Real Love

Took an early morning run today…still v. hot at 8:00.
Then my brother came over to help me do some house handy-manning and here’s a nice little illustration on perspective:

Me: Sorry I’m gross. I just got done running.
He: How far did you go today?
Me: Oh not far. Just to Commercial Street.
He: *Ironic laugh*

So one man’s “not far” is another man’s “i’d rather get shot in the knee.”

On this run my iPod served up some 90s Mary J Blige…

Real Love / I’m searchin for a real love / someone to set my heart free / real love / iiiiii’m searchin for a real love.

Sounds nice enough, right? But that, I think, is a fundamental breakdown in a lot of relationships (take, oh all of mine, for example): expecting the other person to “set my heart free.”

I’ve followed Elizabeth Gilbert back through Italy and India now, and I know that she would tell old MJB (or, more accurately, Richard From Texas would tell her): if you can’t set your heart free by yourself, ain’t no someone else gonna do it for you, Groceries.

He’d tell me I have to love myself with a fierce REAL LOVE, which means
forgiving my faults
getting over my guilt
and participating in imperfection (see, this is the tough one.)

But if there’s a lesson running has taught me, it’s that faults, guilt and imperfection can’t stop you if you don’t let them. Running has also taught me to love myself at my sweatiest, stinkiest, most fatigued, most ready-to-give-up-but-just-barely-don’t.

Early in my run I noticed a pretty bush of hibiscus-y wildflowers. Deep inside one of them was a bee, noshing its little bee fill on nectar, all the while just getting covered in pollen. The bee didn’t seem to care. (Either the bee didn’t notice, or it knows a good secret: sometimes getting what you really need will be a little messy.) Maybe all he knows is that what’s good for him is getting that nectar.
Keeping himself alive. Keeping the flowers alive. Keeping the whole world alive.

I have to think Elizabeth Gilbert would say that all has something to do with REAL LOVE.


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