We ruin love by trying to hold onto it.
We ruin it by refusing to let it stay free.
Perhaps it happens in a single moment, in fistfuls of angry words on nights that scream in their loudness. Perhaps it happens slowly, quietly, over a longer period of time.
It happens when our fear of losing someone becomes greater than our love for them.
But we can’t hold both fear and love within our hearts at the same time, for they are two different beasts. Neither one is able to breathe within the other’s presence—love, a white wolf, strong and courageous, free and wild, open and accepting; fear, a beast as dark as night, cowering and lowly, with a hunched back and snarling teeth.
Eventually they will ruin each other until nothing is left.
We lose what we cling to, but fear losing it if we don’t. The aspect that we seem to forget is that anything meant for us won’t actually have to be clung to at all. We won’t have to leave claw marks on it if it’s meant to stay and if it’s not then it’s futile to try to make it into something it’s not meant to be.
We ruin love by our fear of losing it.
We can often sense when love isn’t meant to stay. Like a soft drizzle before a storm, we feel inklings that the relationship might be ending, that it’s not being invested in properly, or that the timing is just off. Whatever it is, our souls begin to feel it, and we become anxious about potentially losing what we have.
But are we afraid of losing it because it is in fact great, or merely because we don’t like to lose, to be left, or even to be triggered by our past wounds of abandonment? The issue is that love isn’t a destination, but because we fear the undefinable, we subconsciously limit the type of affection we give and receive.
I read once about how the practice of love is like holding a handful of sand.
If we tighten our fist and squeeze our hand, the sand falls away in the breeze. It escapes the stronger we squeeze it until, eventually, nothing is left.
Yet if we hold our hand open, our palm relaxed, the sand will stay simply because we aren’t grasping at it. We can hold sand in our open hand endlessly, but as soon as we begin to close our fingers—even slowly and delicately—it still begins to escape.
How similar this is to love: the more we tighten our grasp on it, the more likely we are to eventually just be left with nothing.
Not all love is meant to stay, but if it truly is, we won’t ever have to cling to it. We won’t have to sit around begging, or talk our lover into staying, or lie to ourselves, or change who we are to make it work.
Forever love is there no matter what we do.
It’s there on our worst days, when we can barely look ourselves in the mirror, and it’s there on our best, when our hearts are full and our eyes wild. Love doesn’t care about the rules; instead, it’s like the willful vines of wild roses, growing free and in whatever direction they choose, yet strong and radiant in their beauty.
I think if we just understood for a moment that this kind of love puts the rest to shame, we might be more apt to look at our relationships differently, and specifically, the ones we have with the people who hold our hearts.
Things won’t always be perfect. There will be arguments—betrayals even—but real love has a way of coming back again and again in spite of ourselves, our objections, and especially our egos.
It returns not because we hold onto it, but because it’s meant to.
If we approach love as something to practice and enjoy instead of operating under the false belief that there is a specific end result we must achieve, then we can give love a chance to be what it is rather that what we are told it should be.
We ruin it by building dams where it just wants to flow because of fear—fear of losing something, or perhaps fear of gaining everything. Yet I suppose even the latter is a fear of loss, loss of a certain way of life—the normality we are told to strive for in order to live a worthwhile life—that entangles so many of us.
The only guarantee we have about love is that if we let it grow and just be, it will become the greatest gift we can unwrap each and every day, simply because we are letting the love speak for itself rather than trying to control it.
Like the moon that, regardless of whether we can see it or not, is ever-present both in daylight and darkness, love follows us wherever we go.
We don’t need to dig our claws in and cling on for dear life, for love will simply be—all we have to do is let it.
Author: Kate Rose
Editor: Callie Rushton