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Tribal Gathering 2017; Redefining Love

Tribal Gathering, Panama. March 2017. I am in an enhanced state of mind, looking out at the impassioned Caribbean sea; elated, fully immersed in the indescribable beauty of my surroundings. Despite the serenity, a slight feeling of perturbation tugs at my heartstrings; the realization that up until this moment, I have never loved.

Like most humans, I have loved only at a cost, or for a reason, and those whom society instructed me to. Family, friends, romantic partners, those who in some way, “complete” the otherwise half-empty person that I am taught to be; those who can offer me something in return.

My glittery unicorn notebook in hand, I watch the spectacular people in my vicinity. Perfect strangers, perhaps, but they are my tribe, my cosmic family. As they spin around me like in a dream, my heart is overcome with emotion, and my understanding of life’s most magical phenomenon is evolving, yet again.

I love these strangers. I love them though I know nothing about their past, their background, their beliefs, their jobs. I do not need to. I do not need them to be anything other than they are. They need not fill a role in my life, they need not share my DNA, they need not offer me anything but the essence of their being. None of that matters, I love them just the same.

Along with this first time feeling of unconditional adoration, comes clarity regarding the oxymoron of reciprocity; the understanding that love is not love, unless it is offered at no cost. Only when expectation is eradicated can love’s truth transpire. In this instance, it becomes possible to love every being encountered, and that is what it is all about.

And so, this short, simple poem, a summary of this emotionally liberating lesson came to me. It is dedicated to anyone who I claimed to have loved in the past. Though to the best of my understanding at any given point in time, I believed that I did, it is impossible for until now, I did not even know what it meant.

I’m sorry that I didn't love you then.

I did not love you because I expected something from you,

I wanted you to complete me.

I love you now though, now that you have nothing left to give me.

I love you now because I love you for free.

I love you now, for we are two wholes, and not two halves.

Photo by Johannes Abt

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