Conversations with a Human Heart.

Tag: love

what love is.

love is

love is the thing that keeps us safe. it’s the thing we remember the longest and feel the deepest and try the hardest for.

love keeps us spinning—a revolving top at the eye of calm and joy and fear and grief and ecstasy.

it’s grit and velvet.

love is recalling a first touch with every touch. it’s releasing the torments—lies we’ve fed ourselves and wounds we’ve endured at the hands of others—because we know the promise of more exists within us and around us, an electric static in the ether.

it’s trying when you’ve got less than nothing left.

love is celebrating the inhale with a gracious exhale. it’s stillness wrapped in overload and falling as we rise.

love is evolution; a good-intentioned revolt against a self who hasn’t lived.

love is a ceremonious risk of hearts and bodies in a world that sometimes forgets to nurture. it’s a gamble between the comfort of existing in the safety of what is—with all its intricate inadequacies—and what might be.

love is imperfect words melding with mismatched tempos for a song indescribably pure. it’s the explosion of time contained in a single kiss; the recollection of a moment you call home.

artwork: “danced out of existence” by vanitylife

 

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cold feet.

life would be tragic if it weren't funny

My muscles start in with their nightly ritual of tightening and twitching; as if all the fibers begin shrinking in unison. Coordinated contraction. Synchronized shrinkage. Community curtailment. A big, fat pain in the ass—or, as the moment would have it… limbs.

The sensation takes me by surprise every single time, but I don’t get upset. Not anymore—it isn’t worth the energy. I bide my time with stretches and self medication and conversation instead.

These days I find it’s best not to fight it. Let it ease its way into the night, easing me, of course, out of mine.

Because this ritual leads to an eventual surrender. And on this night, I’ve had it.

“I think I’m going to head up.”

(Heaving the dreaded sigh of sympathy)

“Alright, babe. I’ll be up soon.”

And that’s that. I gather my glasses and water, kiss my moon goodnight, and head upstairs with the cat hot on my heels.

I won’t lie; I miss the freedom of staying up late any night I please. It’s an odd thing to be sent to bed by your body—a child shooed away by the discerning voice of her cells.

But as much as I miss my night owl freedom, I’ll also admit: I fucking love our bed. So, while there is a touch of despair in my voice as I whisper goodnight, I’m overtaken with excitement by the time I reach the top of our stairs. A child again, this time delighted.

I let pants drop to ankles, stepping lightly from the pile of pajama at my feet. I peel back the comforter to slide bare legs between deliciously cool sheets. It’s a particularly cold January night, the snow falling again, so I leave my t-shirt undisturbed. I draw the comforter back to my chin and recline to my pillow.

All is well.

And now, I wait.   

There’s a sacred space between wakefulness and sleep—the moment you’re most vulnerable to the sighs of the evening, and most protective of your own drifting consciousness. You’re setting sail; unsure of where you’re going, but relinquishing all control to get there. Let’s face it, there aren’t many things that can compete with the experience. So god help the poor bastard who makes waves in the waters of my sleep.

Enter, the mister.

I’m used to Josh crawling into bed after me. He’s a musician, so I’m well-acquainted with weird hours and odd noises—trusting the sounds of another body awake in the house. On this night I heard the few steps that creak, mostly toward the middle of the case. I heard the groan of our old door and the soft shuffle of bare feet across carpeting. I heard the familiar ahem of his throat and felt the bed depress as he climbed in.

Although I was too close to sleep to verbalize it, I felt relief to have him join me.

All is well. 

And now, I wait.

Just a bit longer.

The thing about that twilight space between wide awake and dead asleep is you don’t have an accurate feel for time. Josh joining me in bed could have been minutes after I left him on the level below, then again, I might have been two hours deep in my voyage preparations.

All I know for sure is I hadn’t set sail. I wasn’t yet safe from sleep sabotage.

The change in temperature was almost undetectable. So lost in the decline, my body took time to register anything being wrong at all. But something—something was off.

As I repositioned myself I heard the rustling of Josh’s side, and with each resettling I could feel the drowse abandoning me. I wouldn’t dare equate sleep slipping through my fingers to something actually tragic, but the in the moment, a little piece of me was dying. The temperature was somehow changing—under the sheets—and no repositioning could offer me salvation. With each movement I was brought that much closer to real life and my heart sank into a deeper pit of frigid horror.

(giggles)

(rustling)

(whispers, giggles, rustling)

“Sorry, babe” he whispers. “My feet are so cold.”

