Written by CHUMA
Love. In summary of the few definitions found in the dictionary, it has been described as the most profound and passionate emotion for another, inciting affections and personal attachments that are strong, enthusiastic and endearing. It is a feeling that can be extremely inexplicable and, at the same time, deeply plausible, enough that it can be recognized in someone's eyes, smile, body language, speech, touch, attentiveness, and overall aura. The rush of it is the highest elevation of ecstasy and zeal, and I can attest to being fortunate enough to have experienced various levels of this sensation many times.
When first I became acquainted with falling in love, I remember the dichotomy of feeling fearlessly naive, and yet nervously anxious about the newfound implosion that was bursting in my heart. I hadn't been infiltrated by heartbreak yet, so at the time responding to those feelings came without hesitation or caution, but with everything that had to do with being sensitive and flustered.
I can recall the stars and rainbows that appeared in my consciousness from love's first kiss, and the electrifying bolt that traveled through me from love's first touch. What came over me was a sense of arousal that was far deeper than anything sexual. It was spiritual. However, I think at the time that particular awareness was unbeknownst to me, and the new emotions that were powerfully moving through me were confusing, fascinating, and irresistibly addictive. It was intoxicatingly better than anything that I had ever experienced, and I wanted no division from the pleasure.
And then the letdown happened. My first heartbreak.
The enemy of depression defeated me, and I couldn't understand how and why. Innocently, I thought I had found a trustworthy and everlasting friend in love, and I couldn't conceive how this supposedly friend of mine could betray me and inflict an anguish unimaginable. I was crestfallen and perplexed. The color of everything was gone and unhappiness became my adversary. Soon, I became somewhat afraid to love, and this began the cycle of the many lessons I would learn regarding the ambivalence of love.
The joys and pains, the vulnerabilities and contradictions, the enchantment and downheartedness—all helped me to understand and express everything that I was discovering and enduring. Through this experience, came wisdom and an emancipating convalescence that was liberating. Eventually, the fear diminished, and I felt nothing but absolution from the consequences of falling in love, which gave permission for other relationships and experiences to occur.
With astuteness, I began to love again.
Love. When exchanged in its pureness, can be one's crown of happiness and shield of devotion. It can surmount fearfulness and rejoice in harmonious association. Although pain and complexity may, at times, extend from its happenstance, its true foundation is abound with soulful euphoria and heartfelt sensibilities. However, the true essence of love is a cycle, somewhat like a birth that inevitably becomes a death only to be reborn over and over again. I have experienced this powerful cycle enough to know that ultimately love is all there is.
Innately, it is that which we all desire to experience. We dream of it. We long for it. We even rearrange our lives in a quest for the possibility of obtaining it. Some even sacrifice, cry, and fight for it, experiencing an agony in hopes that it will eventually become felicity. It is evident that the joys and pains of love transpire contemporaneously—sometimes shifting back and forth between the two—and in order to appreciate the joy one may have had to experience the pain in order to return to the joyfulness in gratitude.
I learned to appreciate this cycle.
In realization of love's rhythm, I learned to allow the dance of my heart to continue and not stagnate in the name of caution, and, most importantly, fear of heartbreak. I learned to embrace the imperfections that showed up in the midst of a loving or strained exchange (as long as it wasn't detrimental), realizing that a perfect lesson was there to learn which prepared and enlightened me for a higher love in myself and from others. Enduring was difficult at times, as I could have chosen to shut down the possibility of continuing to experience love because of the disappointments and perplexities that came with it. But after comprehending that love is an oxymoron of simple complexities and heartrending exaltations, I came to a place of fluid acceptance, ready to receive and accommodate the cycle, which then became a rebirth of jubilation and achievability.
Then peace emanated and I began to know a special love.
I became cognizant of a love that was spiritual and authentic. An absolute way of love that overcame the restrictions of religious dictatorship. An unshackled love that surmounted and crossed over the forbidden lines of interracial relations and traditional constructs of cultural differences. An equality type of love that prevailed and expanded past gender prohibitions and sexuality prejudices. I came to know an intimate and romantic standard of love, abundant with endless possibilities and infinite potential with someone very special.
And this higher form of love conquered everything.
It was an expansive love that didn't constrict or remain still. It was a free love that moved, opened up, leaped, skipped, flew, soared, and laughed. It didn't strangle, debilitate, suppress, restrain, shut down, deceive or punish, because love doesn't perform as such. Love is honest, loyal, happy, forgiving, and understanding. Love is a listener, a communicator, a friend, a parent, and a mate. Love is that which we all interpret as God.
In this practice of this knowledge, love gave birth to itself in perpetual repetition, and it is a rebirth that I am wiling to experience a million times over.