You will never have to lose yourself to win me over.
Love, real love, is not so easily shed.
Love is a striking example of how little reality means to us.
Sometimes with one I love I fill myself with rage for fear I effuse unreturn’d love,
But now I think there is no unreturn’d love, the pay is certain one way or another,
(I loved a certain person ardently and my love was not return’d,
Yet out of that I have written these songs.)
I really don’t know what ‘I love you’ means. I think it means ‘Don’t leave me here alone.’
The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for.
30 Day Challenge, Day 8: Best Friends
Imposing a hierarchy on the group of people I care about most strikes me as rather odd. Best friends as opposed to what… kind-of-just-okay friends? If I’ve made the effort to bridge the gap between acquaintanceship and friendship with people, it means I value them extremely highly and feel comfortable telling them about most anything. This invariably results in a relatively small number of friends, but I’m okay with that. I tend to put a lot of emotional investment into the people I love, so it’s just as well that there aren’t hordes of them.
Unless you somehow immediately come across as a superb human being, it will take me a long time to trust, get attached to, and grow affectionate towards you. That’s partly a defense mechanism resulting from past betrayals, and I’m working on it. But in the meantime, the bottom line is this: because I’m so selective with the people I let into my life, ALL of my friends are my “best” friends.
This doesn’t mean that I’m antisocial or distant, or that I only associate with a certain kind of person. I respect and learn something from everyone I meet. But I only initiate meaningful, long-term relationships with the people who are willing to put as much effort into me as I put into them.
30 Day Challenge, Day 1: Love
This isn’t really a rant. But that’s okay :)
We have this notion of love as a passive, amorphous pink cloud that unwitting humans trip and face-plant into, completely by mistake. That’s not love. It’s romance. And it has a very short shelf life, unless it develops into something deeper. Romance makes you feel like you’re on top of the world. It makes you feel like nothing can touch you. But that’s the thing: it’s all about you. The person you’re with doesn’t matter… that part is interchangeable. In a romance, all that matters is how the other person makes you feel about yourself - how many ways he can arouse you, what color lingerie she’s wearing. And as long as we base relationships on excitement, mystery, and the narcissistic desire to feel good, they cannot last.
This is not to say that love excludes romance. But, unfortunately, romance often does exclude love, because love is difficult. Sometimes, it is painful. And just like everything else, it takes practice. Romance - the material aspect of love - is easy and pleasurable, and therefore a lot of people get sucked into it without bothering to get to know the person they are with.
Love, on the other hand, is about dismantling the mystery. It’s about moving from reacting to responding. It’s about sharing vulnerabilities, raising each other up without expecting material reward or compensation, trusting your partner not to take advantage of your moments of weakness, and trusting yourself enough to let him/her see you in those moments of weakness.
Love is not a quest to find your “other half.” It’s the mutual recognition that you, as a whole person, are ready to explore the depths of another whole person. It takes time, courage, patience, and compassion. Sometimes, it doesn’t work out (resulting in crushing pain and sadness), but when it does work, it’s completely worth the huge effort that goes into it.
“When love beckons to you follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.
For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you.
Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth…
But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing-floor,
Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.
Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love.
And think not you can direct the course of love,
If it finds you worthy, it directs your course.
Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.”
- Khalil Gibran, The Prophet