Like a wrecking ball, his apology pulverized the last trace of slumber I had been clinging so pathetically to.

Mother.

Fucker.

“What are you doing?”

(giggles)

“I’m sorry. My feet are freezing.”

“But what are you doing!? Joshhhh. Stoppppp.

(giggles escalating to quiet laughter)

“Babe, I’m sorry. You’re just so warm, I’m not touching you. I’m just trying to have some heat.”

“STOP. Just STOP. YOU’RE RUINING EVERYTHING.”

(laughter. actual, uncontrollable, infuriating laughter)

“I’m sorry. Listen, I’m sorry (laughter) Look, I’m not even touching you, I’m just trying to warm up.”

“You’re stealing it! What is wrong with you? How could you do this to me?”

(roaring laughter)

“BABE. C’mon. Pleeaaaase. (laughter) You’re so warm and I’m so COLD. PLEASE. Just for a second.”

“Josh. I’m not even joking. I was up here so close to sleep and you come in and put your freakishly cold feet in my sanctuary? You’re ruining my sanctuary! Stoppppppppppp. You’re the WORSTPERSONEVERRRRRRRRR”

(touches freezing feet of death to my innocent warm leg)

“STOP IT. STOP IT RIGHT NOW. IT’S NOT FUNNY.”

(begrudgingly joining him in uncontrollable laughter)

(rolling in bed with tears of anger mixed with tears of joy)

“You’re the worst.”

(composing himself)

“I love you.”

“I love you, too. Jerk.”

“Goodnight.”

(rolls over)

“Goodnight.”

I rolled over, first ironing the comforter flat between us—as if this would prevent his menacingly cold feet from reaching out to me again. I settled with a heaping sigh, exhaling the last chortle of the night.

I waited for the euphony of a podcast streaming from his side of the bed—another nightly ritual.

And just like that, I fell off to sleep.

 

[image: life is funny]

remember to find me.

10685377_10155115749015246_2141165579958354133_n

when this lifetime is over and we prepare for our next, remember to find me.

remember how to hug me.

and how little things are always big things

—a proper kiss, a genuine laugh, honest conversation and a perfect press.

the moment at hand.

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 9.23.58 AM

Yesterday was amazing—for no other reason than I allowed each moment to be exactly what it wanted to be, what it needed to be.

I gave each ounce of my day the space to grow in whatever direction it felt so inclined.

I ignored the desperate cries of the past, begging me to visit, to indulge myself in the regrets and memories I so-wanted to say goodbye to. I avoided eye contact with an eager future, vying for my attention, enticing me with its what-if’s or could-be’s.

I sat, instead, with a baffled present, delighted with the novelty of having me all to himself. As the day rolled on, I found myself intoxicated by his ways—his steady stride, his happy melody, his willingness to see me through every single second, no questions asked. I fell drunk on the attention he was willing to give.

And the more love I gave to this present, the more gifts he showered on me—the more magic I found hidden in my day. The longer I stared into his intense gaze, the more I knew how little anything else mattered.

Things are just things, but honest moments… fuck if I know anything better.

This was a day which held nothing unique as far as events are concerned, but I can’t remember a day I felt more full from, more satisfied about. The present moment and I had something special happen, and I’m pretty sure we’re going to start going steady.

 

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the mothership is coming.

earthangel

this earth is a tricky place to call home, and it isn’t unusual for me to feel like I’m being called from faraway places, some parallel universe where hurting doesn’t hurt so much and the fear doesn’t shut this heart down.

there’s a version of me out there, somewhere, that calls across galaxies to say, “settle, child. it isn’t all that hard. you have me inside, somewhere. just keep listening and I can guide you home.”

because I have some inside information, you see: the mothership is coming. but not to carry me away. no. not like you’d expect.

I’ll stand in a quiet field at twilight—when the sun clocks out and the moon clocks in and there’s a moment when the earth forgets what colors go where—and I’ll wait to feel the shift in the trees. and there she’ll hover, out of thin air. and my heart will race and thoughts like what-the-hell-is-going-to-come-next will spin wildly, entangling themselves in my hair.

but i’ll steady my stance and grip the grass with my toes and wait for it to hit me.

and it will—WHAM—hit me. a tunnel of light so fierce and so powerful.

