The first time I thought I fell in love I wasn’t in love at all.
Our minds can play tricks on us if we want something badly enough. The mind can tell the body it’s not hungry. It can think a placebo is the real deal. It’s mind blowing that there is even such a thing as phantom pregnancy.
Our minds can also tell us we are in love.
I was desperate to find somebody to make me feel whole again. For a long time, I had felt some sort of void inside of me, and I’d been emphatically trying to suture the wound. Bored of tiding myself over with quick fixes and an array of vices, I latched on to the nearest subject.
His personality was charming, although just a veneer, and I will admit that his smile made my heart flutter. To me, he was everything. I drowned myself in him the way that the clueless among us do, but he waded in shallower waters. Unrequited love, as far as I have experienced, is the worst kind.
After things between this so-called lover and I came grinding to a halt, I felt directionless. While it was a relief to no longer live in futile hope, it was just as painstaking to feel so numb. I had poured myself into an idea, a love that didn’t really exist, and in the end, I was nothing but a bruised ego.
Emotionally raw and forced to be alone, I felt emptier than I did before. What I had failed to realize is that I craved somebody who could understand me, but I had yet to even understand myself. The beauty of this darkness is that I gained a much greater understanding of myself during the times I felt my lowest.
At our most vulnerable, we are fully aware of our greatest desires and fears. We become more in tune with ourselves. It’s just as RuPaul always says: “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?” In my experience, I had to find myself before I could even think about finding love.
When I found my whole self and found love with another wholly realized person, I realized real love is so much more beautiful – because while there are always going to be insecurities or jealousies here and there, whole love is not affected by it. Our minds don’t need to convince us that that we are in love. When we are in love, really and truly, we just know.
That love is the best kind.