Love is Risking Annihilation

It is embarrassingly cliche to be brought to your knees by the loss of a lover.

We are hardwired for wanting to belong. We are weaned from our mothers breasts with the idea that love and belonging are scarce. We are seduced by the idea that we must look for love to be complete, to feel whole. We are lured into forgetting that love is what we are made of. We seek to be loved and when we are thrown from the bridge of our beloved’s favor into the churning waters of untethered self doubt, it is both devastating and predictable.

We all long for reunion with the divine.

We are all striving to return to the great love we came from. Some feel it with curiosity, some with deep, painful longing, some with gentle laughter at the absurdity of it all.

I went searching for something to complete me and I found the perfect illusion to give what I thought was missing. I jumped with both feet down the rabbit hole of my making.

I fell in love.

I fell like I had never fallen before. I fell without any desire to ever get up again. I trusted deeply. I loved unconditionally. I saw the red flags and loved them as well. I loved the things I didn’t like. I licked the wounds my lover inflicted from their own wounded heart with great reverence. I took responsibility for every bit of damage done, swallowing my pride and asking for more.

Eventually I realized that the love I gave ceased to be reciprocated. I felt the devastation of abandonment, the humiliation of having been a passing fancy. I rode waves of euphoria to the heavens only to fall harshly on my love stricken face.

I thought I had become immortal, why did I now feel like I was dying?

For me, the grief was immense, much bigger than the short relationship warranted. But it was real and there is no denying what the heart experiences. It penetrated through layers of my own wounds and into the collective hell of heartbreak.

I railed against the reality of being left alone.

I went headlong into the rich, fertile ground of blame and accusation. I was seriously pissed off, it was incredibly unfair to have walked in the hall of the immortals only to be thrown so far down that I could’t face getting out of bed or my pajamas. I had to face the fear that I was unloveable. I grappled with feelings that I was too much, not enough, broken, unredeemable. I contended with the belief that I was the problem. I had gut wrenching anxiety that I would never find a person who could make me feel that way again.

It was like I had been lured out to sea by an experienced sailor, thinking we were on an adventure together, we had each others backs, we were the wind in the sails. Suddenly I found that my lover had jumped ship and swam to shore and I was left in the middle of a storm on a vessel I didn’t know how to steer, with the humiliation that I had been duped into thinking my ship had a captain.

And I had trusted so much I didn’t even bother to bring the guidebook along.

But the storm didn’t kill me, and the cleansing from the chaos brought clarity like the clear dawn on a glassy sea. The storm had distorted my vision, my own fear had changed which reality I experienced. In the clear light I saw that love had never really abandoned me. It was the ship I was sailing on, and it’s captain the dark eyed Venus herself, conjuring stormy temptresses to see how much of my constructed masks I was willing to loose before I could trust the ship that never really sinks. Would I be willing to break apart and sink to the depths of a lonely sea and trust that the ship would reform and rise up beneath me?

My lover had not abandoned me, but love itself.

You can only gain as big as you risk. I risked all and gained everything. I let my heart crack wide open. What I had seen in the mirror of my lover was my own beautiful, wide open heart. What I had fallen in love with was my own capacity for love, I had fallen in love with love itself. The unmistakeable connection I felt was the reflection of my own ability to care so deeply and unconditionally that I became a vessel of love. What I had adored was my own beauty and perfection. What I gained was my own ability to reconnect with the oneness of all love, back into the heart of the divine.

It is cheesy as hell and just as true.

In the darkness, as I thought I was sinking to the bottom of an ocean of despair, never to rise again, I had a vision of my desire. I saw myself, in a wedding dress, my lover tenderly holding my face, looking into my eyes and telling me I was chosen, I was loved beyond measure, I would never feel the absence of love again. Yet when I opened my eyes it was not my lover who stood before me, but the whole universe, looking into my eyes and telling me I was chosen, I was loved beyond measure, I would never feel the absence of love again. I did not need to search, I did not need to run to the next apparent source hoping for confirmation. I had found the love that can never be lost. The love that can never die, get sick, change its mind, get distracted, not text back, forget a date, act out, lie, or, date someone younger and more attractive than me. That love is me and I am that love.

There is no safety in the depths of love.

We cannot strategize our way out of risk. To love deeply is to be vulnerable to loss. It is painful to love deeply and then lose what you love. But not as painful as never really getting to love at all.

I am not sorry to love so fully.

I have been told it is a weakness, a character flaw, to feel so much. I have been chided for my tears and despair, told to get over it, to control my emotions and be reasonable.

But love is not reasonable and I am glad for that.

Love is epic. It is surrendering into the stormy seas and hoping to be carried ashore. It is burning in the heart of a volcano and reaching heaven on the ashy gasses that would kill mere mortals. Love is standing in the light so harsh and penetrating it burns away all that is not love, leaving you bare boned and panting, unable to recognize yourself stripped clean of illusion.

Loving from the sidelines is more comfortable.

We don't have to care as much when love leaves. We can buffer our pain with blame, anger and criticism. We can mitigate our loss with never feeling attached in the first place. It’s safer to keep people at a distance and not care so much. It’s safer to flit from one lover to another and leave when the seas start to look rough. It’s safer to stay in a mediocre relationship and anchor yourself to the same shore, never knowing the danger of the storm, yet haunted by a hunger you can’t even define.

But what we risk playing it safe is never getting annihilated by love.

Never risking destruction is never finding how many times and ways you can be rebuilt. It is never being washed clean of all the lies we tell about our own invulnerability, never cracking through the armor that keeps us repeating the same patterns and self sabotaging ways, never letting all the masks drop so we stand naked and raw in front of another soul with nothing left to lose and everything to gain. How much of you can fall away before you find the part of you that is never destroyed. How willing are you to risk total annihilation, give up everything you thought you needed and be at peace with leaving the shore of certainty to never return again?

I thought I had lost at love, but what I really did was gain resiliency I never knew existed.

I was baptized by my own tears, sacrificed by my broken hearted suffering and resurrected by my own whispers of adoration. I am not sorry to have loved so deeply, I am grateful to have lost so greatly. For in the losing I found that I was never missing anything at all. What I lost was the illusion of separation, my addiction to need, the hunger for other to prove my worthiness to me. What I gained can never be lost to me again. I am willing to ride that ship with its invisible, reckless captain, to risk the storm and the dissolution, to believe in safe sex but not safe love, to let my Self be stripped down to the vulnerable raw, tender parts of my soul so that I know love at it’s source.

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