We’ve been fed the disney story of love. We grew up on 80’s films of men flying, nearly dying, to show the girl how much he wanted her. We believe love will be carried on a white cloud and all we have to do was sit back and relax. We believe that the white in shining armor exists and that any day now, we will be invited to the ball. We trust that the other shoe to our deepest longing will come along.

We’ve done everything we can to maintain the sweet dream of love promised. We’ve performed for it. We’ve made ourselves look pretty for it. We’ve worn clothes that reveal our deepest essence, we’ve made ourselves into something that would be worth staying for. We’ve gone out of our way to care, we’ve stood on chairs and juggled pots and pans standing up side down to make love stay. We’ve betrayed ourselves to win the heart of the other.

Along the way we wake up to the nightmare. We realize that what we’ve been fed ins’t how it is. We doubt that we can make it through just one more break up. We are left desolate on street corners wandering what happened, how did we get down this street. How did we get from the encounter of loves purest ecstasy to this! We rebel, we cut off, close off, go through periods of celibacy, even contemplate becoming a nun to stave off the pain of a broken heart.

What if the point of love isn’t that it takes us away from our suffering in a bubble of illusion that is going to make everything alright. What if the point of love is to take us deeper into ourselves so we can see ourselves. What if we’re meant to meet all of the shadowy places we’ve been hiding even from ourselves, through the vessel that only love can provide.

What if we’re meant to be broken. What if that which we call broken isn’t broken after all? What if through this capacity to feel we are shown our truest capacity to love? What if the lie we were told by disney is just that, a lie, that kept us trapped in a bubble of illusion? A lie that kept us trapped in power games of expectation. A lie that kept us away form the love that we are. A lie that tells us that love comes from the outside, preferably with shining armor and a white horse.

Love isn’t a fairy tale, its isn’t the knight in white shining armor. It isn’t the lie we’ve been fed and hold onto. Its work. Deep inside your own madness kind of work. Its the wave in the ocean that knocks you off course and sends you spinning to the bottom. Its death and life. Its surrender and will all at the same time. Its the whole spectrum of your humanity. Your darkness and your light. It doest look a certain way and you don’t necessarily have to put a ring on it.

I released the expectation on love to look a certain way and said, hey, welcome, all of it. I will love it all. I could therefore release the expectation I had on myself to be a certain way and welcome all of me. My love doesn’t depend on anyone, because its mine. I will love all of it, the connection and the loss of connection, the intimate moment and then the abandonment, the divine with the humanness. The wholeness and the brokenness. If you really want love, then you have to be able to be with all of it, not just one side, but all of it.

What would it look like to wake up to love as this reality. In comparison to the fairy tale we’ve been fed, its actually a nightmare waiting to happen. A nightmare in which we meet all of our darkest demons, bring them to the surface, call them out of hiding. What if the true test of love is not in maintaining the light illusion but how much you can stand in your darkness and of the other and love it all and stay. Say I see you, in all of your magnificence and brokenness and I chose you.