I had a text conversation with one of my most beloved friends, during which we discussed our deep connection. Something they said during that chat jumped out at me:
“I’d hate to see what you do to people who get the full focus of your love.”
It wasn’t a dig, it was a statement about the intensity with which love often emanates from me. I’m an intense guy, there’s no denying that, and there are quite a few people who can vouch for that from personal experience.
As I thought about the statement later in the day, I understood perhaps why some folks have gone silent in (or invisible from) my life. I’m keenly aware of the one-sidedness of many of my conversations. I get it, and I’m not upset or angry about it.
My life put me where I am. The triumphs and tragedies have made me who I am. Back when I worked with suicide prevention, I gave an unscripted talk to a high school in Colorado in which I said,
“That, ladies and gentlemen, is why I’m here. I’m standing up here for one reason and one reason only, and that’s to tell you that I know what it is like to feel alone. I know what it’s like to fail, to not be able to eat or sleep, to be surrounded by hundreds of people and still be completely and totally by myself. I know what it’s like to have thoughts and emotions and words and sounds locked up inside me that fought so hard to get out that I constantly felt like someone had beat the living shit outta me. I know that place. I lived there.”
Love is something I went without for a good portion of my life, and today I am unable to pull back the throttle on my love output. I am not sorry for that. I love you. All of you collectively, and all of each of you, individually.
Thank you for loving me. Never forget that I love you, and that excludes no one.