Friday, July 7, 2017

Love is enough

Falling in love can be scary. When you don't understand what this thing is that you're feeling, when you admit to yourself that you're in love, the fear of rejection, of losing them…there are so many terrifying components to love. And sometimes you wonder why bother continuing feeling this way, surely this overwhelming sense of emotion isn't worth it? Then they look at you. One glance, a fleeting moment of eye contact and somehow, for some reason, you can't breathe. Even ten years later. When you feel that connection with someone that you can trust implicitly, when they understand how you're feeling without even needing to hear your words, just by looking at your face, or feeling your emotions…that is why we still love. I believe that we desperately want to feel that connection, we want to believe that there is more to this life than paying bills, going to work, partying, raising a family; regardless of how much hope sucks, deep down it resides inside of us holding on and keeping us going.

They say find someone who can make you laugh, because looks fade away. They say find someone who looks at you the way *insert popular TV character* looks at *insert their favorite beverage, food item, or person*. Some people get it right the first time, others have a few marriages and divorces before they find their “one”. Each path is different and everything happens for a reason, sometimes you have to find happiness and then lose it a few times to make you into the best version of yourself for the one you spend the rest of your life with.

“True love is worth fighting for, because once you find it, it can never be replaced.” Words that a screenwriter wrote for a TV show but words that ring true. True love is sacrifice, compromise, it's being unselfish, putting the other person first, even if it kills you to do so (Figuratively). Love is hope and can fuel our dreams, and while hope sucks, and love can suck too, they work hand in hand to get us through this life and onto what's next.

Trying to find the right words to explain an emotion can be tough. It can also be tough to explain how it's okay to be alone sometimes. I was at a wedding recently, working, and sat down to eat. I was (unplanned) eating at a table by myself, and to me it seemed the most perfectly natural and comfortable thing. Social constructs have told us that being alone is uncomfortable and not "okay"; there were many people that approached me and told me that they 'felt bad' that I was eating alone. Next time you see someone out and alone, ask yourself how it makes you feel. Then ask yourself why you feel that way.

My theory, if you could call it that, would be that humans are a social species, and perhaps to see "one of our kind" appearing vulnerable, causes a chain reaction in us of "natural feelings" to want to take that person in and make sure that they aren't singled out and picked off by the strong. I am imagining a Savannah with prides of zebra and lion, the lion (predator) wisely goes for the least energy expending opportunity to obtain its' next meal. If you put a can of reddi-whip in front of the predator's face, and he doesn't have to run across the room to grab a meatball, nature dictates that he'll perform to obtain the highest value reinforcer with the least amount of exertion possible. With humans, why seeing a person sitting alone in a room full of party-going guests would bring up feelings of uncomfortableness, or feeling sorry for the loner, is something that I am trying to figure out.

In humans, working for reinforcers, it's not very different from the lion metaphor I suppose. A human that can call a pizza place and have it brought to their house is essentially the lion at the gate waiting for reddi-whip. When it comes to love, however, it seems we find the most complex, complicated, and heart-wrenching ways to live and express ourselves. At least until we find that one person (or in some cases maybe several people) that we can just breathe and relax around. The person that we can just feel ourselves with, with no fear of judgement or worry that they will leave us or get upset because they are misinterpreting something we said or didn't say. And ultimately, love, openness, compassion, it can all be enough to make us happy if we allow it to.

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