What happens when you love someone completely?
This is what happens:
Your previous life—whether your single life, your ex-whomever life, your I-didn’t-actually-know-what-love-is life—will be far-far away, the glimmer of a distant planet in an otherwise inky sky.
The life you thought so good will be made suddenly better; or the life you thought so burdened will be made suddenly lighter.
When you fall in love you will be transformed—and it’s hard to imagine, but you will be the one with the sculptor’s knife. Because when you love someone completely, you will be faced to look at all the ugly parts that you’ve hidden away.
“Oh, no. I mustn’t do that,” you’ll say.
But, yes, my dear. You must (and you shall).
You’ll feel a stirring—a something you can’t quite place and also don’t need to—in your chest that will make you look down and through and inside your heart. You’ll have superman-style x-ray vision and you’ll look at all the magical, sparking goings-on and you’ll decide (without much hesitation) to blow the door of your heart wide open with dynamite for a closer look.
Thankfully, just before you light the fuse, you’ll reconsider. You’ll decide to clear your throat—ahem—and knock—knock-knock-knock—and announce yourself instead.
She’ll be prepared, your heart. She’ll have readied her space as best she can with excited, fluttering beats. She’ll know exactly why you are there, suddenly looking. And she’ll be patient and gentle with her flutters to allow for ideal searching conditions.
“It’s open,” you’ll hear her whisper as you clumsily reach for the door.
All this time, you’ll think to yourself. All this time and I’ve never been in.
The door will creak as you step over the threshold. You’ll see a lifetime of glittering treasure. You’ll see memories and feelings and faces and past lives and other hearts, too. You’ll see everything you’ve ever held sacred. You’ll stand in the center of this heartspace with quickening breaths before you kneel to the ground with tears in your eyes.
And when you’ve held this space for long enough; when you’ve breathed in the most precious particles of your existence, you will begin to dig. You will reach into the ground and into the walls; you will look behind the loveliest parts of you to find the ugly.
Because when you love someone completely, you want to clear those ugly parts. You’ll want to disolve all the pain you’ve hidden away. Because when you love someone completely, you’ll know a courage that had very much escaped you before.
So you’ll dig out the ugly with fierce dedication to this love-cause; but you’ll be surprised to find these ugly parts to be far-less ugly than you remembered them to be—these pieces are even a little remarkable. Based on this discovery you’ll change your plans; you’ll decide they’re worth the time and worth the pain of excavating. You will dig out these ugly pieces and wash them with gentle hands and a stream of soft, cool water.
When you bring these ugly pieces to the light, you’ll see glints of beautiful things; and you’ll call those glints “potential.” You’ll look around and see so much potential; but so much work, as well.
About this time in your adventure, you’ll decide you can’t go changing things that were forever-ugly. You’ll feel your body recoil at the thought of this ordeal, this transformation. Your pace will slow and your mind will take over and you’ll find your excavation has drawn to a halt.
You’ll tune into the song of your heart, now confused and a little let down. You’ll hear the steady whir of all the life around you. Then you’ll hear a familiar voice—your person, the one who inspired you to find the ugly parts at all—speaking familiar words of love and admiration. And your hands will be steadied and reassured and quickly-moving once more.
You will chip away the pieces that are tarnished with unsightly bits. You will know, instinctively, that these unsightly pieces will not serve you.
With a tiny chisel and a steady breath, you will tap-tap-tap these pieces until they cleave away. You will sculpt a new, shimmering part from the once-ugly. You will sob and laugh and sob and laugh when you witness the magic that you have shaped.
With this newly-shaped heart you will feel invincible. The shadows of your former self will no longer sway you—they’ll move, like fog, from your waking thoughts.
My heart and I, we’ve known these shadows. We’ve known the pain of separations unwanted. We’ve known the torture of a longing soul. We’ve known the fierce power of curiosity and the unfair prejudice we so-often placed upon ourselves.
With love, we’ve been freed: a new self excavated.
So what happens when you love someone completely?
This is what happens: everything.