this is where a good budding burst, a fresh wind of my good ol’ friend, curiosity, steps in. Ah, what sweet medicine, that’s for sure.
Life is often uncertain. Messy. Mysterious. So many things are. And so is love.
We need to learn to be with uncertainty. To dance with it, to breathe with it, to lean delicately into it.
To sit with not knowing just yet how this chapter unfurls, how the story ends. We need to be with the sentence before it’s comfortable, punctuated finality.
And we don’t need to blow our doubts out of proportion, but we don’t need to gloss over ’em either.
This sort of surrender to the pulsating rhythm of the mystery—it’s so different than living in the narrowness of fear. It’s the way I dance with my writing—I never force it into submission to be a certain thing; I write, and I let the strands of words tell me what they want to be in real time. I never know how each piece will end, and I’m often surprised.
I like that.
What is it to be with love—and doubt?
All of the slimy, fragile things within us that intimacy often brings to the surface?
It’s hard to feel these things, I will admit. It is rough to feel the raw edges of doubt in our gut—and not immediately run away or freak out (or both).
But as I dive in, I get quieter in a way that brings me closer to my own heartbeat—and I feel sweetly surrounded by this fresh fragrance of renewal, of my changing expectations about love that are coming up with the crocuses and cherry blossoms this spring.
Love is not everything.
It is not meant to hold us together.
It is not meant to define us; to tell us who to be.
No, now…I think of it like this:
Love is the cherry on top.
It is a brilliant way to learn, to grow, to become.
It is the added alchemy to our transformation.
It is a delicious addition to our already full, budding, blooming lives.
Love will not save us.
We must save ourselves. We must learn to hold ourselves and befriend both the dark spots and shimmering wonder within us.
And love will be there, of course it will. We don’t need to be perfect to be loved. We don’t need to be completely healed.
Love can enter our lives at any time—we don’t know when.
And it can exit our lives, too. (I know, it’s hard to feel that.)
But we can only do what we can do—and love is so much sweeter when we’ve done some deep work on ourselves to know both what beauty and what scars we’re bringing to the table.
And so I breathe.
I open my heart, yes, even to the doubt. To the darkness. To the fear of this going badly and me leaving you or you leaving me. I open my heart to my fear of losing control and the hateful fact that I can’t plan out every detail of my life.
And so I sit here for a moment.
Which at first feels like an eternity—yes, I am quite literally squirming in my chair.
Yet, I like the way this feels: powerful, in a very different way.
I source a subtle, badass kind of bravery here, as I sit with myself.
Because it’s often not our doubt that’s scary—but our fear of it. And when we face it, in the lap of sweet, silken surrender—magic happens. Real freakin’ magic.
And so it goes….
Love does not need to be perfect.
I do not need to be perfect.
You do not need to be perfect.
And yet, just because there is not stellar perfection at all times does not mean that love—or life—is not meaningful or juicy.
Perhaps we can think of love as a great adventure:
The sweetness that stretches us out of our comfort zones.
The beauty that helps us heal as we blossom in new and exciting ways.
The support that helps us realize our dreams and bring our gifts into the world.
The inspiration to keep seeking truth and reaching—ever-reaching—toward the divine.
What is it to get quieter, to whisper with our souls, and strip away a few layers of our expectations?
Can we let love surprise us? Can we let it be what it is, reveal itself to us, without forcing it into something else? Can we be with love and doubt and curiosity?
And can we listen to ourselves?
The beat of our own hearts?
The whole way?
That steady rhythm we can count on. We can come back to. It’s always with us.
As we walk into life, into love, into the stunning mystery that infuses our days.