I have not been able to outrun Love this week. When life turned and handed me a bitter pill, my army of friends surged to the front lines and said, “We will NOT let this get you.” They fought for me, fought with me. They challenged my doubts and listened to my anger. Their hearts even broke for what broke mine. They demanded that the blossoming of my character not be lost. Can you ask for greater community than this? I have seen and felt the sheer will of their friendship moving me forward through my story and into my future, sometimes pushing, sometimes pulling, but always present.
I’ve found that love doesn’t come and go in life as much as it just changes form. Losing it in one place usually means seeing it wash over you from another, and the trick is to see love where it is, rather than where you wanted it to be.
The quality of the friendships I get to call my own now simply astonishes me, and even more astonishing is the brazen confidence I have in them. Only in the last year can I say for the first time that I truly trust my closest friends to stand with me come hell or high water. The thing is, it’s not my friends that changed. It’s me. I am finally letting myself be known – the ugly and all, as you’ve seen here – and this has finally curated the kind of relationships I’ve tried to wrestle into creation all my life. I have known an disproportionate amount of magnetic, creative, charming, inspiring, and influential people in my life, but I never, not once, felt secure in my relationships with them. I never felt worthy enough or smart enough or cool enough. Shame on me for thinking it was their fault. Shame on me for thinking I had to be anything other than myself and attempting to manifest a version of myself that would impress or seduce or simply fool them into valuing me.
What I found – and THANK YOU GOD for putting me through what has happened in order to bring me here to myself – is that when you drop the veil, when you show your ugly (which, by that very act, is beautiful), when you stop being afraid to be seen for exactly who you are, two things happen, in this order:
1. You let people love you instead of validate you.
(By the way, this is a huge relief on you and the rest of the universe.)
2. You want to do the same for them.
Perfect love – not co-dependency, not lust, not weakness – but REAL LOVE, rooted in security and honesty, casts out all fear. They just cannot coexist. Fear means keeping score and self-protection and hesitation and distance. Love means sacrifice and open doors and saying yes and not needing to win. Each kills the other, and its up to us to choose which we’ll let it be. For me, fear was the only reality before finding God in my corner and wild with love for me. Letting go of fear and finding myself loved has been like undergoing surgery without anesthesia day after day. But now, oh my, what love is all around.