I would love to live like a river flows,
carried by the surprise of its own unfolding.
– John O'Donohue
The longer I live, the more deeply I learn that love — whether we call it friendship or family or romance — is the work of mirroring and magnifying each other’s light.
∆ James Baldwin, Nothing Personal
“Not everyone we connect with is going to be able to reciprocate our love. Sometimes we are ready and another person is not. Sometimes we choose someone and they cannot choose us back… And that is okay. You have to understand that that is okay…Someone’s inability to choose me is not a reflection of me, or my value, or my worth. However, it is also not something I need to grip at and dissect and turn into pain.
Sometimes life weathers people in different ways. We are all on this earth just trying to figure ourselves out. Just trying to mend the breaks in our souls, just trying to deal with what is heavy within us.
Sometimes we are ready and another person is not. Sometimes we try and another person does not. Sometimes we put ourselves into another human being and they cannot contain all that we are…Sometimes we choose to make things work and another person decides that they cannot choose that same reality and that is okay.
Because at the end of the day if someone does not meet you where you are, you cannot keep asking them to do so. If someone cannot reciprocate your love, if someone cannot give you what you truly deserve, you have to understand that aching them to do so before they are ready, is a form of self-destruction…You have to let this person grow on their own terms because you cannot love someone into their potential. You cannot love someone into being ready — they have to do that on their own.”
— Bianca Sparacino
The most anti-capitalist protest is to care for another and to care for yourself. To take on the historically feminized and therefore invisible practice of nursing, nurturing, caring. To take seriously each other’s vulnerability and fragility and precarity, and to support it, honor it, empower it. To protect each other, to enact and practice community. A radical kinship, an interdependent sociality, a politics of care.
Do you already know that your existence—who and how you are—is in and of itself a contribution to the people and place around you? Not after or because you do some particular thing, but simply the miracle of your life. And that the people around you, and the place(s), have contributions as well? Do you understand that your quality of life and your survival are tied to how authentic and generous the connections are between you and the people and place you live with and in?
Are you actively practicing generosity and vulnerability in order to make the connections between you and others clear, open, available, durable? Generosity here means giving of what you have without strings or expectations attached. Vulnerability means showing your needs.
Allow yourself the uncomfortable luxury of changing your mind. Cultivate that capacity for “negative capability.” We live in a culture where one of the greatest social disgraces is not having an opinion, so we often form our “opinions” based on superficial impressions or the borrowed ideas of others, without investing the time and thought that cultivating true conviction necessitates.