Love Isn't A Death Sentence

Sometimes I think love is a death sentence; that love is risky, dangerous, suffocating, a trap, and all sorts of other scary, torturous endeavours. At a very early age, I realized that my gift in life was being able to love, love easily, love intensely, and being able to show my love creatively in the form of arts and crafts, random acts of kindness, through the spoken and written word, and small or grand romantic gestures. I love that I can love people in my own creative way, but that gift comes with obvious disadvantages. I'll list a few of them:

1. People take advantage of love.

2. People take love for granted.

3. People sometimes don't know how to love you back.

4. People are sometimes unable to accept love.

5. People sometimes don't appreciate love.

6. People can hurt you when you're in love.

7. People are sometimes uncomfortable with love.

When I was a teenager, I loved all sorts of people, and all sorts of people hurt me. I vowed that I'd never be thoughtful again; I'd never show anyone that I cared about them because I didn't believe that anyone would appreciate me. So for two years, I was a recovering loveaholic. I was off love. It wasn't going to ruin my life anymore. It was a death sentence that threatened to make me literally sick with love, with symptoms such as resentment, confusion, infatuation, lust, possessiveness, and so on. Then, after those two miserable years of growth and maturation, I began to see the world again. It was like being in a cave, and finally spotting something in the distance that looked like light. This is a recent realization. I was looking at love the wrong way all along.

No one really knows what love is, it's just a feeling - a feeling that no one else can feel but yourself. We all feel it differently from each other, but we have a vague sense of the aspects of it that we share. Love compels me, specifically, to act. Its impossible for me to not show it. Of course, I prefer to play it cool, but that rarely ever works. If you are loved by me, you know it. That's how it's always been, and how it always will be. So here's where the change took place: I used to think that loving others meant that I ought to be loved back. I thought that that was fair, and that I was entitled to love in return. I also thought that love had to necessarily lead somewhere. How I used to view love made me vulnerable and sensitive to the whims of others.

So, as it turns out, I've realized love doesn't have to have all those expectations attached to it. I used to see love selfishly, but that's not love at all. Love should just be love for the sake of love, right? I've developed a thick skin for love. I love to give it, and it's nice when it's returned, but ultimately, I don't need love to be reciprocated to feel satisfied. I've accepted that love is a beautiful thing if you let it happen; if you just love whoever you want to love without getting bogged down in unimportant details. This isn't to say that I think we should love any and everybody - that wouldn't be very special at all. I'm saying that, at least for me, there are people that touch and affect your life for different ways, and the right response is just to love for as long as there's a reason to love, and to be thankful that they inspire me and make me feel something special and warm, like sunshine that somehow finds its way into a cave.