we were taught that love was easy,
A simple formula
Like 2+2 = 4.
Love was just something you did
And people loved–
well, quite easily!
Love was a four letter word
(one of the good kind)
Right up there with other short-yet-profound words
–like hope, faith, joy–
Words that got thrown around Sunday School
haphazardly on felt boards
Or on the flashing lyrics screen…
But the plant of my soul
began to grow,
On rocky soil dried out by misuse
And it took a long, long time
before I realized that many play
a game called “Love,”
Because “love” is such an easy concept to throw around
Someone’s neck like a lasso,
Dragging them down
And this idea of “love”–
What you believe about it
& learn about it–
Actually determines the rest of your life
Because there are so many words
That mask themselves as “love”:
A person can “love”
and treat you like shit
as long as the word they use is “love,”
Because whatever someone says
negates anything they actually do.
And at some point,
One begins to wonder if “love” is even a real word
Because one grew up believing in “love”
(that little 2 +2 = 4 formula)
And now…well, it’s hard to find.
Because what is “love”?
Where the fuck is it?
That’s what I want to know.
Because love isn’t all about fucking.
And it isn’t nice notes,
And it isn’t pretty words,
And it isn’t grand promises,
And it certainly isn’t lies
or power plays
I’ve been searching and searching
For this thing called Love,
So where is it?
I began to finally find it
when I looked within–
To the secret place,
the garden space,
Where God walks in the silence
And we must listen harder than we ever thought possible
To the winds of Spirit.
Love has to be found within oneself before
It can ever be loved outside–
That how we treat ourselves
And take care of ourselves–
How we fight for healing and truth and authenticity
determines how we will love others.
Love starts from within,
And the roots have to go deep,
Deep, deep down into one’s very soul
Or the world will tear it all away.
Love is a blood-and-sweat fight
not a walk in the park.
Love is climbing Mount Everest
to find the treasure buried within another human being.
Love is sometimes staying and sticking it out.
Love is sometimes leaving and letting go.
Love is forgiving, but not necessarily trusting.
But sometimes Love is letting one’s barriers down
And sharing the deepest wounds of one’s past.
Love is vulnerability to someone safe.
And Love is becoming safe through vulnerability.
Love is standing up for others who aren’t being loved.
Love is putting oneself on the line for others even when society mocks.
Love is letting someone weep without condemnation.
Love is letting someone dance without judgment.
Love is helping someone embrace their passions,
But Love is not about letting our passions consume us.
Love is listening hard to another’s history,
and vowing to change the way things have always been.
Love is respect, and respect is love,
for there is no separation of the two in true relationship.
Love is not candy, V-Days, and fancy dinners.
Love is seeing a person and truly wanting the best for them.
Love is not about putting someone in a cage,
But letting them fly freely, their soul on fire.
Love is new places and experiences,
and Love is the little things that become romance and adventure.
Love is warring for someone else’s spirit,
Never letting them wilt and shrivel.
Love is sometimes 3 simple words: “I am sorry,”
and then really being sorry.
Love is not losing one’s self in another,
But becoming oneself in deeper ways because of another.
Love is patient.
Love is kind.
Love does not seek its own.
Love is not envious,
Love is stronger than Death.
Love is the Universe
And the Universe in Love.
And even while the earth crumbles
And wars wage
And people hate,
Photo by Adobe Stock/Laure F