Love Will Find A Way

On September 11th, 2001 I was leaving golf and heading towards my accounting class in my senior year of high school.

The hallways were loud with silence as people were rushing to class and whispering frantically to one another.

I did not know yet.

I shrugged off the awkward behaviors as the weirdness that is adolescence.

When I got to my second period, my friend Curtis came up to me and asked if I had heard about the plane hitting the World Trade Center in New York. I shrugged my shoulders and said no, ever so nonchalantly.

This may sound crude, but I was a teenager, sure that horrible things happened all over the world daily, and thought to pay it no mind.

Until I sat down and unpacked my bookbag, slowly looking around and noticed that people seemed withdrawn and preoccupied. I turned my head to where the majority of my class was staring at the television, just in time to see the second plane crash into the second tower.

A most unsettling feeling slowly spread through my body as I became intently engrossed in the horror unfolding on the little television in the classroom. Sharing this intimate moment with these twenty strangers, it was terrifying and awkward.

The only thing I could think of was that I was such a bitch to my mom last night.

I did not even tell her I loved her when I left for school.

What we fought about I do not remember, what I do remember was that it was a nasty fight over something irrelevant. My mom tried to hug me and tell me she loved me and I refused to acknowledge her and refused to say it back.

That was the first time in my life I did not say I love you to my mother.

We have a habit of always saying 'I love you' when getting off the phone, when leaving the house, it is our good morning, our good night.

Our lives have shown us, too many times, that life is unpredictable, rude, and often times too short. We say 'I love you' when we can, every time we can, not only so the other person knows, but so we can free ourselves and never have the burden of unsaid words living in our souls.

That night before, I refused to acknowledge everything life had taught me about it being precious and fragile, and here I was being confronted with the fraility of it all with a horrible tragedy happenening in our own country.

As the mayhem and confusion escalated on screen, my teacher who had been watching this with us walked up to the television and turned it off. Visibly shaken, she announced our principal did not want us watching the news and we were not to leave.

Sometimes, when trying to avoid panic and anxiety the people in our lives create the most anxiety and panic.

This was before everyone carried cell phones. When we wanted to call our parents we had to go down to the office and ask permission and prove a legitimate reason why.

No one liked the feeling of not knowing what was going on in the world. Some teachers kept the television on,all the teachers I had that day, did not. I suppose I got the rule followers.

When I ambled out of my second period heading towards third, I walked by the office only to see hoards of kids in there waiting to use the phone.

The rest of that day is remembered in a blur.

Right after school I had work. I headed to the Greek restaurant I worked at, to I spent the majority of my shift talking with the few regulars who came in about the acts of violence witnesed on our soil.

The shift dragged on, all I could think of was getting home to my mom, to apologize for being rude, for being a jerk, for not saying I love you.

Finally, when I got out of work that day, I went home, as quick as legally possible, and sought out my mother which was not hard to do as she was waiting for me on the doorstep.

I could tell that she had been crying, the world of guilt on her shoulders for playing the part in our tiff.

At the same time we collapsed in a tight hug and many times professed our love for each other and how we would never speak that rude to each other again.

Friends sometimes mock me for always saying 'I love you'. I think they think it might be out of habit, or rote memorization.

That is not the case though.

I find myself choosing to say 'I love you' to my family and friends.

Not out of habit, out of dedication.

Choosing to love someone is not easy it is dedication, it is sacrifice, it is choosing to see beauty over the ugliness in life.

It is accepting flaws, character defects, mistakes and wrong doings and telling that person that they are worth more than some little trouble they may bring, they are worthy of love and being loved.

When I hear someone profess their love to a spouse, family member or friend, I cannot help but be instanteously awed.

When I hear someone I do not know well or particulary like profess love for a spouse, family member or friend, it causes me pause.

I take a moment to reflect.

So many times we rush through life certain the whole point is to get to the next level, nicer car, bigger house, more children, career advancement that we forget that the one of the most rewarding moments we can get out life is to witness someone else baring a part of their soul.

Too many times we board up our feelings, we shelter them, and put on a facade for the people around us. We find them too burdensome if they are dark feelings, we find them too silly if they are happy feelings, we find them too tiring if they are sad feelings, so too many of us learn to downsize our feelings.

We compress and supress them until they fit into a small box that we wrap up with a pretty shiny bow and hide it away in the depths of our souls.

Once in a while, the discomfort from the too-full, bulging box will get to us, and our captive emotions will force the lid off and break free causing a momentarily lapse of judgement of sharing our feelings, our real,raw, honest feelings with those around us.

Then we do the worst thing.

Well, the second worst thing, as the first to hide them in the first place.

We apologize for them.

We wrangle them back in, fighting with them, demanding that they go back to the dark prison we created for them which is one the cruelest things we can do.

When we see that unexpected emotion, that declaration of annoyance, of love, of anger we should stop and appreciate it.

This breakthrough of emotion, no matter what kind, is a chink in their chainmail and no matter how small it is, can unravel the armor, the fortress around the dark cage where we hide those emotions. When we see these emotions come to light we should celebrate choosing to see the rebirthing of this person in a beautiful light of naked humanness.

Especially love.

Love is too sought after, too feared to admit, too fleeting, too strong, too scary, too confusing, too scarce, that when it is proclaimed we should celebrate it.

Too many times in our lives, we make concessions for the wrong way people treat us.

When people make it a point to show us they love us, to tell us they love us, and to faithfully act in their love, we should accept it and embrace it.

Not simply brush it off, not shy away from it or hide from it wondering what is wrong with them to love us, finding ourselves unworthy of love as many of us do, that just in turns causes them to want to lock those feelings back up in that dark box.

I have no fear of saying 'I love you' to those who make my life worth living, which is a lot of people.

It is a sign of affection, I have no fear for others to hear, it is not embarassing for me to show a little of my soul, it is a bit of myself I dare to give away.

I know love is not always just saying I love you.

It is actions proving those words true. It is stepping outside the comfort zone. It is daring yourself to be open in ways you never thought you could.

But declaring love, admitting love, embracing love, is the first step to showing it.

Love finds a way.

Not in the cheesey Hallmark movie sense, but love truly does find a way to penetrate our hearts whether we like to acknowledge it or not.

Love finds a way to create trust between people who were once strangers. Love creates bridges. Love can create chaos. It can cause pain. It can cause regret by choosing to keep silent.

But love, or the absence of it in your life, will always find a way of making itself known.

Choose to embrace those who love you, dare to share your love with those around you, accept the power that is not giving any care or concern to what people think of you.

Be brave and love deeply.

And accept it.

Accept the love that is in this world.

Do not shy away from, do not think yourself unworthy, do not find it silly or not worth your time.

Embrace it and those who are brave enough to show you their love.

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