7.4
Winner
February 17, 2022

If You’re Grieving a Relationship, Read This.

There are things a person knows without knowing.

Things the heart can know that the mind cannot understand.

Love is one of them. Both when it’s blooming and when the buds curl and wither and fall from the tree. We never know why it comes or from where, nor where it goes when it leaves. Back to some unknowable mystic around or within us.

So we watch from our box seats and marvel at the beauty and destruction love can cause with the slightest flick of its wrist, marveling too at how wrecked we get over something that was perhaps never intended or implied to be permanent.

Maybe love is just like a flower and was never meant to be kept eternally except in its perennial blooming.

But we can’t help ourselves. Attachment is what we do. Fixation on that which lifts us. Obsession with the one who makes us feel a certain way. But it’s not even that they have ever made us feel anything—just that they have finally reconnected us with a piece of ourselves that we either didn’t know needed loving, or that we were too shy to see.

Our best lovers love the parts of us that need it most, and they do it in a way that brings our shiny parts back out into the open. That spark in their eye—it’s only our own greatness reflected back by someone who actually has eyes to see it.

But it’s not all selfish—we do this for our best lovers, too. We shine their greatness back to them in our own mirrored shards of radiance, blessing them with the gift of unencumbered love, which drifts into all the hard-to-reach places and wrests from self-conscious bones the most beautiful of their unknown wild.

And perhaps it’s this reciprocal evocation that lures us in most of all.

This mutual persuasion of each other’s pretty bits and naughty bits and bashful bits to come out of hiding and dance for a while out in the open.

The flowers in the vase will die within a week. The flowers in the garden, within the year. And no amount of toil or soil will stave off their dying. So it’s better, probably, not to worry too much about whether things will remain forever and instead to step bravely into the fray and give our all and know that in the end, our hearts may come out bleeding, sore, exhausted and aching, but they will be so for the love they gave and the new ways they learned to feel.

Growth is scarcely a pleasant thing, and the heart is just another muscle. So when it’s been worked, encouraged, challenged, called upon to do the hard thing, it makes sense that it recovers amidst complaints of discomfort.

But we know there is no other way. And really, like the transient beauty of life’s illustrious stems and petals, love’s impermanence can only be known and appreciated because we, the watchers, are meant to outlast their fleeting grace.

So we forge bravely on, and we step foot upon shore after shore after shore, each time sopping wet and sea-weary but nonetheless upright—and each time looking for our treasure.

~

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