I have loved many people, much to the worry of my nearest and dearest.
They claimed some of those people were undeserving and that I would wound up hurt. I did get hurt many times. Does that mean those I chose to love were undeserving? I like to think not.
Why wouldn’t anyone deserve love?
Why would I choose not to give that gift to someone because they might reject it or take advantage of it? That is their choice, so be it.
I say choose like I have control over who I want to love. The truth is, I have no control over that at all.
Indeed, I have known when someone does not want my love or ridicules it. I have known I would cause myself suffering and sleepless nights. Sometimes I have begged to make it stop because I can’t stand the pain in my chest. I’ve cried a thousand rivers because I only wanted to bring joy, and instead, I caused confusion.
So I had to learn to accept it and find a way to love unconditionally—without expectations or feelings of resentment.
Just because I love without conditions doesn’t mean I don’t have boundaries. On the contrary, I have some of the most unshakable boundaries of anyone I know. I can love through a barbed wire, and that doesn’t mean I’m going to remove it.
I have learned that more often than not, when I love someone, and they learn of it, they panic because they feel they should offer something in return—perhaps something they are not willing to give. They don’t believe me when I reassure them my love doesn’t come with conditions or bargaining chips—it just is. Sometimes I don’t tell them at all; I just love them quietly.
To love is to accept a person as they were, are, and will be. It’s always been simple enough for me to do that when I truly see someone.
I’ve loved people I’ve not especially liked or understood—but I’ve accepted them entirely. I couldn’t help but love them. The most annoying, inconsiderate, pretty hard to be around people are still loveable.
Because I love like this, I wonder if all my love would be too much for one person. Would they feel suffocated by it? Maybe this thought contributes to my fear of becoming a parent: is it possible to love a child too much?
The most peculiar thing about the way I love people is in the way I express it. I have no doubt there are hundreds of people I have encountered that would have no idea that I love them. Maybe they don’t know that if they ever needed a friend or a favor, all they would need to do is simply ask.
My kindness derives from love, but it is not based on a reward system.
Of course, loving people and being in love have their differences. Indeed, I can love someone within moments of meeting them and have a place in my heart for them for the rest of my days and never want or expect anything in return—but that does not mean I am in love.
The few occasions I have fallen in love have been terrifying experiences for me. I can feel it coursing through my veins, thundering around my heart, and wreaking havoc in my head. I feel like a hurricane collecting stars and moon dust. I feel so much that it’s completely overwhelming. Almost to the point that it’s debilitating to be in their company.
And unlike when I simply love someone, and I don’t pay much attention as to whether the feeling is mutual; when I fall in love, of course, I hope they feel the same way.
I hope they want to enjoy my company and discover parts of my puzzle that unlock mysteries of who I am.
I hope they appreciate elements of me I have grown to appreciate, and they might be patient with the parts I’m still learning about, they might want to help cultivate a life so vivid and full of joy that it makes me feel like I’ve got the best man in my life to share it all with.
I hope that they want to experience my vulnerability, which I hide in a volt that not even I know the combination code of. Maybe he will want to take the time to work it out, maybe he will know that side of me better than I do and maybe he will make me feel safe to allow him to pick the lock and comfort me while I unravel what’s inside.
Maybe I will meet someone who is brave enough to love me, the way I am brave enough to love them.