You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free.Thich Nhat Hanh
Many of us in the LGBTQ+ family start from a disadvantage when it comes to love and relationships. You might notice that I write about love often. As someone who grew up with a stunted view of love and what it means, it is important that I take every opportunity to help others understand what love is and what it isn’t.
Love isn’t jealousy or control, but it is easy to draw the correlation between a stunted emotional upbringing and possessiveness. When we get a taste of emotional connection after being starved of it, our survival instincts kick in and our brains tell us we have to keep all of it for ourselves or we’ll lose it.
The good news is that love is not a possession. It is a magical gift that only shows the true magnitude of its power when we open the valve and let it pour out. I have always been drawn to the Thich Nhat Hahn quote above because it speaks to the sense of absolute freedom love should provide. In that way it ties in quite well with the Merton passage I quote in Love Letter 63, and in the essays I wrote about polyamory.
Even if the situation doesn’t pan out the way you might have wanted, love is always worth your time. Never forget that I love you, and that excludes no one.