It’s a week to Valentine’s Day and lately I’ve been thinking about love. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s easy to fall in love-with a friend, a lover, a tree in the springtime. It’s easy to appreciate beautiful and simple things; it’s effortless to admire without seeing something in it’s entirety.

It takes more work to stay in love.

It takes work to stay in love with yourself. To keep your identity true to the things down inside you and to embrace the dark parts and to know that each facet is working to make a complete, magnificent soul.

It takes work to stay in love with your school or your job. It takes a concerted effort to cherish your classes and your readings and the hours in the office.

It takes work to stay in love with your home. To change your perspective, to focus on the things you might notice when you halt the complaints in your head. It requires effort to admire the way the snow moves in the wind and the way that this season fits in a puzzle with all the others.

It takes work to stay in love with people. Relationships are complicated things. It’s hard to learn all of the parts of a person; it’s hard sometimes to love their dark areas, in the same way it’s hard to love your own. It’s difficult, at times, to communicate; to say I hurt here, to say please help me, to say, I think you are lost. It’s hard to share yourself with a person. It’s hard to have them share themselves back.

But I’ve been thinking, and I’ve come to the conclusion. Isn’t that where the true beauty lies? Doesn’t it rest underneath the ubiquity of a veneered smile or tired faces on the T ride home, inside the bad days and disappointments and petty fights? I think that what makes us most beautiful is to look at ourselves throughout it all and to share the quiet, vulnerable, dazzling pieces; to have the courage to give love and take it. To declare, proudly, I am messy. This is me. I am here and alive and ready to grow. And I have been hurt and I have been scared and I have been buoyant and I have had happiness. Here it is. Here is me and here is you and here is us, together, trying to figure it out along the way.

I’ve been thinking, and I say give love. I say give love and take love, the both, and be gentle and be kind and be unafraid.

And to you, love, I say look into my heart. Because I have given you my soul, taken a cup and scooped it up and I have fed it to you, yes, because everyone gets sick sometimes and that’s no weakness but it’s a certainty, and my soul is mine but I share it with you any day, and you helped make it so it’s yours too, you know.


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