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Love Is in the Wet Paper Bag

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Despite the saying that words cannot begin to adequately describe many of our human emotions, there is one thing that words provide - comfort. There is a strange reassurance, a cathartic release when words are put to paper in an attempt to describe a feeling, be it love, hate, pain, despair, anger, loss, grief, happiness, or bliss. It is as if the words become wings and allow the emotions bubbling up inside, whatever they might be, positive or negative, to be released. Words provide the loud whooshing sounds that come about when a solid attempt is made to articulate the emotion.

For me, I have been struggling with that emotion called love, or what I think is love. We say we are in love when we feel happy with a person when being with that special someone makes us feel part of a whole when there is comfort and familiarity and some seeming level of reciprocation, great or small. We chalk it up to love. We sing we smile, we dance, we write about it. It is reflected in the sparkle in our eyes, the bounce in our step, the glow on our faces. We say it's love.

I do not know what I did to love, but love has been running away from me for as long as I can remember. I recall the first boy I was in love with, he was a shy one, even though I remain convinced that he had some feelings for me, he just took to the streets and went running. And this started the trend in my life, loves come, or so it appears, it hangs around a while and then runs away. It took a while before it dawned on me that love was not running but that I was chasing it away.

Many of us chase love away and then complain that we cannot find it. We despair that it did not come packaged just so. There was no big bow, it was not even gaily wrapped in festive paper. It came in a wet paper bag. It came tired and despondent, it came broken and torn, it came for help and for healing. We stare in disdain and declare that we did not sign up for that job. We are in the market for something flashier, richer, something that looked good and smelled good.

So we let go of the best thing that could have happened to us. We did not allow ourselves to see past the wrapping and notice the gem laying inside, warm, glowing, welcoming, giving, and loving.

And as time slowly passes, we are left sitting on the sidewalk of life, watching love running away from us while we shout behind it, "Where are you going? Come back with my happiness…."