I’ll search for things to write down when it’s all over, for words (the right ones) to describe this light, but all I can come up with is, “it’s so fucking BRIGHT.” my arms will lift outward until I’m a human letter “T” and I’ll think for a moment that maybe (maybe) I’m a savior too—maybe a girl with freckles and really loud laugh is going to set the world free.

but as I wait for liftoff, I’ll feel my feet maintain inexplicable contact with the ground. and then, the me that’s out there, the one who whispers kind words when I need them most, will speak out, “she’s not here for you, child. but for the heavy things. it’s time to set them free.”

and so in preparation, I’ve been working on letting go.

because life can seem so heavy if you let it; the weight of the everythings you endure, building and building and building. we let these things take over from deep inside, these things that are here to teach us—maybe about courage, maybe about truth, and maybe (definitely) about love.

on love (and therefore, on magic)

love is magic

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.

 

the heart explosion.

heart explosion

Sometimes I’m so full of love for this world that my heart tells me secrets. She sends wishes to the universe, explaining that she would like to fill right past the point of to-the-brim. Because my heart knows that past the point of to-the-brim, she would likely explode in every direction to litter herself around the smooth edges of this spinning sphere.

I’d watch pieces drift, like pollen, until every last bit of this living drum had taken new residence outside its cage.

As the dust of my splintered bones settled at my feet, I’d glance at the gaping hole—the scar of a free heart.

I’d wait with longing eyes, wondering what exactly I would do now that my heart is so very gone. But I’d know—not in my heart of course, but in my stomach—that longing eyes won’t bring those scattered pieces back.

So I’d step out on my quest for a piece—any piece would do—of my exploded heart; a keepsake, a treasure, a token of my humanness. I’d walk city streets and country roads. I’d pad soft, struggled steps through desert. I’d scale trees.

I’d search with an anxious brain spinning. She’d chatter worries into the wind: you’ve neglected this heart of ours, child—and now she’s in pieces without her home. 

With these words I’d worry too; and my steps would find themselves quicker—called upon to rescue a broken heart. With these words, phantom pains would bubble up inside my chest and for a moment I’d be sure she had come home.

But not until I peeked around a maple would I see it: a heart fragment—resting, pulsing, praying—in a leaf, an offering to the ancient woods. And when my eyes captured the subtle, tiny beats, I’d realize the pain had vanished. There was no heartache to coat with worried words after all.

I’d stand next to the oak as my eyes drifted shut.

I’d tell my brain to hush and I’d tell my body to slow and I’d feel them. I’d feel every last beautiful bit of this exploded heart; and without this brain to confuse her direction, without this body to muddle messages, the heart-sad and the heart-pain would be gone.

Only love would remain.

 

 

to wash it all away.

heartmates

“For truly we are all angels temporarily hiding as humans.” 
― Brian L. Weiss

The morning and early afternoon were spent on her favorite chair, draped in her favorite quilt, while the warmth from an electric heating pad radiated against her skin. Her body wouldn’t let go of the ache; the fatigue was embedded too deep.

As hours slipped through her fingers, she released all hopes of being an active participant in this day; she’d wish instead. Wish for new days that didn’t resemble this, as this type of day brought so much conflict.

Awake again. An hour had passed. Two.

The light pouring in from the window meant afternoon; what did that mean for her? Hunger? No. Thirst? Maybe.

I have to pee. I should get up and pee. 

Her body protested; but with awkward limbs, eyes that winced and a mouth turned downward, a figure removed herself from a favorite chair. Barefooted steps took her through the kitchen where she found him. He was roasting vegetables. Parsnips, broccoli and beets—in case she was hungry when she woke. Something about this made her exceptionally sad.

A hug.

Before she shut the bathroom door behind her.

She rested in the bathroom for minutes. Knees to chin, she sat against the bathtub staring at her favorite picture. The one from the wedding; they were brilliant at weddings. She looked at her own smile and wondered when she would feel vibrant like that again.

The next words she spoke were sent in the direction of the door. “I feel like my body is full of tar.”

And it was all she could imagine: black. toxic. slow.

She didn’t hum. She couldn’t sing. And in some places the tar had hardened, clay turned nearly ceramic. Resin blocking entire channels of her little frame. And in those places where the tar was the densest, her skin screamed, distraught with its own existence.

She stood with the thin door between them and took a deep breath. Being near him was hard sometimes. Being loved and cared for required submission—to the disease, to the moment, to him.

When she stepped back over the threshold, back into the kitchen, he turned from the sink, allowing her to shuffle into his open arms. And that’s when she felt her heart give a little. Her arms wrapped under his, around to his back, where her hands moved up and down, up and down, up and down. Methodically, she combed over his shirt, as if to thank him for being so strong when she felt so weak.

