I'm pretty sure everyone goes through "anti-love" times in life. Those periods when everywhere you look, there seems to be gleeful, lusty-eyed couples, embracing and basking in the golden glowing light that only L-O-V-E can produce ... and it makes you cringe. All of a sudden, even your favorite hip-hop station seems to be on a LoVe song kick ... JT brought sexy back, then fell in Summer LOVE and Drake's singing about finding "the one." Awesome.
You are not in love and want to forget the whole fairytale concept that's been drilled into us from childhood. You're bitter. A brutal divorce, death of a loved one, terminal illness, a breakup that's left your heart shattered but still beating ... all these things can make us want to JUST SAY NO TO LOVE. I can't say that I've been a huge fan of the emotionally charged four letter word lately, but, I have tried to remember that like all things, love comes and it goes. It changes, grows, shifts, and moves spontaneously through our lives. I'm learning this. I'm learning love can't flourish in controlling situations and love doesn't mean "He'll change for me and I for him." Real love comes naturally, without ultimatums, excuses, and selfishness. I'm learning.
My childhood friend Galen got married to the fabulous Shayla in Tahoe a few weeks ago. When your weddings been called off, going to another wedding is not high on your "to-do" list ... but I love Galen like a brother and could not miss this celebration o' love. After the ceremony, instead of feeling sad and heart-wrecked, I felt inspired and grateful to have witnessed a marriage that happened for all the right reasons. Galen and Shayla have gracefully mastered the art of love. They are two very different people, but I could tell neither one wanted to change the other and that, I now know, is one of the main ingredients in a never ending love story. These two got married for the only reason anyone should: They learned they wanted to live together forever, in friendship, love, and everyday life.
Today, it's more common for people to marry for every wrong reason that exists. See sad but true list below:
#1 - Because it's time. The girl is about to turn 30 or the couple has been together for about 5 years and is living together so ... why the hell not riiiight? WRONG.
#2 - Because they feel they should. This is about pleasing family, pleasing friends, pleasing the status quo in our Western world. Don't get married to please anyone but you and your love.
#3 - Because you're scared to be alone. This reason makes people settle. Settling sucks! Don't, don't do it. Wait for who you REALLY want.
#4 - Because we're SO in love. Wait what? Shouldn't this be the ONLY reason to get married? Nope. Sorry. Marriage is a complex animal. Yes, you must have LOVE for the person, but there has to be some common ideas about life as well. Also, you need to be enlightened enough to grasp what love is and isn't about. You must really LIKE the person, because when the glow wears off, which it will, you want to be left with your best friend who you think is quite attractive. People who are crazy in the throws of Serotonin driven la-la-love, often forget to look down the long road ahead. This mistake can be disastrous. If you want to travel the world and he hates leaving the state, but the sex is amazing and you REALLY love him ... don't do it. If he loves small town life and you're a CITY GIRL, but you love each other, still no. Bummer huh? Ok, now for the Karmalized, uplifting part of this post ;)
The morning after the wedding, my best friend Tif (she was my date) and I decided to stroll around Tahoe City for a while before driving back to Reno. We walked through a little craft fair where I bought this beautiful print of two dolphins ... I'm rarely moved enough to purchase a piece of art, but this picture touched my currently healing heart. It just happened to be called "The Art of Love." This is the caption by Tim Wistrom on the back:"Every day that he paints, Tim adds more paint and more colors to his palette which will soon create a vision from his imagination, directly on canvas. The dolphin on the canvas has already been created and is awaiting his sweetheart, who is on her way. The leap from the palette to the canvas will bring them together forever."
On our walk back to the car, we pass a trash can and I notice this sticker:
Hmmm ... the universe is not always subtle. A love filled wedding, a heartfelt painting, and just in case I was feeling a little dense, a sign on a garbage can reminding me not to "throw love away." Clearly now is not the time to shun love. That time is never.