“Your task is not to seek for love,
but merely to seek and find
all the barriers within yourself
that you have built against it.”
There was a time that I felt the only love worth having was the kind people wrote novels about. I am sure you know what I mean. That love that turns what was once our stomach into a butterfly sanctuary at the mere glimpse of that illusive other, who would surely complete us.
Then after a few major heartbreaks, I realized that kind of love, well, it wasn’t really love at all. Sure it was fun, it was exciting, it was the extreme of every emotion a human being could experience, however not one single ounce of it was real.
I hid behind that rush of feeling. I hid in the safety of seeing the reflection of my perfection in the mirror of another person’s eyes. It is easy to hide in the novel kind of love, because in that novel the hero never really sees who the damsel truly is. In reality, that hero tends to jump on the white horse and ride off in the other direction when real life comes to call.
Consciously conceiving can mean facing our darkest crevices, our deepest shame, and our unspoken longing, with no shield to hide behind, and no Prince Charming to carrying us away. All the beauty we once saw in ourselves can become fogged over as if looking into a mirror in the steam room.
Sometimes faced with the vulnerability this creates, we begin erecting the Berlin Wall between ourselves and the one whose love should be written about in the next Great American Novel. Our partners who have seen our imperfections, yet still remain.
When we fail to love ourselves, we can make it very difficult for the love of our partners to penetrate the wall of shame we have been building brick by brick, usually without even realizing we do such good masonry work.
So perhaps it is time to seek and find all the barriers we have built within ourselves that keep real love an arm’s reach away. In removing those barriers we may discover something far more precious than the feeling people write novels about, we might just find ourselves. The women we use to be when we let all the love around us in, never questioning for a moment that we deserved it–broken fertility and all.