What separates us as individuals is that feeling of being understood, or more importantly misunderstood. We attempt to share the deepest parts of our being with those we grow to be trustworthy of that piece of our inner picture. Often that gets distorted by the fear of being judged, or the fear of being rejected by someone we want to accept everything about us. Withholding aspects we are aware of can create resentment if later discovered, or permission to assume notions not acceptable by us from them. Connection at a deep level is a complex fucking deal. Comfort, which is what all of us seek, can ebb and flow with minuscule aspects of each individual involved in the connection. Discomfort disguised as confusion opens us up for derivatives of imaginary assumptions. What you say versus what you mean to express your feelings can twist into an emotional cyclone of hidden agendas and misrepresentation. Love is the mechanism we utilize to mash all of this posturing, impressing, and sometimes manipulating of those we jam together with. Love is the word we have crafted to define what overwhelms our rational capacity and races through our being as though no other sensation matters. Love is also the description of our thoughts racing around our minds leaving little to no room for any other deliberation of anything else. Seeing ourselves in the eyes of others and them being so intent of knowing as much about us as there is to tell. Understood. It’s the most magical aspect of being alive, it’s been written about by great thinkers, dreamers, and visionaries for as long as we’ve been able to describe it’s impact on our beings. I’m not going to offer some incredible heartfelt insight that’s not already been identified, but rather my personal experience of what it has etched upon my life.

I believe we feel love and it’s comfort long before we can make sense of it’s complexity. My grandmother’s offered me the kind of warmth and comfort I relate to even today. They were a huge part of my early childhood, and lived well into my adult life. I can honestly say there was never a moment in my life while they were alive that I didn’t feel the peace and comfort of their love. That sense of belonging anchored my heart to a notion of love that wasn’t as present from my parents. They loved me, but expected an emotional toughness from me. Theirs was never what felt like an intimate relationship in the way I view such connections today. That framing for adolescence created a conflict for the wanting to feel what I knew was a part of this aspect of one’s life, and the disconnect of the way to go about it. Seeing girls suddenly as different from your sister and mom, and feeling the merger of new sensations along with this known comfort of loving others was exhilarating and scary all at the same time. Not having the type of relationship with your parents that opened up confiding in them your deepest feelings about this confusion, you turn to your friends for support. It probably happens more often than not, boys conjuring up their notion of love by peer committee, but it has some serious flaws within its long term effects. Being the man your father represents, while being cool like all the popular guys around you is a bit like a dog toy being tugged over by a couple of playful hounds. That is if your father resists being seen as sensitive, and fails to communicate the context of his manhood, because his father failed to do so, as did the father before him, and so on. Generational biases stretch long and wide across ones adult reality as well. What’s lacking from childhood circles back to adulthood for its examination and clarification, yet it’s not recognized for such and is often shameful and hidden from our carried facade for who we posture ourselves to be.

Love seems abundant in the lives lives around us, yet hidden and absent at the same time. Love variegates itself to adjust for different contexts in wide ranging aspects of our lives. Confusing, indeed as there are times where the lines blur and the context distorted causing sensations of loneliness and despair as well as unfounded splendor and elation. Fully explaining yourself to another and overcoming the fear of judgement and rejection is arguably the biggest personal challenge of a lifetime. Seeking that incredible comfort is the driving force within all sentient hearts and minds. Arguably the essence of being alive within oneself and not feeling alone trapped inside your insecurities. Love raises us to heights like no other sensation, yet destroys the confidence it takes to overcome its rejection. What a deal huh, feeling as though your heart is as important to someone else as it feels to you, or that it never will. Now imagine that dilemma before you even understand what it means. What if your only examples were distorted from their dysfunctional nature, and you couldn’t piece together the tattered fringes of how that is how love truly works, because the people you idolize haven’t figured out to show you its meaning. Then one of your parents informs you their participation in the facade that’s brought you into life, and to the precipice of understanding is now over. You are the man of the house without any foundation in the truth of what that entails. You want so desperately to know intimate love with another, but all you have experienced is it’s failures. There in that moment you dispelled the dream of belonging for the cynical purposes of just desire. Heartbreak is inevitable because you don’t realize what supports love, nor how messy it has to be to survive. All you know are your feelings and true empathy is always a reflection of your pain and suffering, not acceptance of others in their terms. How can you possibly know it takes forty years to recover what’s lost in the summer of the only adolescence you will ever know.

“Denial is a wonderful place to be…” That’s what we used to laugh about when we dreamed about a future that we both knew had an expiration date. You were terminally ill, and I was your support system for whatever that journey would be. The doctors spoke absent of terminal endpoints, and smiled of hope with their wordy diagnosis and prognosis. Looking back, I realize now that’s just the story of the human emotional defense mechanism at its finest. Spurn me and destroy my heart, fuck that, I’ll never allow another to walk that path again. I’ve seen trust in others destroyed in similar fashion countless times in my life. The weight of the facade is almost unbearable, but pales in comparison to the agony of giving yourself to trust and watching it shattered before your very eyes. We justify our feelings denied rather than face their possible rejection. Don’t give, don’t get, don’t hurt unexpectedly, just suffer the loneliness quietly. If you really believe you don’t need the comfort of emotional human connection, well, you’re a fucking liar to yourself. Your awkwardness is obvious to the objective observer, and poisonous to those standing behind you. That behavior makes you less evolved and senates you from the tendencies of your biological order. This is especially true for females, given the predisposition to bearing children. No, that’s not sexist, just a statement based in evolution. How do you think we got here?

The cure doesn’t exist on the shelf of some store, nor on the set of some show, or behind an ad banner on a website. Self help books are the profit centers for people you will never know. Spiritual guidance will just condemn desire without resolving its dilemma. Being grateful for the pain in your life feels stupid, but is not entirely counterintuitive in that, it separates your pain from the notion of punishment. You are an active participant in some of the outcomes besieging you, but misfortune is too. Sometimes luck and intention go hand in hand, or in opposing directions. Measuring what’s critical, vital, and insignificant in every moment gives clarity to the entanglement of when and where your emotional contributions are valid and unnecessary. Smearing your emotional capital across each and every experience is exhausting as well as futile. Talking to those who you deem important to you about the covenants of love and connection enhances their ties within their hearts. Dispelling frustration, anger, and the subsequent hatred from your heart frees the spaces necessary for the comfort you seek. Forgiveness is important, but only because it’s an afterthought from all that frustration that’s built up inside. People fuck things up all the goddamned time, so believing they somehow won’t is insanity. Realizing it wasn’t a destructive conspiracy to tear you apart, but their own struggles to overcome their humanity is enlightenment. Allow yourself to represent all that’s inside of you, while being open to criticism without feeling judged, and know life hurts occasionally, but love soothes all its abrasions.