I reflect your best self.
I deflect the light back at you.
I provide clarity through your perspective.
I am a shell corporation.
I have no dividends.
The most beautiful of the war memorials. Almost 60,000 Australians served in Vietnam. It is architecturally elegant, but most poignant is the inside wall containing quotations by the personnel that served.
I’m writing to you because you confided to me that you felt trapped by a part of your identity. In return, I thought I would write to you about love.
Certainty is a fallacy. To perceive the self as a steadfast, never-changing, solid entity would be to remove all substance and carve it hollow.
I have known you for years. I know you fully and I do not know you at all. I can comprehend you and the faces that you present to me in brief, split-second glimpses of vibrancy and vigour. I have known you as a creature of compassion and fierceness and an enduring kindness.
Show that kindness to yourself and look inward with interest and introspection. Look inward as if you were to breathe in the scent of a sweet, delicate flower. Gently, pry apart the petals and smile at the softness of your underbelly. The pillars of strength that have been your backbone will stand firm while you let yourself sink into this process.
Love yourself. Love every muscle and tendon, every twisted eyelash and split end, the dry elbows and skin inside your cheeks.
Every human is a compartment of parts. We dissect ourselves per constructs like gender, race and sexuality. We divide each other and we divide ourselves.
The puzzle of you, the make-up of your being is not something that needs to be determined or pre-determined. There is no label or appellation that can enshrine your self if your heart is unwilling to accept it.
The you that will hold your sobbing friend, the you that will sit behind the wheel of your car and drive between the lines, the you that will think and feel and hurt and rejoice and be.
Why amputate a limb that functions perfectly well? Why try to structure and restructure the atoms that are entirely self-sufficient?
Love can wrench the heart into agonizing contortions. It can maim and incapacitate, slam you hard in the face and break your nose with its arrogant insistence and impatience.
You can fight the tide until you cannot breathe or you can slip into the current and let it take you.
You are going to love many faces. They will be prideful and passionate, selfless and self-interested, powerful and vulnerable, insightful and violently charismatic. What does it matter if they have bristles or are soft when there is so much life in every raised eyebrow and twitch of mischievous lip?
What does it matter whether it is a choice or whether it is ingrained in our brain chemistry? What does it matter whether we believe in destiny or kismet or karma or the flying Spaghetti monster?
You have had the courage to look inward. You have had the courage to find that you love the heart and not the anatomy. It may be a long journey, but, my friend, you must now find the courage to simply be.