Nobody will admit that love does not fix them, that love cannot save them from their pain. Love can heal and regenerate a heart, but it cannot undo a life, a past. Love can redeem, but it cannot erase. Nobody will tell you that sometimes they don’t know how to let someone else love them, that they’ve spent so much time guarding their heart that they don’t know how to not.
The thing about love is that you can want it for so long and then finally find someone who looks at you in that way you’ve been dreaming of, but that you will sometimes be looking for the escape hatch, even when you don’t want to find one. Love can tear you open in all the best and worst ways. It will scrape you clean and sometimes it will show you parts of yourself you really didn’t want to see.
It can sometimes seem that the hard part of love is the before, the without. That emptiness that claws at your bones and reminds you just how truly alone you are and feel. You will make a home in yourself, love your skin, touch yourself in the way you want to be touched, and it will feel like the end is in sight. But, love, that finding part, that moment when it clicks together and colors brighten and the world around you both blurs out in the background, that part is the beginning of something else entirely. It can feel like that love part allows you a moment of reprieve, that silent exhale you’ve been waiting for. And, it does. It does. For a moment. A precious moment that is a blip amongst the rest of your moments.
Nobody will tell you that love gives you more reasons to destruct it than it does to save it. Because there is nothing that will reveal you to yourself more than love does. Many people will distract this part away with sex and fights and blames and finger pointing and cheating and little lies and big lies and betrayal and neglect. Oftentimes it’s difficult to see when your unexamined wounds start showing symptoms in the relationship. Two people can certainly bring out the worst in each other in a way that is not healing, redeeming, or pure. Yet, there’s a side to that left discarded. There are many times where two people will hurt each other past the salvation point because they simply refused to examine themselves, to become aware to the ways their pain weaved itself into the bond between each other.
Love will show you where you hate, not just yourself, but others. It will unveil your ugly, the darkness that lurks in the corners of places inside of you that you thought you’d tucked away forever. There’s another side to the beautiful, to the falling in love, to the music that suddenly makes sense, to the heart racing aliveness that is love.
Nobody will tell you that every instinct within you that wants to ruin your own happiness out of a belief that you do not deserve to have it will scream at you. You will concoct subconscious plans to self-destruct, plans that you will not even realize are percolating in the background of your mind. A fight is never just a fight. Money is never just about money. Lack of commitment is never about lack of feeling. Nothing is ever about the thing it seems and that’s what love does. Love can make a home and love can break a home. Love can be weaponized against or for you, depending on how you wield it. Love can ruin you or it can purify you, depending on how you transform it within yourself.
Nobody will tell you that you can feel lonely with love. You could need more from your life and they will be incapable of giving it to you and that won’t mean it needs to end, but it means confronting that they cannot be everything no matter how badly you want them to be. People won’t tell you that you could be angry with yourself and that anger could be synthesized into anger directed outward. They won’t tell you that you could be having a crisis of esteem, that you could have lost faith in yourself, and it becomes difficult to believe that this person, this love, could believe in you when you don’t believe in yourself.
People will tell you that you should find someone that makes you be a better person, but they won’t tell you about that process of betterment. They won’t tell you that sometimes this is a process of many revisions, that before you can become better, you must become much, much, much worse. People don’t tell you that in order to heal, you must first confront that which you need to heal from. They don’t tell you that in order for you to weather the storm, there must first be a storm. There’s always a bow tied up on the package, never the before. Never the not-perfect. Never the not-shiny.
Love can be everything and it can transform you in all the ways you needed to be transformed. It can be that heart-stopping intimacy that feels like your body is on fire, like your heart isn’t yours anymore, but belongs entirely to someone else. It can be all those things, but it is not solely those things. And, I think a part of me wishes I had known that, a part of me wishes I had my expectations set straight. Because, with love, everything is heightened. The bad can be so bad. But the good! Oh, the good can be so good.