Is your love real or is it fake?

“If I hold you in my heart, you’ll wither;
 Become a thorn if I hold you in my eyes.
 No, I’ll make a place for you within my soul instead
 So you’ll be my love in lives beyond this life.”

-Rumi

I was once a stone mason. After handling thousands of stones I became much better at seeing which rocks were going to fit together and which would never click.

When I shaped the rock with my hammer and chisel sometimes I would hit it just a bit too hard and it would crack. Stone has a grain, sometimes visible and sometimes not, and you must work with that grain. That work is a dance between too much and too little effort. You have to rely on your sense of touch and intuition to shape a stone.

A relationship is a little bit like building a dry stone wall. You have to build a solid base before you can start adding layers. You build each layer with your best stones and then fill in the middle with smaller stones. A good stone wall needs no mortar.

You can tell if a stone wall was built with skill and love. You can learn skill, but love has to come from within.

In relationships, there is real love that comes from within, and fake love that comes from without.

Real love is like the sun rising in the morning. It illuminates the world and wakes you up.

Fake love is like the moon’s reflection on a lake. You can chase it forever but it will always be out of reach.

Every day our lives are filled with choices. Some days we make good choices and other days we make poor choices. All of our choices together create our path.

When we choose real love our path leads to a beautiful waterfall that refreshes our soul. When we choose fake love our path leads to a swamp and we get stuck, sometimes for years.

All we see on the silver screen is fake love. In the end, that type of love is just a mirage and when we go to drink the water it is only sand. Real love is a true oasis containing deep waters. In that oasis we can drink our fill.

Real love will open you up and fake love will shut you down.

Only when your heart is open can you truly care for another. Only when you care for another can you truly know yourself.

“I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.”
 -Pablo Neruda, 100 Love Sonnets