Love is hard, and it's a choice
It's Valentine's Day, the holiday to celebrate love, and I am single. There are roses and chocolates and signs and teddy bears everywhere.
I begin to notice that it is not the messy, aching, tender, gaping love that is being celebrated, it is romance.
We can sexualize love and lust without a problem and make a holiday of it, but the love that hurts, pushes, tests, and overwhelms us doesn't feel acknowledged today. I think many of us are missing it.
So for those of us without a romantic partner, it's important to remember what love really is in the midst of a holiday that only represents a commercialized fraction of it.
Love is hard, and it's a choice.
It is your mother holding your head against her beating heart, where the invisible strings that have bound you together in this lifetime sprout.
It is the smell of your father’s skin. His fingers plucking a guitar. His sea green eyes. His voice and your mother’s harmonized in song.
It is a humble presence, the pattern inside of a sunflower, the ache in saying goodbye, and the saltwater that comes out of your eyes.
It is eating French toast on a Sunday morning with the windows open, freshly ground coffee from home, a too-long gaze with a lover, a blanket fort, and easy silence.
It holds the weight of heaviness when you hurt, grounding.
It is the place where your soul meets the sky in times of bliss, floating.
It speaks to you when your spirit has been moved through the spread of your palm and fingertips across your chest.
It is felt as the layer on top of the matrix of your soul, residing in your heart, holding the warm pieces together so you don't scatter.
It is not the easy choice, but it is the choice that will ooze from your fingertips, brighten the life in your eyes, and radiate from the corners of your mouth.
Love is not these experiences, it is the person experiencing them. Should you choose it, you find it in everything, and in everyone, because you are it.
Everything becomes a reflection of you.
This celebration of love, of you, should not be determined by lust in a romantic partner's eyes, or a day of the year.
It can be now. It can be tomorrow. It can be every day of the rest of your existence. It will always wait for you, should you choose.
The unkempt, honest, and unconditional kind of love. The kind you choose, even though it might hurt on a day like today.