Some loves are supposed to be unconditional. Simple and without fear. A place where you can show up and be who you truly are. Where you can lay your shame on the table and it will be picked up gently and packed away into a space where you know it exists but it’s existence is irrelevant. These types of relationships are precious and hard to come by. There is freedom there. They are what we all long for. They are vast, expansive, open territories of safety.
Some loves are more complicated than that. Some loves are full of mirrors and soul and darkness. Many people would say that this is not really love, but I’m not so sure about that. First Corinthians tells us that love is patient and love is kind but personally, I think there’s something to be said for the tumult. The tumult is what makes us grow. I find it strangely beautiful.
Some loves we label as unconditional, until suddenly, after a long while or a short while, for so many reasons or for no reason at all, they are not. Until suddenly in that vast, expansive, open territory of safety, pride and selfishness pop in for a quick hello. Piercing words show up and real confessions show up and no one has the courage to not just laugh it off. Suddenly it’s late at night and there are tears and feelings and fears being spoken aloud and even more fears not being spoken aloud. This is when those conditions appear. This is the part where you lay your shame on the table and it’s not picked up gently and packed away. Instead, it’s left there untouched and exposed. This is the part we call heartbreak. It’s real.
Vulnerability is a funny thing. So is trust. Sometimes we can and sometimes we can’t. Some people deserve it and some people don’t. Sometimes a person is not who we think they are and sometimes a person chooses not to be the person we know they are capable of being. There is pain in the discernment of that, but in either case it doesn’t matter; I can only make decisions for myself. It’s almost unbearable for me to think about.
I lead with my heart. It’s probably not the smartest way to live. Something about the tumult and the squeeze makes me feel alive. It makes me stronger, it’s where I grow. I question my own judgement and I disappoint myself again and again and I still love big. I am a student of heartbreak and a teacher of the art of being broken open, but I’m not sure how much faith I have in the unconditional anymore. I’m working on it. I love you.