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On Love

an essay by Haider

To give into the act of love is to hold communion with your & your partner’s imperfections. We more often than not want to push such atrocities of ourselves and the ones we love, as far away from us as possible. We feel as if, - when we’re alone or perhaps with friends or family, or just about anybody who can tolerate us - we must be easy enough to be with, to love, and to spend the rest of our lives with. We think it’ll be easy to close our eyes and say to the other, “Well, I can’t wait to walk down the streets of Paris with you, holding your hand and kissing by the Eiffel tower,” and if that has become so cliche, we dream of rowing the boat down the streams of Venice all while our lover sits near us and admires our gentleness.

Nobody can really ever teach you how to love. Your parents don’t know how to love you, nor do your friends or your significant other, and neither do you. That does not necessarily mean you cannot be loved, but rather that love is rarely handed down, but instead experienced. It is shared but never taken. It is a journey you must be willing to explore down a forest where your feet may be met with flowers, and your stomach with butterflies, whereas in some places your throat may feel tangled in thorns and your eyes can’t see anything past the rose-colored lenses.

We have this notion of love that must be familiar. Someone who may understand us, not because they’ve taught themselves to, but because they just happen to be like us at heart too. “They understand me because they said, ‘I love you.’”

Familiarity is the illusion of love. We must come to terms with the uncomfortable parts of ourselves and others in order to grow. We must be patient with our love. We must allow it to nurture the other, and we must open ourselves to become one with our nature.

Nobody is ever born with a guidebook about how to love you, and that is possible because you don’t know yourself well enough to write such a guidebook in the first place.

We must humble ourselves into being students but take pride in also being teachers. We must open our hearts to believing we know nothing as much as we should allow our gentleness to guide others to learn from us, as we may learn from them. It is so easy to mistake “help” for “criticism.” But in actuality, when in love, we must stand completely naked in front of the other and allow them to see everything about us, even the pieces and parts we’ve tried to hide away. We must cultivate our gardens together.

When you’re young and madly in love, especially when it’s your first time, it is easy to throw big words around. The enemy of all, “unconditionally.” It is funny to use such a word because more often than not, we do expect something from them! That is to not say that they don’t expect something from us, and neither does that make either of us a bad partner. It is just part of human nature.

Alas, it is not easy. It is not kind to the weak of the heart, but still, despite it all, it is worth everything precious in the universe. It would be a shame to live life and never clasp the fingers of another between yours and understand that neither of you needs to say anything as long as you two are together, close, and intimate in this precious space.

My favorite thing about love is that there is always something you are yet to love about the other; there is always something to discover and appreciate. One’s today must be an attempt to love the other just a bit more than yesterday.

You must be gentle with each other and be humble enough to admit, “I have no idea what I am doing, but I am willing to devote my life to discovering you. I am willing to take a leap of faith down this capsule of flowers and thorns and plant a tree with you with whatever we find on our way.”

That is your oath.


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