It never stops.
And I’ve asked it to—let it pour out around my knees onto the kitchen floor and denounced it, done.
I’ve locked it in a drawer and run away miles and up mountains with the hope of abandoning it forever. I’ve held it tightly, in white-knuckled fists, trying to control it. I stood on a stage and shoved it behind my back so no one could see it. Yet,
I go to sleep,
I wake up
and there it is waiting for me.
I claim it now because its creation is of me, for me. I claim it because it is what gives every step forward a purpose and a print.
All of my denial, denouncement, avoidance, and abandonment of it has become futile because it is stronger than the fear that tries to control it.
We are living in a culture that promotes separation. We call it independence and individuality, but there is a market built on the idea that we are stronger if we don’t need anyone or anything and can be all things for ourselves. Which is great in the sense that (right on!) we do not need any one thing to complete us. But, oh the shame! If you want for anything outside of yourself in this society.
Everyone remembers the scene in Nicholas Sparks’ “The Notebook,” when Noah asks, “What do you want?! What. Do. You. Want?” and all of us are the exasperated, frustrated, tear-clenched version of Allie who most defeatedly cracks, “I don’t know!”
But we do know. We all want to run at Ryan Gosling and confess we want him, we want love, but our conditioning tells us that we have choices and to choose wisely, safely—”Conceal it, don’t feel it.” We all want to call our lovers, and they come, unabashedly, to lay on our chest and feel the weight of their head directly with our heartbeat, content, and quiet. We want to call first and text back right away. We want to be held and revered, respected and honored for the love pulsing through us and the intimacy it embodies. We want to squeeze our families and our friends without seeming needy and clingy and give our flesh and our bones to our children because, Gawd! We love them so! We want someone who knows how we like our sandwiches cut, someone who will take our hand when it’s shaking. and for the love of all things holy, someone who can help us along in this difficult and complicated human life.
But we listen to the messages that scream:
“Yo! They’re just going to leave you.”
“They won’t love you back.”
“You’re being a fool.”
“Who do you think you are?”
“You are not worthy of this.”
Alas, they are all lies. Love doesn’t fear. It is your creation. It is what you’ve been shoving behind you when you meet eyes with someone and the connection completely levels you. It stretches behind you like a shadow and it always, always becomes bigger than you. You can give it without trembling because it is not the love itself that ever lets us down, it is the use of it to control the vision you have of yourself.
So, please: want, allow yourself desires, embrace the fact that love is going to be waiting for you at the foot of your bed every morning even if it doesn’t tell the story you wanted it to. The point will be that you made it, you opened to it, you gave it away, and in that giving, you created something in this world that cannot be diminished. Once you’ve had the courage to want for it, to ask for it, it becomes you, you become it. It flows from you unapologetically, and the words, “I love you,” are no longer a gamble or a winning Powerball number you throw at someone to win control of this thing; they are simply, irrevocably, the truth.
And the truth is, it never stops.