By Tammy Takahashi
I love you.
I can tell you this, and you might take it in as you would a warm breeze or a gentle hug by a loved one, or you may scoff, because I don’t know you, so how could I possibly love you?
I love you. I love all the quirks I know you have, all of the beautiful things you have ever said and done, and I even love the mistakes you know you have made, and must dwell on with regret from time to time.
I love your laugh, because I know it is like no other laugh. I love how all of our laughs together must sound something like all the bells in the world ringing, like the most sacred and healing universal sound.
I love how human you are. I am too. I set the best of intentions and then I falter.
When I think about the ways in which I falter, so much of the time, I take comfort in remembering that I am a part of a beautiful web of humanity, a web that you are also a part of.
In this web, we are so closely connected that I know that at times you are feeling many of the same things I am: fear, doubt, anger, confusion, self-flagellation, animosity, impotence, terror.
I know you are suffering, like I am.
You at times feel you are in a void that separates you from everyone else, so that you feel alone, maybe misunderstood, maybe isolated. You at times feel that you don’t know how to climb that impenetrable divide between you, with all these conflicting and overwhelming feelings, and the world full of everyone else.
I ask you to remember the web. You are an intrinsic part of the web of our humanity. Picture an actual web—a spider web, a fishing net, the tissues of your own body. If you pull on any one part of it, the whole structure moves, is affected, changes.
We all move together. The tide’s ebbs and flows affect all of us. You are not alone and it’s impossible that you could ever be alone. Yet your feelings are real, and they matter, and I feel them deeply. Interestingly, in understanding your feelings from my own personal experience, I see more clearly how we cannot ever be alone, because the human experience is so much bigger than the world of one human life.
At the very heart of things, there is no divide.
There are only the feelings that we are isolated and these create a barrier that can, with conscious effort, be overcome.
Remember, too, that there is not only fear, and anger, and confusion, and suffering. There is also joy, happiness, hope, excitement, inspiration, gratitude. These are your birthright and part of your fabric as much as the rest. Revel in them. Allow them to grow, and they will.
And, in between and underneath and up on top of and surrounding the entire universe of feelings that you experience, just like I experience, there is this: love.
Love does not discriminate or judge. It does not ask you to feel one thing instead of another thing. It does not tell you how you should be or berate you for who you have been or plan to be.
Love just is. Love flows through the web uniting us and love also is the verb web itself, and it weaves through the ocean of our humanity.
Love is the gift we can open our eyes to each morning, whether we are feeling as happy as the sun or as blue-gray as a cloud that will be come a thunderstorm. That love belongs to you, and to me, and to everyone and all beings that have ever walked this Earth.
If you are feeling alone, or unworthy, or unable to do any of the things you’ve set out to do, love still loves you. Try to tap into that love, to reach out and feel for the same feelings echoed all over the world in the others who are struggling. Try too, to tap into the brilliance and shine and strength of a world that, quite literally, has your back and holds you in your experiences then and now.
It is all love, love. And I’m so grateful for the love that you put into the world each moment, that finds its way to me. And that is always there within you, and for you.
I love you.
Editor: Dana Gornall
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