The air around them shifted as his arms tightened. She stood tiny and safe. And as tears began to stream down her face he sent rings of light, with each strong beat, from his center into her hers. With her eyes closed, she could see it; the light moving through her brittle sternum, softening the tar in places, returning space to her eager body.

With their chests rising and falling together, she could sense the edges of his heart: its fullness, its strength, the sheer volume of blood and tenderness that pumped through this drum. In that moment, they were more than lovers. More than soulmates. A conversation between cells. An exchange of precious resources. A heart connection.

Pure love.

She kept silent. She listened to his breaths. She waited until the light faded back and she was there in the kitchen once again, the smell of roasted beets filling the air.

“That should help a little,” he whispered; and she knew that he was right.

She broke away to collect a towel before returning to the bathroom.

As she stepped into the shower, she felt the water—as hot as her bare skin could take—pour from her head to her neck to cascade down every weeping inch of her skin. She eased herself to the floor, flush with the ground.

Her head made contact and she found stillness. And as the water pounded over her torso, she opened her heart to the air above. She closed her eyes to to see them, tiny pieces of sickness, like paint chips, wash away from beneath her skin.

She Came From the Stars: A Story for a Perfect Baby Girl

vintage pram

Once upon a time, not so very long ago, a soon-to-be momma and papa bear prepared for the arrival of their perfect little girl.

Baby would be perfect, they knew in their hearts, because she was made with such love and the most-tender care. She was pulled from the stars and grown from the earth. She was infused with the delicacy of the wind and would shine, like the rising sun.

Baby had a room in their house and a room in their hearts. She devoured their thoughts and wishes and hopes and intentions. She made them smile and plan and laugh and think—all before she was welcomed into this world.

She had a family waiting, too—a great big family with grandparents and uncles and aunts—who couldn’t wait to hold her tiny hands and coo at her tiny face. She would stir ancient feelings in the hearts of the women. The men would soften and smile and remember how lovely life could be.

And cousins! So many little cousins who waited patiently for their new friend to arrive. They waited so they could tell her about all the wonderful things in the world: how happy and perfect this family could be, how much love was passed from person to person, an endless circle of bleeding hearts that pump the same precious blood.

She will know celebrations, how exciting and overwhelming they’ll be. She’ll feel joy and eagerness. And all the things in the world will be new to her darling eyes, everything will sparkle as brightly as the stars she came from.

And so, they waited.

One night, not so long ago, Baby slipped into her parents arms under the cover of night. As she took her first breaths, she stole theirs away. She had the twinkling eyes they’d seen in their dreams. She had perfect little hands that wrapped so easily around Papa’s great finger. She took up the perfect amount of space on Momma’s chest, where she felt safety and love for the first time in this vast, new world. And they trembled and laughed and cried because she was finally here, where they hoped she’d be for all these months.

And soon, not so long after she arrived, the doctors and nurses whisked her away. They checked fingers and toes and her little heart beats. They used their magic to check invisible things, too.

When they talked to Baby’s momma and papa next, they brought heavy words that took their breath again; but not they same way their princess had, this was a heaviness rank with fear. And their hearts fractured for their sweet child, because this wasn’t the life they had promised her, this wasn’t the plan they had set forth.

The foundation had shifted beneath them and they cried new tears of pain.

And the news of their heartache traveled to family, near and far. And their hearts ached, too. But the ache turned to love and reassurance and courage and hope. And they sent these feelings straight from their centers, over the miles, into the hearts of these hurting parents with a message for Baby:

Dear Baby, 

You are magnificent and perfect and everything we could have hoped for; there is a great big family waiting for you in this great big world. And you will know us and we will know you.

We will listen to the doctors and learn about how special you are and we will watch in awe as you grow and thrive. Because you don’t know this yet, but you are destined for things, incredible things, that we can’t even fathom.

You are destined to transform the hearts of your parents; you will worry them and make them laugh and make them feel more deeply than they knew they were capable of feeling. You will make warmth surge through their bodies as they watch you smile. You will babble and drool and it will be the most beautiful music they have ever heard in all their days on this planet. 

Life will be strange. Life will seem unfair at times—you didn’t ask for hardship, you didn’t ask for ‘different’ or limitations. But I promise you, Baby, there will be great wisdom in you, too—all because of your special brand of ‘different.’ You will meet other people in your little life—some who share the same precious blood—who know similar hardships; and they will reassure you again and again that you are perfect just the way you are. 

