Monday, January 17, 2011


wording is important.

at least, I believe it to be. Anyone who has received an excessively long email from me can attest to that fact. I explain and explain and explain until the message is long enough that I am certain the mere sight of it is daunting to the reader. I do this because I want to be precise, and more importantly, because I want to be understood. I want to convey exactly my thoughts as closely as possible so that people can best understand my heart. what i believe, why i believe it, where i am coming from. what all my theories are based upon.

even simple phrases we use each day imply a certain philosophy or worldview. Recently I have been pondering this one, "fall in love/fall out of love." I am certain I have used this phrase. But i don't believe in it.
I don't believe in the idea behind the wording. to say "i fell in love" implies that it was something i did not intend to do. almost that it was something that just happened to me. as if one day i was walking along and i tripped over one of those breaks in the concrete and love is where i landed. Of course, that is not the case. First of all, I believe that in order to "fall in love", you have to be willing to "fall in love." though i suppose i should say "be in love" rather than fall. Loving someone is not a passive feeling, but rather an action. It is something that takes a great deal of our time and energy and thought and emotion. It is vulnerable and frightening. Before we can be in love, we must be willing to love. and that is not an accidental, serendipitous happening of fate; that is a decision.

i do fully admit that there are some bits about being in love that are beyond our control. Particularly, that bit about who it is we are in love with. We don't seem to have full control over who that is...this is a mystery i will just never understand.

Even more than i disagree with the notion of "falling" in love, it is the notion of "falling" out that i despise. as if love was a place, like a floating island in the clouds, and by taking a wrong step you may just slip off and land right back on earth. We don't fall out of love, we stop loving. And those are very different concepts.

in fact, let us, for just a moment, imagine love to be a floating island in the sky (because really, that is kind of fun). If one is truly in love (on the island) then that is a place they have decided to go, and they don't fall off, they leave. In this scenario to really be in love means that you don't go anywhere that even presents a danger of "falling off" the island. you don't go near the edge, you don't test the boundaries. you don't explore dangerous territory alone. you choose to stay right in the center of the island. even when you tire of the company and even when other places seem to have much greener grass.

We don't fall out of love because love isn't something that happens to us, it is something we do. or don't do.

Sadly, these phrases have become so commonplace. (We have all discussed falling in or out of love. Even as I was writing this it was hard for me to think of other descriptions.) And because These ideas are frequently used, our culture has embraced the implicit philosophy behind them. Particularly the falling out of love side...I have heard many people claim the reason for their separation from their boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife is that they just fell out of love. People are relying on the empty idea of live rather than the alive reality. And that is part of the reason people are so afraid of love. Isn't it terrifying to think that one day someone could wake up and say, "I don't love you anymore" or, for that matter, that you may wake up and look over to the person next to you and think, "I don't love him/her anymore."? of course it is. The idea that we have no control over when love comes or goes would leave anyone hesitant...but it isn't a reality. Even when we don't feel like loving, we can still love. and that is the idea we should be spreading about love.

that is why wording is important.

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