To me, Love was the equivalent of a ten year old kid being given a Harley Davidson for Christmas; no matter how much I thought I wanted it, when it came, I was unprepared and incapable of handling it’s power. I’ve always wanted love. However, I’m terrified of it. My first experience with love came in September of 1975. I was four years old, and her name was Racquel. Everything about her was beautiful. Her hair seemed to move with the wind, and she smiled as though she was privileged to a secret I didn’t know. She was more beautiful than anything I had ever seen, and she made me feel “funny.” When I speak of funny, I’m not speaking of teenage boys looking at hot teachers funny, I’m speaking of experiencing an emotion you’ve never felt funny. To this day, Racquel is the birth of what I came to know as Love. She was the most beautiful human being I had ever seen. Her eyes held the hopes that I seemed to have lost through the horrors of my childhood, and her smile gave me something to aspire to. Throughout elementary, middle, and high school, she was there. I don’t remember most of my teachers, but I remember everything about her. When I graduated from high school, I went out into the world with hope. As I grew into a man, those hopes quickly grew into malleable nightmares. I broke every heart that seemed to desire me. I had no idea how to love.
Today, this is how I feel. I don’t seek perfect love because I’m not perfect. Don’t ever lie to someone that you really love because it denies them of two things; their options, and more importantly, the opportunity to really know you. Be willing to be still in the face of things that bring them joy, and be willing to move forward in faith when they can see things that you can’t. If your lover hurts you a thousand times, forgive them a thousand times. Contrary to popular belief, you do deserve better, but better is hard to find. Dance with your lover. Cook and eat with your lover. Skip work to make love, sleep, make love, eat, make love, drink, make love, and begin tomorrow with your lover. Hold your lover closely when they’re afraid, hurting, or unsure. Do absolutely nothing and everything with your lover. If you have love, you’re rich, for there is nothing more valuable than love. I’m learning to love, but it’s come at a great price. Before I was able to truly love anyone, I’ve recently learned how to love, well, me….If I’ve ever hurt you, please know that I was hurting. Hurt people hurt people. I’m whole now, so that hole in my heart is finally being filled. Stay tuned, for this broken man might just finally get it right.