What It Means to Love (an excerpt from Found because I still cannot express what I feel)
I was supposed to write about the pains and joys of unrequited love, about what it means to hurt and still want the best for the one who hurt you, of giving up on love altogether, about moving on for the nth time, but I find myself still unable to fully express and verbalize what all of these things mean to me.
And so, i will just leave you with an excerpt from one of my favorite books written by one of my favorite people.
What It Means to Love
(from Found: Letters on Love, Life, and God by Isa Garcia)
To the girl holding her fingers tightly shut,
The word “belong” finds its roots in the Old English word, “langian,” which means, “to pertain to, to go along with.” While I’ve always loved the word “belong,” I think I’ve been using it wrong for years. Somewhere along the way, “belong” has made its bed with the idea of ownership and property. To belong is to say “Mine.” So when I’d talk about belonging to people, my default mode would be that of self-entitlement. Mine, mine, mine!
But to go along with someone looks vastly different from ownership. “To go along with” means to walk beside them. It does not mean to entwine. It means to leave enough space for them to walk away if they have to, or want to, or have no other choice but to. To go along with someone means to choose to be with them, while harboring the knowledge that roads diverge and seasons change and that the story won’t look the same forever.
Ownership ties a person too tightly to you. But to go along with someone is to celebrate what we have with the people we love. Going along with someone is to know that to share love — no matter how brief or how long the moment — is always a privilege. The space we get to love somebody is always just enough.
To “belong” is to say “I want to walk with you for as long as I can” and to savor everything, even the unspectacular moments, because people can never be owned. They can only ever be loved.
With love, The girl who has learned to hold loosely