I read recently that my brother, Ben, has resolved to give up on love for 2011. Give up on love. Ok, call me a romantic, a lost cause, or whatever you want to call me, but this seems ludicrous.
Where would we be if Thomas Morley had given up on love? Would, perhaps, his madrigal, "My Bonnie Lass she smileth" be more along the lines of Edgar Allen Poe? My Bonnie Lass she's deadeth, I weep as her corpse decomposes? Glory, I hope not. How drab.
What if Shakespeare had given up on love. Then maybe Romeo and Juliet would have lived and their story would have been one of divorce instead of the heroic death of two star crossed lovers. How mundane.
It seems that giving up on love is wrong. Don't give up on love, maybe instead give up where you have been looking. Johnny Lee realized this when he sang, "Looking for Love." He spent a lifetime, according to him, looking for the elusive love. And he spent a lifetime losing. He realized that he was looking in all the wrong places.
You can't find love at the local bar, your office, or any place that you must go to on a day-to-day basis. No, love just kinda falls in your heart's lap and says, "Hi, here I am." And then, there it is, for all its pain, glory and everything else that it packs along with it.
Love is not something that should be given up on. Instead love should be less of a search and more of a realization.
The saying "You can't help who you fall in love with." Is very true. You never know. You just don't. Otherwise our lives would be methodically dictated to us. What fun would that be.
Giving up on love is giving up on life. It is shutting more than just your heart down. It is saying, "I don't want to live anymore. I just want to exist."
That's no good. No good at all. The end result is often a lonely deathbed and a silent, "Well self I guess this is good-bye."
No one will be there with tear-filed eyes telling you they love, telling you good-bye, saying, "I will see you when my time comes"
Instead a nurse, or someone like it, will come in, shut off the machine, pull a sheet over you and whisk your corpse away to the morgue. How Poe of you.
In order to love though you must find yourself first. You must come to terms with who you are and what you want before love will ever make sense in your life.
Look at me, I am well aware that I am a short, portly fellow with a bit of a gift for word, and sometimes a bit of the depressed. I know that I have dark thoughts, less than stellar ambition, and a desire to change my physical appearance.
I know this. I accept this and I work within these knowings. It's just how it is. Because of this I am able to love, not only myself, but those around me. I can say to my friends, the real ones, not the ones who claim to be a friend and then fail to be there when you need them most, that I love them and genuinely mean it.
I love, I live, and I accept. By giving up, Ben, you do neither. You say you will no longer wear your heart on your sleeve. Perhaps this is a good thing. Keep your heart to yourself. Wait for the moment when you can share it with that one special person. And then open that room that you keep locked up and let them bask in the love that you have to share with them.
Will you get hurt? Yes. Will you make mistakes? Yes. Will your heart get thrown in the cold ocean and washed out in a sea of anguish and despair? Yes, but, it will eventually wash back onto a shore of hope with the belief that it can't be bad all the time.