I’m thinking about love today. I am always thinking about love. But, what do I know about it really? Not a lot. I know I know more than I used to. But only because I’ve been forced to take a different view after a relentless onslaught of heart breaks and disappointments. Maybe I’m too sensitive? But I never knew it was so difficult for men and women to be human to (or with?) each other. I wonder… does a different view on love really equate to knowing more? There are so many different forms and levels of love. Although, some might try and convince you that there is only one true love…(I LOVE the idea of that) … but I haven’t achieved that level of love yet. I am afraid I can only love as a flawed being. One who has favourite loves, whom I will never forget. And tainted loves that I may never forgive. People I once loved who barely get a fleeting thought (love that fades). And people that I love so deeply that part of me will ache every moment I am away from them (love that endures). If you love someone, set them free… a lesson I’ve learned the hard way. Although, I’m not entirely sure there is an easy way to learn that lesson. I’ve learned to be OK with it. Or rather, I know that I have to be OK with it. Because not being OK with it is fucking torture. But the pain of losing loved ones has never sat well with me. I remember laying in bed when I was little, having haunting thoughts about my parents’ inevitable death. I couldn’t bare it. If any of us had to die, I hoped that we would all die together. So that none of us would have to experience such insurmountable grief. Then I’d feel guilty for ‘planning’ my family’s death. As if just thinking about it would somehow make it happen. As if I were jinxing them. So then I’d wish (beg in fact!) that I would die first. Before everyone. So that I would never have to lose anyone I loved. No wonder sleep escaped me for so long. Then I would change my mind… Maybe it would be better if we just never grew any older? None of us. I could have happily stayed a kid forever. We could be frozen in time, and never age. I would have sacrificed growing up to savour that innocent, dependant, unconditional, honest love. Nothing else really mattered to me. No one else really mattered. Only the people I loved. Of course I knew that we would keep on growing. That there was no escaping that. And of course there was a massive part of me that wanted to grow up. To experience romantic love. To travel. Adventure. LIVE. As the growing ‘happened’ to us. Little by little. Day by day. Moment by moment. We changed. Our love for each other changed. My love learned to be independent and hidden and protective. I realized that I could head out into the world and that love would still remain – but it had to evolve from the kind of love that it once was. It had to change in order for us to move on and still be OK. My self love learned to accept separation, but also to also crave it. So much so, I moved to the other side of the world. I craved the stimulation of new people and new experiences. So that me and my love could grow and become whole. Because I LOVED the world and wanted to see and experience it. I wanted to take my heart to places longed to visit. I know there is so much left to learn. I know I still know nothing about love – let alone anything else. But I do know this for sure. Love endures time and separation. True love lives on. It never dies. After five days, five months, five years or fifty… it’s depths do not become shallow. I know that letting someone go, doesn’t mean that you stop loving them. I know that I can put a lid on my love for someone and the moment I take the lid off it will be as strong as it ever was. Maybe even stronger. I know that if you hold on too tight, if you struggle, if you begin to forget who you are, that love becomes something else. True love is free. It can’t be restrained and restricted. It must be free to be what it is. It could be gentle and kind. It could be harsh and hurtful. But it always needs to be free… to love.