“If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold on to. If you are not afraid of dying, there is nothing you cannot achieve.”
― Lao Tzu,
One thing I’ve learned very recently, of all things that have come and gone in my experience, is that love is a flow of the purest and most ethereal energy ever sought to be known. It is often misunderstood, and even more often passed by without a glance.
It is a mystery, but one with a footprint that can be followed. It does not sit in one place, and it does not move at one pace. It is of a river’s movement, with ebb and flow, falls and rocky places, quiet alcoves and calm pools.
Sometimes it seems stagnant, without motion, but it is always flowing, forever moving onward to the sea.
I’ve come to realize over the years, through relationships both romantic and platonic that many people look at love subjectively, or more often they acquaint it with an object. It is the focus placed on a person, or a place or a thing. But this is not love. You simply “love” the way the object makes YOU feel.
This is not love. This is attachment.
In fact, I believe, once you identify love with an object you have already lost it. Because you are then attached to it, and it begins to drain you of your energy because you cannot control it. You give the object all of your power, and your flame grows dim without your ever knowing.
This attachment only reduces our awareness and adaptability to constant change. And love is change. It is all that is, a constant flow.
And we must let it be.
But we can be present in love without attachment, without objects or structure, because true love doesn’t care about structure. What is of no structure does not beg for walls to be built. It cares not for rules, or ideas of perfection, or plans for the future.
It cares only for presence.
We must be present with love and allow it to come and go, to recede into the far reaches of the world and then to roll back in, filling our hearts. This is the freedom we are given at birth, and the freedom that we must also give.
We cannot nail it down, control it or tuck it into our pocket and take it with us. We cannot corral it, or store it for another day or hang it on a wall to be looked at and admired.
It must be free. It must always be able to fly, and then return home.
I’ve realized within recent months that love is so completely natural, so untamed and feral, that it is an impossibility to name it, call it or hold it.
But it can be known and felt every second of every day.
It can be the fleeting thought that makes you smile, especially when you don’t know why. It’s the sense of peace that the morning breeze might bring, or the comfort that comes from visiting home.
It may be the glimmer of a pursed cheek from laughter, or the innocent smile in a child’s eyes. Maybe it’s a familiar embrace, or the warmth of our partner’s heart placed close to our own. Or maybe, it’s simply the thought of someone smiling whom you care deeply for. And maybe they’re smiling because you sent them flowers.
These are all simple things that only last but a moment. And this is where the truth lives.
Love is simple. Love moves in the moment, and leaves that moment behind.
Love is about finding the movement in still waters.
And yes, this flow is always there, ready to be felt. But we must realize that the feeling one moment will never be the same as the next. Just as the feelings of our memories will never be the same as how we feel in the present, even though we may wish it to be so.
So we must love without attachment if we are to love truthfully. If we do not allow space, if we are always trying to capture something, we will never truly love at all.
Enjoy the moment. Speak your sweet nothings and chase your what-if’s. But enjoy being present in love and then let love be. Let it come and let it go.
And in turn, find joy and give it to the world.
Set love free, and you will find love always.