Us humans seem to have a ‘one or the other’ attitude when it comes to love; we want to love and be loved, or we don’t want love at all. It’s odd, because we can flicker between the two in retaliation to events in our lives; we’re a lightbulb that never stays on. We are the most sociable creatures in existence, but also the loneliest. Without love, our minds remain isolated. Without love, we are raindrops that never meet and letters in the alphabet separated by the space between them – close, but never together. Without love, we are the millions of miles between stars, our brightness shining through but never connecting. Without love, we are the morning mist that blurs our view and the sleepless nights without reasons. But deep down, further than our conscious minds can comprehend, past our prides and the broken glass of our memories, we all need love. That is why we’re scared of it.
Love is the only thing in life capable of bridging true happiness; it nudges you into genuine serenity and offers you the warmth you need through the coldest night storms. It doesn’t choose based on your sexuality, your gender, your ethnicity, your religion, your age, your social class or your geography. It doesn’t discriminate, and it really doesn’t choose. It just happens, it just exists. Always there, always waiting. Love is the comfort of a hug on the darkest days and the smiles of excitement on the brightest. When done right, love is the reason you wake up in the morning and sleep at night, complacent and ignorant to the monotony of the world and happy for the experiences it can bring. It’s the blanketing approach of a summer’s morning, but also the bitter bite of a winter night. That is why we’re scared of it.
Love is the most confusing concept in our life, there one minute and cruelly taken away the next. It is the one emotion, the one state of being, that changes with as much ease as the tides of the ocean. Calmness, emptiness, warmth and panic – a paradox of feelings aimed to both hurt and heal. Love, as easily as it appears and transforms us, disappears and abandons us. That is why we’re scared of it.
Love is the duvet that covers too many Hells. Domestic violence, control, loss, manipulation, one-sided one night stands, false promises and all too many false hopes which all chip away at the diamond we are. Love hides them behind a cracked morning smile, a croaky night voice and puffy eyes with the deepest bags. It hides them behind a three-word quote that we all love to hear but struggle to say. I love you. It hides them behind colder than normal cuddles and secrets that stay untold. It hides them behind locked phones and voicemail messages, behind the smiles at those Facebook messages that they won’t show you, behind the tenth “I’m working overtime” this month. It hides them behind you. Because we’re all victims of love. That is why we’re scared of it.
Don’t get me wrong, love can be the best feeling in the world; it can be the rainbow after a storm, a four-leaf clover flourishing amongst the decayed leaves of autumn and the fresh crunch of snow as you stroll across it. It is the pop of bubble wrap and the smell of bacon in the morning. It is the peeling of a screen protector from a new phone or the smell of a new car, the sight of elderly people smiling and children making new friends. Love will be the reason you smile awkwardly at your phone on the bus, and why your friends and parents will question your constant grinning and upbeat mood in gatherings. Love is often the answer you all the questions life can give, and fill your soul with a world of experience. Love is the greatest concept imaginable, and the largest one at that, and that is why we’re scared of it.
That three-word phrase I mentioned before, “I love you,” is the hardest thing I could find myself to ever say. Not because of commitment issues, and certainly not because I don’t want to love, but because I’m scared. I’m scared of failure, of being not good enough, and I’m scared of not being loved. I’m scared of saying “I love you” and facing the “you’re awesome, but…” scenario. I’m scared of throwing myself into something that only I am in, and I’m scared of being a disappointment. I’m scared of saying “I love you,” because sometimes the world doesn’t love you back. I love to love, but I’m scared to love.