Meaning in the Mundane {18}: Love.

I wrote a response to a piece tonight and immediately deleted it because it felt too honest and far too familiar to say to someone I’ve never met, someone who I’ve only read a few articles from. So…I’m going to put it here and hope that when and if they see it, they know I’m talking to them.

I’m talking to you, too.

Also also? I’m feeling super emo, so…please forgive. It happens sometimes.

What is it about love?

From the time we’re kids, we’re taught that love conquers all, that nothing can stand in the way of true love, that love is the strongest force in the world. And not just romantic love — platonic love, too, is strong enough to change the course of a life. We’re given the message that love can bring back the dead or save someone from illness — that the sheer force of the prince’s love can save Sleeping Beauty or Snow White, that Elliot’s love saves E.T. Even in my own life, I’ve held a pet who’s passed or sat at the bedside of a dying loved one and thought, “This can’t be happening…I love them too much.”

And yet, while it is glaringly apparent, somehow, that love is the single most powerful force in existence, so many of us grow up believing that we are inherently unworthy of it.

And so to you, unnamed writer, and you, dear reader, I ask this: How can this be? What terrible sin have you committed that you are undeserving of love? What unforgivable trait do you possess that makes you unfit for such attention? Because you are flawed? Scared, scarred, tormented by demons outside and in? May I tell you a secret? We all are. Every one of us. No matter how well we hide it, no matter how perfect our skin, we all carry scars. No matter how strong our voices, our knees still tremble when called on to speak. If you, with the strength and courage of your words and your survival, are not worthy of the deepest and most profound kinds of love, I’m afraid that none of us are.

If love is, indeed, the strongest force in the world, it can certainly transcend the sins and follies of us mere mortals — even yours.

I would put a challenge to us all, to accept the love that is given us with the knowledge that we deserve every moment of it. That if we find ourselves without love, it is perfectly acceptable to seek it. And that if we find ourselves giving love, that we give it freely.

“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.”