Love Returns Love

This post has been living in my mind for the past two weeks, yet I had not made time for it, which has brought to my attention how badly I prioritize the hours in my day. Alas, I will sacrifice one more night’s sleep for the sake of letting it breathe.

I am intrigued by all things human. Those who know me well joke that I am way too perceptive for my own good –or for their own good, really, since I pick up many things they wish I didn’t. And they are right, I notice almost everything.

This is why the subject of love and how we approach it has not escaped my attention. Of course, we are constantly surrounded and bombarded by this topic, but most of us live our lives demanding it, without delving any deeper into its many layers.

I will not bore you with a long-winded philosophy about it, I promise. All I want to get across is this: the more love you give, the more love you receive. Love returns love. It is among those things in life that involves taking a leap, risking blindly… You have to learn to love others first, you have to learn to put yourself out there, no matter how vulnerable that makes you feel, before you can truly accept love back.

Simple, right? Yet so much easier said than done, although not impossible. As most things, it requires making the decision to just do it. Really. Decide to love today, practice it at every moment, and you will start seeing its fruits.  Love helps us become better versions of ourselves, and when we improve as a human beings –even in the slightest-, we inevitably change our surroundings for the better. This is why Gandhi told us to “be the change you want to see in the world.” It starts with each one of our baby steps.

Now that most of this post has been aired out, I must share how the idea for it came about: I received some love in return. And it felt amazing. A few weeks ago, I published a poem I wrote in 2005. I decided to recycle it because that weekend, I felt exactly like I did when I wrote it. What made me nervous, however, was that it was written for a specific someone. What would happen if that person saw it? How would they react?

Here is the reaction (published with permission from the author):

Hi!

I hope this email finds you well; I happened onto your WordPress today and read your writing, which is as lovely as I remember it.  And then… yeah.  That poem.  From 2005.  I want to thank you for posting that, as it sent a shiver in my spine, but in a way that made me happy (and a bit sentimental).  

I’m not writing this in the most clear way, but as I reach the end of a 3.5 year relationship with a girl that I thought for a while that I would spend the rest of my life with, lets just say that reading this poem gave me some additional perspective, and reminded me of what I deserve from another person.

I’m glad to see you succeeding, and sticking to your “the world is my playground” motto.  I hope you continue to get to explore, and you will have a friend in Amsterdam for as long as I stay in this absolutely charming city.  Despite the fact that I will continue to go through a bit of a rough time as I cope with the end of a relationship, I am glad that I have landed in a place that I feel very “at home” in.  It sounds like Boston has become that place for you, and I’m happy that you are thriving there.

Anyways, I just had to acknowledge what I read.  Even though it took me a triple-take to understand what it was that I was reading, it was very cathartic to remember a time (that seems like eons ago) when there was someone who truly appreciated the love that I had to give.  Thanks for those memories.  I will always keep them.

Best,
JP

There is no accurate way for me to express how incredible it feels to read words of appreciation in general, let alone for my writing. As I have mentioned before, this blog is part of a project to drown out my fears. With every day that passes, I realize I must continue writing, not because of what I say, but because all of my words are filled with love. Truly.

Yes, a selfish part of me wants to receive love in return, but honestly, if any part of what I write helps you in the slightest, then my job is done. I have achieved my main goal: I have given love.

Photo: Belén Alemán / Central Park, New York City, USA
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