Friday, July 9, 2010


Sometimes, I forget to jump out of the box.  For someone known for being able to see all sides of a situation, I often find myself staring down a soda straw and I need a reminder to broaden my view.  My reminder was seeing a friend who had been through a very similar series of events as myself, but they took the experience and used it as an excuse to harden their heart to the point where they won't let anyone in.

We've talked about this before, how the future should never pay for the sins of the past.  I guess I have been concentrating so hard on getting myself straightened out and on a positive path for the future, I have neglected to really look in depth at the other roads I could have taken.  Everyone around me stresses the need for a positive outlook, but I've got one friend who loves nothing more to provide positive influence, but when it gets down to the nitty-gritty, it's fine for everyone else to fall in love and be happy except them.  It's kind of hypocritical to spout a positive message then turn around and not allow themselves to be loved.  I've watched them time and time again as they dodge the hard questions, they avoid any sort of conversation about the possibility of someone loving them for who they are.  They say they don't care about those things and they're not interested in being loved, but I call bullshit on that.  I think they put up an elaborate front because they've been so hurt in the past that they don't ever want to risk being hurt again.  They've run out of trust.  More than that, I think they've run out of hope, or worse, they don't love themselves enough to let other people love them.

To think about someone living for years with the idea that love will never come again for them I think is a form of self-cruelty.  Losing hope is a self-inflicted wound that is very easily avoided damage.  Now and again I'm even brought low and consumed with the thought of being alone for the rest of my life, but usually I'm too much of an optimist to really believe it, because that's not what I really want.  I keep sticking with the very romantic hope that love will come again for me, all I have to do is be patient and not look for it.  I'm thoroughly convinced that everyone deserves to be loved, all it takes the right combination of two people to make it work right.  The chemical equation to get love just right, even I'm still looking for, but it doesn't mean it isn't attainable.

One of my friends has made it their mission to become a proverbial porcupine.  Even when love is heaped on them, they find and excuse to dismiss it or hurt the people around them so that they eliminate the possibility that they could be loved.  That's really what I don't understand.  They're purposefully hurting themselves and the people who love them so that no one else will be able to crush their fragile heart again.  I can understand protecting yourself, hey, I'm all about that, but to make sure to destroy any chance to fall in love again or worse yet, to take what love they're given and slight it?  That's just being horrible.

A lot of times, I'd really love to kick my friend's ass in and say "HEY!  Everyone deserves love, even you, so why don't you take those porcupine quills and shove them where the sun doesn't shine!"  It hurts me to no end to see them cut themselves off when really their experiences have been no different from yours or mine. 

We've all been hurt.  We've all walked the road after our hearts get stomped into oblivion. But there is a very large difference between someone who picks themselves up, dusts themselves off and keeps walking versus someone who covers themselves in quills and hardens their heart to the point it has calluses.  What's the point of still lying in the mire when you can easily stand up and keep going?  Yes, getting your heart broken hurts.  It hurts in ways that make you want to stay in bed and never get out of it again.  Hell, I've been there.  I've got the t-shirt that says, "I got shit on by my ex" but it doesn't mean I have to keep wearing it.  

I'm convinced that life is far too short to deny yourself the one thing that costs nothing, yet is so priceless.  It costs nothing to show love.  It really doesn't.  Ok, you could argue with me that it does cost a lot to show love because it's putting a piece of yourself out there that is very fragile and can damage you if rejected.  Ok, I'll go that one with you, but think about it like this.  Life is about risk.  We risk things every day.  We take a risk walking down a flight of stairs or getting into the car to drive to work or school or even around the block.  Each of the things we do every single day that could cause some sort of bodily harm is a calculated risk.  It's taking a swim, chopping up ingredients to a recipe you're cooking, even down to putting your feet on the floor when you get out of bed...doesn't matter really, you just have to realize that you have to be careful, but not neurotic.  What are you going to do?  Never get out of bed again because you could get hurt if you go outside?  Come on.  Your heart is no different.  It's all about calculated risks.

What someone does with the love you give them is on them, not you.  If it gets rejected, well, that's the way it goes, but it doesn't mean you run out of it.  It hurts, yes.  But love is like any other sort of energy, when deflected, it just gets redirected to something else.  It never gets lost, it just moves into different things.  So to deny yourself something as beautiful as love, especially when it comes from a pure source, that's an awful high price to pay for a bad experience from your past.  That's asking the people in your present and future, who love you in the now, to pay for the horrible things someone else did, and I'm sorry, but that's just wrong.

To walk around purposefully hurting the people who love you just to protect yourself from something that happened so long ago isn't just being cruel to the people who want to love you, it's just flat out being cruel to yourself, and it isn't necessary.  

Human Porcupines, for all of their self-preservation instincts, end up prickly and alone just for the selfish reason that they're scared and don't want to get hurt.  Everyone gets hurt.  You have to stumble and fall before you can get up and run. 

Even real porcupines find love.  It's like the old joke, "How do porcupines make love? Very carefully."  Being careful is one thing, but to give yourself emotional paralysis because you're that scared? Yeah, you can be afraid, but sometimes, you just have to have hope that everything will turn out ok.  If it doesn't, well, you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep moving forward. 

It's the simple question..."Hey Porcupine!  Everyone else is building a bridge and getting over it, why aren't you?"

Allow yourself to be loved.  It's the ultimate gift, don't turn it away.

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