THE CONFESSIONAL

You think you can keep it secret.  You can shove it into the darkest recesses of your mind and pretend you don’t care.  You can feign indifference and try to look away.  Maybe you’ve even tried to force yourself to accept the dreariness of your lot.

But it won’t last.  If you think you can outwit the inevitable, you’re mistaken.  Eventually, you’ll have to own the turmoil that rocks you and realize that it’s only its refusal that troubles you.

So what do you do when the love you’ve sought all your life comes to call?  Throw yourself on its mercy and pray it will overlook your foibles?  Keep it waiting at the door because you’re inconvenienced?   Curse the day you picked up your first romance novel?

The real question here is why do you insist upon playing the innocent?  Are you completely oblivious to the creative role you play in your own life?  It’s a mystery why people are astonished when the thing they most desire arrives on their doorstep.  Perhaps what they truly want is not the outcome itself, but the yearning.

Maybe it’s easier to secretly anticipate failure.  In that way, one isn’t challenged to own personal power or to deal with the gritty reality of sharing intimate space with another person.  My friend Daniel, a glib but oddly reserved man, recently started dating a woman whom he described as ideal.  When I spoke to him last week, he told me that he had abruptly ended their acquaintance because it was too good.  It was only after a stulted conversation that I realized that it was not the lady to whom he objected, but to the tsunami of emotion triggered by her arrival.

We have somehow learned to equate love with the magical elimination of all problems.  And in essence, we are right; love will correct all errors, but that process is never easy.  Love is relentless.  It will shed its harshest light on your sickest secrets and force them into the open, where they may be addressed and neutralized.

You cannot take a seat at the banquet if you are already filled beyond capacity with fear.  Will you let love transform you, taking you far beyond the limitations of your finite mind, or will you settle for the scraps that fall from the grown-ups’ table?

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