What I love about loving people is being allowed entrance into their very selves. Their thought processes, their fears, their prejudices. Their strong parts, weak parts, funny bones, and passions.
I never agree with every single utterence that comes out of a person whom I love. I don't have to. I've been let in to hear, to be challenged, to be a sounding board. It's a privelege to be let in.
What I hate about loving people is the collatoral damage. The part that began with being let in, and then morphed into the "me" parts getting sort of blended with the "they" parts. I'm okay with that kind of vulnerability right up to the point that it gets trampled on, hung up to dry, peed on, abused. The point where I become the target of some anger that really has absolutely nothing to do with the "me" part of the equasion.
Then my brain will start to do this thing.
Remember when you were dating a guy and his flaws were cute little signs of his humanity, but after he dumped you, they became bright red shiney flashing FLAW lights? And you suddenly realized that he was bad for you, toxic.... possibly dangering your psyche? You find yourself stocking this itinerary of scary facts about him, what might have happened, and how sorry you are for the next victim he decides to love?
That's what happens inside my brain when I feel really hurt.
I know I'm just trying to "heal" myself. I'm just trying to stock the "better off without" side of my mental inventory. The truth is that loving people can be really painful, and not at all easy or uncomplicated. You might think that love is enough. But its only enough when you are omnicient and can predict exactly the manner in which all people would like to be loved. And that, my friends, is simply not garden variety.
I'll never stop investing in people because its one of the greatest joys in my life. I'll probably get hurt again.
What I really want to get better at is to be completely sincere when I say (or think): go in peace. I wish nothing but the best for you. I love you so much. I miss you. Travelling mercies.
I'll always love you.