[From my day 18 writing, not sure if this is for the novel or not, but this came out as I pondered break ups happening to people in my life and my own experiences of breaking up]
When you love someone, you lose control. I’m not talking about going crazy and forgetting to pay the bills or breaking into spontaneous dance moves on the sidewalk, though I’m sure that happens too. I’m talking about the fact that when you love someone, a piece of your heart resides in them. They are walking around with a piece of your heart and you have no control over what they do with it.
It happens especially with lovers and with your children, but also with friends. You love them and you have no control over what they are going to do with that love. Will they cherish it, hold it dear, care for it? Or will they disregard it, drop it in the waste bin, mock it and let it shrivel?
Loving someone is a leap of faith. You hand them a piece of your heart and say, “Here, this is important to me, take care of it, will you?” And they walk away with your heart chunk and do what they will. And you trust them! It’s insane, don’t you think? Love defies logic. No, it’s more than that, it slays logic, it runs logic over with a semi trailer and then backs up and does it again.
You take the leap, you forego the parachute check and jump. Faith is your parachute, love is going to be there to cushion your fall. You believe. Without any reason whatsoever, you believe because that person, the person to whom you give your heart, tells you they love you. You are safe with them, they will take care of your heart, you can relax.
And where does that faith and belief get you? Sometimes you are right, for a time, maybe a long time. People fall in love and stay in love for decades, sometimes until they die. It happens. But how many times have you made that leap, believed those promises, given over a chunk of your heart and then, at some unknowable point, had it tossed back at you. Never the same, diminished, sucked dry, hollow and rusted out. But you promised… you said… we agreed… The thing is, the bitter truth is, the sad and unchangeable fact is that we go into relationships together but we exit them alone. It takes two to tango, but only one to leave the dance. The other partner might still be moving to the music they chose together, while the other is walking out the door.
I hate the unilateral nature of break ups, though I’ve taken advantage of that very aspect myself. The fact that you can both decide to pony up heart chunks, and then pull yours out without notice, without discussion, without any chance to change the outcome. That is a pretty harsh reality. On the other hand, the escape clause is necessary when one party is abusing their privileges. So though I’ve been burned by that clause, I wouldn’t eliminate it.
So we fall in love and we give a piece of our hearts to someone who promises to take care of it but can decide at any moment that they’ve changed their minds and no longer need to live up to the promises they made. We give up control over a major part of our emotional well-being to someone we have no control over. You’ve got to ask yourself, why the hell do we fall in love? Why take that risk, it’s insane.
Why do we? Why do I?
Why do I?
I allow myself to fall in love quite simply because the feeling of being in love is the best feeling in all of creation. Being in love is the best high, the best view of humanity you will ever have. And that applies to the in love we fall with lovers, as well as the love we fall into with friends and the all encompassing love we fall into with our children. Kids are super reckless with our hearts, running pell mell into playgrounds and riding bikes out of sight.
I will continue to allow myself to fall in love because I can’t live without it. Yes, it is risky, yes, I have been hurt more times than I can count because of love. Yes, I will do it again and again. I will agree to hand over a chunk of my heart to be held by another person because the act of doing so lifts me above the ordinary plane of existence. I am actively rejecting cynicism and fear. I am actively embracing faith and courage and openness. I am saying, without any logical reason whatsoever, that I choose to believe the promises love makes. Even though there are risks. Even though I have failed in love before.
To summarize, love is at once the most incredibly risky and stupid thing to do and the most wonderful, amazing, fulfilling, positively life altering, transcendent thing you can do.
So take it, take another little piece of my heart now, baby.
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