There’s this really insane part of us that longs to love so deeply that we don’t care whether or not we receive love in return. It’s a part of us we try to bury for fear of ourselves. The day we are born our instinct is self preservation so this illogical part of us that is so willing to be vulnerable in exchange for nothing is terrifying. We tuck it away in a file cabinet of our brain labeled “Do not open at all costs.”
But it’s there.
And every now and then we remember that we were born selfish but programmed selfless.
Whether it be a pang of loneliness in the night or a relationship gone awry, we are reminded that a part of us wants to trust and give affection so much that we are willing to take the risk of complete rejection.
There are some of us who in a rush of panic or a wave of unconditional love peek into that file cabinet and glance into the forbidden file. Some of us survive, and walk into a healthy relationship. But others of us are destroyed. Having taken the risk on the wrong person, we are pulled into a cycle of pain and betrayal during which we hope against hope that things will change for the better despite being torn down again and again in exchange for our love and compassion.
Those of us who get stuck in that bitter cycle tend to be looked down upon by society, by both the happy couples and those of us who lack the courage to peek.
“How pitiful,” we scoff. “Can’t they see it’s so obviously hopeless? Only a person who lacks self respect would continue to put themselves in that situation.”
Suddenly we’ve forgotten that love is blind and keeps no record of wrongs. Or worse, we never knew.
The people who get stuck in abusive relationships are most often those of us who have gotten in touch with the side of us who seeks to give affection so much that we don’t care whether the subject of our affection is worthy of it or not. That beautiful and twisted side that only sees human beings as creatures worthy of love despite our nasty underbellies. That callused and forgotten side that was simply created to love. Having been disappointed again and again, surely the persistence of this side is not an attempt to receive love, but to give it.
Those broken people should not be spit down upon, but looked up to, for the courage it took to wind their inner workings back to start.
What if all we broken people did the same? We could put away our shame and function in all our wonderful capacity.
Only guilty people scoff at the innocent in hopes the world will forget the shame of their cowardice. They are the ones who were to afraid to brave a glance into the file cabinet. Only guilty people have to run away from themselves in order to avoid running into the arms of another.
All it would take is a little bit of faith on each person’s part to heal the world, but there will always be that one who in fear of betrayal lashes out and continues the horrific cycle of hurting and being hurt. And so, we will always be full of mistrust. Our souls forever lost to the fear of abandonment, even though love is just around the file tab.