After hearing a couple of people bitching about some recent romantic disaster, I posed the question “Do any of my single friends believe in love?”
The answers were disheartening, no pun intended.
Of the few who didn’t outright say no, the others added these strange qualifiers like “I believe in love but not (fill in the blank) kind of love.” or “(fill in the blank) aspect of love.
It’s love. Whether it’s friendly love or romantic love or monogamous love or polyamorous love. It’s love. It’s believing in someone. Wanting them there and wanting their support and their caring. It’s wanting them to be happy and feeling their pain go through you like a blade and wishing more than anything that you could end it. It’s feeling like that person has been there your whole life and that your life would be emptier if they weren’t there any more.
And if you don’t believe that it’s even possible, how can it find you? How can you see it if the possibility falls into your path, like an autumn leaf blown on the wind?
Everyone’s in a rush to blame love. I’ve seen people get themselves hung up on someone married or taken, or some analogous situation where there is odds are against them, who then blame or curse love when the outcome isn’t what they want. I’ve seen people who are so down on themselves that they talk potential partners out of being interested in them, and then bewail that they can’t find anyone. If you don’t believe you are worthy of love, how can anyone else?
We all have our baggage. We all make bad decisions sometimes. But, those things are ours and we have to acknowledge them and work through them and walk alongside them.
But love is still there. Sometimes it’s sweet and fleeting, like a bite of chocolate on the tongue. Sometimes it’s there as strong as ever after gaps and separations as if no time has passed. But the fact that it might end doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist or that it has failed in some way.
You have to take it and relish it while you have it. This moment is all you have. No day but today.
But ya gotta believe that, in some way, in some form, that it can and does exist. Because if you don’t, the game is already lost before the opening pitch.
“Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.”
-Max Ehrmann – Desiderata