Awkward Love

Several months ago a convergence of events drastically shook my understanding of what it means to live in a world wracked by selfishness and anger. Well really, this shaking began about this time last year when my personal spiritual Mecca kind of…went out of business. I began to wrestle with whether or not I’d fully embraced the ideologies I’d seen lived out in that place. I wanted to incarnate the spirit I found there, to carry that powerful love into my world

Then March and April happened. I attended funerals for two men in my life, and each service overwhelmed me. Priorities came sharply into focus as I listened to what made one man a beacon of acceptance in the world, and saw the impact of that kind of love in the life of the other man who passed away. I’ve become aware of a different way to live, to love. Without ownership or the desire to possess. So fully accepting all that’s broken in myself, all that’s beautiful within myself that I can forget myself. Being completely present with whomever I share space and time.

I want to love that way, to be that person. But then I get cranky. Work saps my energy. More emotionally charged events lead to a depleted well. I make some bad personal decisions and spiral down that familiar tunnel of self-deprecation and shame. My capacity to love shrivels up.

I’ve made attempts. I’m just so new to this. How do I love a lifelong friend without the desire of “possession” when I see that friendship slipping away and the sting of the loss cuts deep? How do I love the faraway friend who seems to be drifting further and further away? Or the person I have grown to admire by reputation, but is new to me and deeply hurting at a loss? Or the struggling mom with three small children to whom I can’t find a way to relate on any level? Or the woman in all my circles I just don’t trust because she seems so…fake?

And how do I love them when I feel so small, so drained, so fragmented? I want to give myself the grace to say that I’m new to this kind of love, this sort of outlook. I need others around me who are better at this to show me the way, to remind me that the work is worth it. I feel like the caterpillar who spun her cocoon with hope for the future and just reached the point in the process of realizing, “Oh shit, I’m about to die!”

So to all of you, or that one guy I know is reading this, if my attempts to love you seem awkward or faltering or haphazard, know that I’m doing my best. And I’ll try to be sure that any awkward love sent my way is received with the same understanding.



  1. reoyon said,

    June 2, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    Truthfully, I have been having the same issues myself. To truly love someone else is to dive headlong into a selfless falling rate of speed. You have to be completely comfortable to love or entirely determined. It often does not come naturally. Especaiily when the tides turn and you must fight to maintain a friendship that just seems to be falling faster and faster downhill. “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” is only a saying and only applies in the rarest of situations. The decision to attempt to dole out love on a personal matter is an astronomical achievement that should not be overlooked, just know that much. Also in the case of the false friend, even if you dislike them it is quoted, “Love thy enemy, and if he should attack. Turn the other cheek.” This is difficult in even the most basic human instinct, but love is kind, difficult, and awkward all at once which is what makes it beautiful. To love is to live. It has been said that when you meet someone the “heart” is formed by the connections that are made. Ideally this entails that a person doesn’t just have one (psychological) heart, forming many throughout their lifetimes. Those are what sustains us as individuals and what makes us live on long after our interations with our friends diminish. I can say that I am proud that you feel this because it is thought provoking and caring.

  2. June 2, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    “If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.”–G.K. Chesterton

    Just start down the path, and don’t give up. The rest will follow.

    • Eric M. said,

      June 3, 2013 at 7:42 am

      Awesome quote Seth.

      Mandy, I know I haven’t known you long- just know that you are one of the most thoughtful and intentional people I know.

  3. curt said,

    June 3, 2013 at 8:21 am

    I will trust the poet to do battle at the core…to put together pieces not remembered anymore…to understand the ocean and crawl upon the shore…I’m an angel, I’m a demon please don’t open up my door.

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