It’s very rare that I find another piece of writing that I identify with so much that I want to post it. Especially, especially about Love.
But this blog will be just that. In the words of author Rainier Wylde:
“We are told that Love can be bought and sold for a monthly membership fee. We are taught that love contains certain talking points and agenda items and secure boundaries and well-calculated agreements and wise-minded considerations. As if there were a checklist where all the boxes were tidy and within our power to control.
Shakespeare reminded us “the course of Love never did run smooth.” And weren’t all his Love stories tragedies after all, filled with grief and lust and sorrow and longing?
Had Romeo and Juliette lived today they would have received more prudent-minded answers, and self-empowering encouragement, away from giving their hearts to one another. And we would have lost something. All of us.
How strange Love is. She is alive and dynamic and riddled with the greatest of insecurities and false starts and grand gestures.
Yet all of the great mystics knew something: Great Love can transform us. This is precisely because She strikes like lightning to the forests of our hearts, catching us by surprise and setting aflame.
Love isn’t flashy, but moves like a fog rolling in from the mountains, surrounding us. She is a summer rain, covering us. She reaches past boundaries. She rattles the locks. She comes unsummoned.
As many times as I imagine Love is a scarcity, I am proven wrong. She is not a razor's thin line, but a gash torn into the middle. Love is extravagant and insatiable. She always wants more and she gives it back.
Youthful sentiment has its challenges. So too does waning Love. A partnership of 30 years may suddenly find itself in the cycles of death and rebirth, filled with untold passion, just as surely as star crossed love’s may find they are being asked to alight upon one another’s doorsteps.
Love refuses to grow cold and when Her embers cool, She whispers fire into them once more.
Love is uncontainable openness. Wherever Love is, She is arms outstretched, overflowing, generosity. There is no monopoly on Her affections. And just when I’m not looking for Her, or running the opposite direction, She finds me. The thing with Love is you never deserve Her, but She slides Her hand inside of yours just the same.”
I’ve realised over the years that Love is such a personal experience. There are so many factors that go into determining how we perceive, how we give, and how we receive Her. It starts at birth—and it moves and transforms many times throughout our lives, with every experience. Earlier this year, I had a super traumatic experience that I had to deal with alone. A small group of people know about it, and helped as best they could from afar. But ultimately, I suffered with it by myself. I missed my first and only day of work for the school year. I cried my eyes out in the middle of a medicine circle while everyone else sang. The gaping hole of abandonment and loneliness that I had always felt, widening.
It has forever changed the way I view relationships, and especially love. I had strong doubts about ever being able to feel and be loved again. Stronger still about being worthy of it.
Thanks to the change in the habit patterns of my mind because of my first Vipassana, I didn’t spiral. But oh was I close.
This was another, if not the main, reason why going to Thailand and being able to sit another 12 days was imperative for me this summer. But I wasn’t quite ready to share that with you all when I wrote my previous posts.
Everything in its time.
Now I can say, with confidence, that I am truly not the same person who walked into that ashram in India 3 years ago. Silence and Vipassana have forever changed the way I process even the most unfathomable of experiences. I thought I’d have spent all 10 days of silence tormented by this experience. Replaying it. Reliving it. Shaking. Being sick to my stomach. But I didn't. It came up in day 7 and it didn’t even steal the show. Instead, family relations took centre stage.
My relationship with Love took centre stage.
And by the end of it, I had released my fears of being a mother. Of being capable of and able to provide the proper foundation of Love to a child even without knowing what it actually looks or feels like. Of letting someone else get close enough to even consider it. Of not running away, or shutting down at the first sign of weakness.
No sooner had I freed myself and cleared the space for Her, that she walked right in through the open doors. She took my hand, looked me in the eyes, and said jump.
Now I am free-falling, hands intertwined with Love looking back at me.
And I can’t seem to look away.