How Do You Love?

The truth that you’ll find will always be
The truth you hide.
And the words that you fear will always be
The words you hear…

Collective Soul, “How Do You Love”

All You Need Is Love by Four Symbols (Flickr)

I haven’t really talked about relationships on this blog before because 1) I haven’t been in a relationship for…let’s just say awhile and 2) I’ve really only just begun to learn to love myself again. But I would be fooling myself if I didn’t admit that the thought of love has always lingered, sometimes unwillingly, somewhere in the back of my mind. That question has been there, a shadow of a thought, wondering when I would fall in love again, wondering if it would be meaningful and lasting. And at my lowest points, I’ve even wondered if I was worthy of it again at all.

I can try to analyze why I haven’t found love since that long-term relationship, but every reason seems like a tired excuse. The always-easy answer is that I just haven’t found someone I’ve connected with, but that’s kind of a crap-answer and not entirely true. What’s truthful is that it has taken me a really, really long time to get over my first relationship, to allow myself to be open to something else.

And if I want to be really honest, I’ve realized that I may very well have been unconsciously sabotaging myself out of fear.

The heartache I had experienced ran deep, and in the end, I was way more hurt than I ever expected, than I ever let on, than I ever dared to admit even to myself.

And that hurt, I now know, is what has prevented me from taking chances again, from allowing myself to be vulnerable. It’s partly what has held me back for so long. And I would be lying if I didn’t say that a bit of that fear lingers still.

I’m not exactly sure what this hesitation is or why I still cling to it. Maybe I’m afraid of not getting a chance, of being overlooked. Maybe I’m afraid of being passed over for something better, something more appealing. Maybe I’m afraid of being forgotten.

Maybe I’m afraid of admitting that sometimes love just isn’t enough anymore.

I’m a stronger person than I was then, a different woman. I’ve passed that stage of romantic ideals and fairytale beliefs, but, still, I long to believe in something again, to know that there is something out there worth fighting for, and that there are people out there willing to fight for it.

I don’t know. I don’t know what love has in store for me; I don’t know what it is I’m looking for or if I’ll ever find it. But love, as crazily cheesy as it sounds, is such a huge part of me, and I don’t want to bury that side, to hide away from it again.

I don’t want to, and I won’t. Because little by little, I’m gathering the strength that will allow myself to be vulnerable again, to open up to something potentially beautiful, even if it means risking heartache.

Because, in the end, just getting the chance to love has got to be worth it all.

5 thoughts on “How Do You Love?”

  1. You know, I think that no matter how hard we wish for love and for that perfect romance, it never happens until we’re totally content with the way things are. And when love does finally find us, we have to just let things be, and to allow them to flourish and develop on their own. I’ve been saying it so much lately that it’s starting to sound a little bit cliche, but I really believe in que sera sera.

  2. Oh, and btw, the photo reminded me of your poem… but the title eludes me. Queen of Hearts? Ace of Hearts? Please forgive me for the memory lapse.

  3. Sarah – Your personal tagline of que sera sera is definitely an almost daily reminder that I try to tell myself. Sometimes I think that I’m still searching for love. Other times I look at where I am now and declare that I’m too busy, have too much going on, that I’m really enjoying where I am right now. Depending on the time of day and the situation, I tend to believe both to be the case.

    What it comes down to — for me, personally, that is — is that I’ve realized that it will find me when I’m ready — whatever it is I’ve been looking for. I may not know when it is, but I can’t seek it out. I just have to be open to it when it comes, let it happen, as you say, and that may be the most difficult part for me, honestly. It’s a good thing I have best friends like you to help me through that and give me that little nudge (or kick in the ass, depending). 😉

    And the poem! I had forgotten about that. I think it’s Queen of Hearts, but suddenly I can’t be sure. Maybe that’s for the best, actually. Oh, college. Let’s not open up that can of worms again 😉

    Thanks for your thoughts — you know I always take them to heart.



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