Do not fear the challenges, Baby, because life will be full of magic, too. In the midst of your challenges you will find beauty and wonder waiting for you in every corner. You just have to be brave and curious and daring enough to look. You will discover the magnificence of your inner strength. You will detect the power behind your sweet voice. You will unearth words—perfect words—that will express the deepest secrets of your heart.

You will learn of love—and there is nothing more magical than that. 

And so, Dear Baby, welcome to this enchanting, spinning world. Welcome to this great big family. Welcome to your parent’s hearts. Welcome home, baby. We love you and we are so glad you’ve come. 

 —

 [photo: via somewhere, including here]

What it Means to Love a Libra.

truelove (1)

I wrote this piece on my 30th birthday. Expecting this milestone to play out in a romantic, special, bells-and-whistles kind of  way, I was disturbed and disappointed to find myself with elaborate plans that had fallen tragically through and a head cold that left me couch-bound.

Though my man tried to salvage my broken now-30-year-old heart, I realized how complex and challenging loving me can be. Loving a libra—or loving this libra—can be tricky work. It can also (I hope) be a little bit of magic. 

This was posted on elephantjournal.com the day after my 30th and just this week passed 100,000 views. So, in honor of its own special milestone, I share it here. Thank you to each and every one of you who have read (and re-read) this little piece of my libran heart.

“We love the things we love for what they are.” ~ Robert Frost

A Libra longs for partnership, it is her heart’s forever-wish; but to love a Libra, you must love her completely.

A Libra will need space; she’ll need freedom to be who she is in any given moment. She wants to suffer, celebrate, hate and adore who she is. These things are always changing and often conflicting, because she’s constantly discovering new pieces of who she is.

She’ll never tell you something critical straightaway, instead she’ll sit with it until the perfect words ring true in her heart and ever-so-carefully move into her mouth. Even then, she might write you a letter. Because the intensity of her feelings can make the speaking of words such a task.

She loves words. She loves the magic they hold, the way they can free her (and so few things can).

So to love a Libra, understand that the words always matter—they are the brush strokes of her heart. She won’t lie, she’s no good at it. She won’t brag, for she holds words in too high esteem. Your words must never be cheapened through unfulfilled promises or patronization. If your speech is unkind, she’ll remember and the words will never hurt less.

She’s an artist, through and through. But a Libra, to survive in the world, must find her medium. The words, or paints, the delicate, mindful crease of a freshly-made bed—it’s all art to her. Beautiful pieces of anything. She needs objects and sounds and smells and textures to resonate with that place deep inside that says, “Yes. That’s it, now it is exactly right.” To love a Libra, you must know this.

She’ll need her art like you need your breath—without it, she will lose track of who she is.

You must watch the curve of her mouth; her lips will purse (ever-so-slightly) and when they do, you can rest assured that her mind wanders because her heart is not still. You’ll notice her eyes are far away; in that moment, you must let her go there—to the place where the words find their way to the air—but not for too long. She’s always in danger of escaping for too long.

She seeks stillness.

A Libra will love her body. She’ll hate her body too. But you must love it, you must always love it. You must look into her eyes and smile. Move her hair from her face so you can get a better look. You must touch the places that hardly get touched: her neck as she does the dishes, her collar bone as she types at her desk, her hip as you stand in line at the grocery store. You must weave the ordinary with the erotic. Slide your hands firmly over every inch of her skin as if it were the first time you’ve ever touched her. You must touch her. She’ll crave your embrace and wither without it.

She needs romance. And so many kisses.

She needs to be whisked away to see the world and she needs a comfortable home to return to.

She’ll cry. A lot. She’ll cry and you won’t know what’s wrong. She won’t tell you what’s wrong, not at first, because she might not know. There will be times when she simply needs to feel sadness, she needs to feel the struggle of being alive, even when you both don’t understand.

Whatever it is, she feels it more.

The weight of her fears, her curiosities, everything: of being human, of responsibility, of hate and violence and injustice, of beauty and lightness and breath, all of it. It frighteners her, but amazes her too. So she’ll need time and space to explore, to dance and to fall apart, because there is nothing more lovely than a Libra experiencing the world. She sees magic where others do not. She needs to believe in magic. Ferociously.

And when she finally turns 30—when the leaves are changing and she feels most herself—you’ll be mindful of her feelings; because, even if it isn’t a big deal, it is a big deal and the tears that stream for no particular reason come from a place of shame in her heart.

To love a Libra, you must celebrate; you must celebrate her, life, the amazing, the plain, everything and anything.

