Abstracts Of Intimacy:

The Lamentations And Jubilations Of Love

“You don’t love someone because they’re perfect, you love them in spite of the fact that they’re not.” – Jodi Picoult

Romantic love is not rational. It is not logical and thus cannot be calculated or fully quantified. It is greater than the sum of its parts, in that the description of its chemical components fails to capture the profundity of the experience. It is, perhaps, the purest form of selflessness as it places much or all of the well-being of another, above that of your own. It exposes you, making you hugely vulnerable to the scrutiny of another individual. It humbles you, forces you to grow, to become more resilient and to learn to embrace perspectives or experiences once thought un-embraceable. It tests your character, your resolve and ultimately your soul.

Remember though, love is not about how another person makes you feel, nor is it about which gifts or benefits you may receive from their companionship. Rather, to love someone is to care deeply for the core of their being, for who they truly are and the entire symbology of their personhood. It is to impart celebration to that individual boundlessly, with an appreciation and understanding previously reserved only for the nurturing of yourself.

“Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up.” – Neil Gaiman

To really love someone is to willingly relinquish some control of what is, perhaps, your most powerful resource. It is to entrust a profound piece of your spirit, into the care of another. It is to become vulnerable, to expose yourself to another person so that they may know you, and in turn embrace you in your entirety. Make no mistake, It is a dangerous proposition that carries with it a great deal of risk. As such, many will make the mistake of simply avoiding love in a vein attempt to lessen their own struggles, to lessen the heartbreak that vulnerability so often imparts. But this, is a mistake.

To avoid love is emblematic of refusing to embrace one’s own life, refusing to live it to the fullest. It represents the gravest of missed opportunities, as the experience itself presents an enrichment of the soul that is ineffable. This is why on a personal level, you must always maintain resiliency so that you can navigate the challenges of loving someone, and potentially losing them, without destroying yourself in the process. You deserve to love and be loved. So long as you are whole unto yourself, the risks are worth the reward.

“I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul.” – Pablo Neruda

To love someone is to really know them, to understand them, to celebrate their being. In much the same way that it is not necessary for you to explain your personal, internal motivations to those that inhabit the world around you, so too is it unnecessary for you to defend, explain or even share, the love you feel for another. A loving relationship embodies the mutual connection of souls, a sort of physical and mental bridge between individuals in the midst of the chaos. To try and quantify the experience into the wholly literal, is to likely diminish it. It’s your love and as such it is only for you and those whom you choose to share it with. It does not require the validation of others to exist. Instead, quite the opposite.

“If I had a flower for every time I thought of you… I could walk through my garden forever.” – Alfred Tennyson

So much of what someone you love personifies, only exists in your mind. Their personhood is symbology created by your interpretation of their words and actions. Your relationship, an imagined, exaggerated narrative that exists in your mind alone. It’s not that you cannot know someone, you may in fact understand them as deeply as anyone can. Rather, anything you discover will be filtered through your own lens. So, as always, your perceived experience in life is created by your mental framework, by your own perspective. This is why you must be whole unto yourself, robust and at peace, so that you do not inject a dysfunctional view of reality into the relationships you attract or cultivate. Only in this way can your love flourish. And, so to is this the only way to protect yourself from the heartbreak of its potential, sometimes inevitable, dissolution.

“There is never a time or place for true love. It happens accidentally, in a heartbeat, in a single flashing, throbbing moment.” – Sarah Dessen

Because love is neither logical nor rational, it often arises spontaneously out of less than ideal circumstances. It refuses to be ignored, introducing its presence into your psyche with a total disregard for any previously made plans. Its typically unsolicited nature is, in many ways, symbolic of life itself. As Emily Dickinson said, “the heart wants what it wants, or else it does not care.”

You don’t want to fall victim to the tribulations of love, but to avoid the experience entirely is to miss out on one of the greatest, most profound adventures existence has to offer. You must be resilient, so that you may engage in intimacy freely, openly and honestly, liberated from your fears and misgivings, capable of real growth and insight. Only then will you be apt to both having and appreciating the ineffable, metaphysical experience that is love.