My first boyfriend told me how love is a gamble. You bet a certain amount of your time, your energy, yourself, and hope the dealer loses and pays out, I guess. But I don’t think it’s really like that. I don’t think love is this game you blindly bet against, subject to the helplessness of circumstance and chance. I think it’s more of this godly, karmic extension of humanity, and when we learn to keep faith in love is when we start to experience a restoration in humanity.
You can start by finding someone whose smile is all you need to feel fulfilled, like you did alright with life, like the student loans and nine to five and however much disappointment your parents may have is all justified. You can start there. Then, throw all the love you have within yourself–however small and however unsteadily–onto it. Put forth honesty and kindness, patience and trust. Listen to them, play scrabble with them, drink coffee and cheap wine with them, cry with them about your dog dying, give them the best bite of your pizza. Give them all the love within you.
There will be times when you get hurt, or worse and inevitably, you’ll hurt the one you love. When this happens, remember the smile. Go back to that smile. Meditate and give gratitude for that smile that took you somewhere far, wherever you are, and transfigured you into this patient, kind, lovely being.
Because it’s not just faith in love, but faith in humanity. It’s seeing us all as this interconnected, radiating force that can do good if we put good into it. We must give love to get love.
At some point, you’ll have made it. You’ll be coming home from work and realize that none of it would be worth it if you didn’t have this love you’ve cultivated. Or, maybe you’ll be in some coffee shop, alone, but seeing it all as worth it, what it taught you, where it brought you. You never lose because either way, you’ll have realized what a sacred, transformative gift it all is. And every song about the power and beauty of love will make sense. That’s how you learn to trust its teachings, to keep faith in love.