Love. What Does It Mean?

“To live in this world
you must be able
to do three things
to love what is mortal;
to hold it against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.” – Mary Oliver


I find in most of my twenties, I’ve been chasing for love or being chased by love. The unbearable sadness that over washes me with every break up inevitably counters by warm comfort in new encounters. Weaving through this connectedness of sadness and joy, I tirelessly search for happiness. Slowly I come to realize that the true essence of happiness is absurdly fleeting. When grasping desperately to our mortal love, it essentially yields to nothing but sorrow, disappointment and pain, lots of pain. Not just emotional pain, also the physical pain in my heart that penetrates so deeply into my soul; it hurts on so many levels. Letting the tears fall freely, I witness the weaknesses in me. Though there is an underlying beauty here; I’m quite familiar with indeed. It is the grace that comes with every fall will and always followed by limitless opportunities; for that I courageously smile. 

There are two types of love, one that we dive in headfirst and another where we wade in the water. Which is fuller? I’ll let you decide. A friend once said, 'we’re all spiritual beings having a human experience.' If so, to love wholeheartedly with no expectations and conditions, that I believe, is the greatest form of human experience. Like a mother loving her children, can we also extend that infinite love to our partner? And when it is time to let go, can we detach from what we once proclaimed as ours?

The pendulum of emotions swings vivaciously as we tread through this life. If happiness is fleeting, so is sadness. As I recognize the impermanence of life, I also see beauty in it. In the end, whenever that is, having known that I have loved what is mortal, harbor that love with all that I had and graciously let go when it was the time, I’d reckon I have participated fully in this human life. 


This article is written by Annie Au. RYT 500, yoga teacher, vegan and traveler.