To love a Libra is to love the very essence of love, warts and all.

There’s a delicate balance—a perpetual tug-of-war—between feeling fierce and complete against feeling soft and frail. Always trying to reach that impossible balance, she never quite knows who she is.

To compensate for the not-knowing she’ll please everyone around her. She’ll accommodate others and fix situations until you resent her for it; but, to love a Libra is to see that her self-sacrifice, no matter how destructive, is how she loves. Her bleeding heart is how she finds her place in a world that can be unkind; it’s the way she can claim some shred of control—she believes that kindness is what matters most.

A Libra needs you to push her toward self-care. She’ll never choose her needs first, so you’ll have to teach her this craft. You’ll need to teach her that putting her needs before others is not the same as selfishness, because she sees selfishness as ugly.

Ugliness scares her.

Loneliness too.

Her heart will break often. Her heart will feel lonely and sad about many things, but you must never be the one to break it completely.

To capture a Libra’s heart is to capture her heart forever. There are no partners more committed, more attentive than your Libra. You mustn’t ever take her for granted though; for a Libra’s heart will grow uneasy when neglected, her heart will close and you risk never finding your way in again.

Her heart knows the secret to everything. Protect it.

breakfast-at-tiff-250x189Sometimes she’ll feel lost. She’ll need hot tea and blankets, black-and-white movies, and no conversation. Other times, she’ll need people. Parties and midnight walks and deep, frenzied conversation—she likes literature and science and philosophy best. She likes whiskey too. To love her, you’ll need to know that.

She’ll need constant reminders that she’s a lovely being, that she’s loved—better yet, adored. She needs mindful smothering, she needs adventure. A Libra wants autonomy, but can’t stand the thought of being left alone. You must learn to accept her, even as a contradiction.

She’ll require decisiveness, as she has none of her own. She’ll surprise you with spontaneity and you’ll admire the commitment she shows to her heart’s content. But if she has time to think, any decision will be painful—be it where to eat, what to wear or who to love. This will frustrate you, but you must try understand. For her, there is no such thing as an obvious choice.

Loving a Libra means loving love itself. She loves everything about love: the connection, the discovery, the heartache, the ecstasy, the very idea of love—it’s all the same. She yearns for the safety of partnership, but she thrives on the excitement of love’s uncertainty.

She wants passion.

She can see the good in almost any person, but in a lover she requires intelligence and humor. There is nothing sexier than wit.

She hates discord, because it makes her feel vulnerable; but to love her is not to worry too much, because she believes in forgiveness and trust—enough to repair almost any injury done to her. When you fight with a Libra, she’ll be certain that every fight is the end of everything and this will destroy her a little; you must remind her that every argument is an opportunity for growth—it is the beginning of a new everything. Loving a Libra means knowing there are few things more important than make-up sex.

She loves falling in love, so to love a Libra you’ll have to fall in love time and time again. She’ll require perpetual evolution, and inspiration, and a little dose of sin.

To love a Libra you’ll need to see the good intention that she always has in her heart; to ignore this well-meaning piece of her is to deny her a personal truth. She cannot survive without this particular truth. When she’s awful, or rude, or arguing because she’s right—and she’s usually right, because she’s a Libra and it’s in her nature to be fair and just and indisputably right—you must breathe. Then trust her tears and her words to be true.

She cares too deeply to ever inflict intentional harm.

But if you witness the flash of anger in her eyes, you must let her rage. For gentle, compassionate Libra will storm fiercely in the face of injustice. You must allow her the space to be a warrior when her heart tells her it is time to fight. You must stand beside her, admire her devotion and believe in the cause—see it for what it is, a manifestation of her heart’s deepest purpose.

Believe in her and she’ll believe in you too.

She might be cast as an introvert. She might be tagged an extrovert by those who know her best. Neither matters, as long as she feels connected to what surrounds her.

When a Libra is happy, she can take over the world. She need only be equipped with the proper music, laughter and her smile.

The trick is in keeping her there; for in that moment is an ocean of contentment that only her huge heart can appreciate. If you can keep her in the moment, you can keep her forever. But the Libra mind will drift and worry. It will linger on the wrong that cut her too deeply. She will scrutinize over the words you used, or the words that went unspoken. She’ll wonder about security and what each embrace or touch or quarrel will mean in the long-term; to love a Libra, you must gently guide her back to the now again and again and again.

Libra blossoms in the joyful now.

She believes in the goodness of people, in magic and (above all else) in happily ever after.

To love a Libra, you must believe in her for everything she is.