Soon you’ll see your face red and twisted in the rearview mirror as you rage at your kids in the backseat. Soon you’ll try to ease the drudgery and relentlessness with Facebook and Irish Cream, but it will leave you more disconnected than you were before. Soon you’ll want to escape this life you can no longer remember ever wanting. Soon you’ll crumple onto the kitchen linoleum pulling at fistfuls of hair and sobbing that you don’t know how to make it better.
The only way out, though, no matter what, even if you point your car north with no destination in mind other than “away from here”—the only way out is through. You must go through. You must go through, so you can learn there’s more than being good, being right. You must learn what love isn’t. So you can know what love is.
Love isn’t allowing yourself only the last drop of you. It’s not a reel that only plays hesitation. It’s not obsessive backward glancing at your mistakes. It’s not persuading others that you’re enough. It’s not feeling like you’re lying when you do. No, no. That’s not what love is.
Love is giving yourself permission to live uncaged. It’s knowing and honoring your most cherished values and playing by your rules, not someone else’s, and then only those that light you up. It’s using fear as a signpost for that which you must do because, however scary, your soul is leaden without it. It’s not what you’re doing but who you’re being—towards others but firstly yourself. Besides, others will never care what you’ve done for them. What matters is how you’ve been for them. The difference is fine and oceanic.
Love is throwing out all notions of what’s “right,” so you can be. Just be and listen to the calm, grounding voice of The One Who Knows. It’s your voice, you’ll see. And it won’t lead you astray.
Love is not so many of the things you think it is. They are fear disguised as love. Love is pure, not insufferable. Go towards that which is pure, that which is light. Go towards The One Who Knows and put your ear against her heart. There. That’s love.