Truth or Dare

Attachment to a particular outcome and fear of abandonment are such huge issues for so many people. This is only natural; we love people with our whole hearts, and we want to know they’re ours to keep. We want to know our children will grow up safe and happy and healthy, and that they’ll still want to hang out with us long after they don’t need us to drive them around, or read to them, or make their lunches for school. We fall in love with someone and want to count on that happy ending. We want things to go the way we want them to go, and we think if we just try hard enough we can bend life to our will, but every day we’re reminded this isn’t true or possible.

When you’re faced with the choice between love and fear, I’d pick love every time, otherwise you’ll never be fully happy in any moment. You might fall in love with someone, and as you’re falling you’ll think, what if they leave? What if this doesn’t work out? What if they see me for who I really am, and decide they aren’t into me after all? So here you are, falling in love, but gripping at the same time. Those are two opposing actions you’re putting yourself through–love opens you, fear closes you. You’re already mourning the loss of something you haven’t even fully experienced yet, and maybe it is yours to keep. Maybe you and your partner will keep choosing each other every day for the rest of your lives. So why muck it up with clinging and insecurity? I mean, we’re all insecure, by our very nature. We have unknown expiration dates, and the ability to love each other. There’s your recipe for inherent vulnerability. Why let that scare you?

If you know you’re going to die, why not let that inspire you to live? To love with your heart wide open? To give every ounce of every single thing you’ve got every day, since you don’t know how many days you’ll get? To make sure the people in your life know how you feel about them. To be of service in any way you can, to up the happiness quotient around you by sharing your particular gifts freely, and with abandon? I don’t see the point of trying to nail everything to the ground. No one wants to live in a prison of ideas. A house of “This Is How Things Should Be.”

Things are as they are. You will have your heart broken, badly, at some point or another, and you will break someone else’s heart, too. Hopefully neither you, nor the other party will do that on purpose. More likely it will happen through confusion, but it could also happen due to immaturity, fear, self-loathing, despair, old wounds, betrayal, or really crappy circumstances. You will also be insanely happy at times. If you’re lucky, you’ll have a few people in your life you can call at any time of day or night, who understand what it means to show up when you’re really hurting. If you find the strength to follow your intuition, you will figure out what lights you up. Since you’ll spend a lot of time working, it’s a huge gift if your work can be that thing that sets you on fire. Then it doesn’t feel like work, it feels like this energy inside you that you want to release. If that thing that fulfills you can also serve other people, then you’re really onto something awesome, because I’m pretty sure the best use of your time, my time, anyone’s time, is to love, to share, to embrace, to uplift, to laugh, to hug, to cry. To have conversations that matter. To listen deeply. To sleep well and deeply is also really really good. Amazing hugs. Kisses that taste like yes. I mean, you have this time, so why not give everything you’ve got?

When you’re in despair, you learn about friendship and loyalty, patience, compassion and understanding. You figure out who those people are who actually care and know how to show it without being asked. When your heart is broken and you don’t know how to keep breathing, some part of you can also rejoice that you’re able to love so deeply. If someone is taken from you too soon, that’s a pain you may carry forever, but you’re also changed by love like that, you get to carry that, too. Also memories. There are certain bonds that cannot be broken by anything.

You will be abandoned, count on that, and things will not go exactly the way you planned. So let’s use that as the starting point. Life is going to bring it all. Embrace your vulnerability so you don’t have to waste too much time or energy clinging and worrying. It won’t change a thing, it will just rob you of peace and joy.

Sending you love,

Ally Hamilton

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