She said that love is a choice. I stood there contemplating her words as an uneasy feeling latched onto my conscience, a feeling that, lately, she had begun to fuel.
‘Loving someone is a choice’.
These were the last words that I heard as I purposefully swam away to hide in my mind’s sanctuary.
I knew she was still speaking, I knew words were slipping sensuously from her lips as they always did, but I couldn’t look at her. Even though she had not intended to tell me this, she had told me how she had chosen not to love me and I refused to hear it.
Weeks later, I sit here in my bedroom no longer cruising that icy road. Clarity appears in front of me like an unwelcome ghost.
I have a realisation. Love is not a choice. The actual choice lies in deciding whether or not you allow yourself the vulnerability of leaving yourself open to the possibility of love.
I loved my mother long before I understood who she was and what she represented in my life. For the first decade of my life I loved everyone I met without question.
A child’s unconditional love exists because they do not know about constructing barriers and resisting the honest, magnetic pull of other human beings. As we grow older, we learn how to select the type of people we associate with, we learn how to filter and compartmentalise the type of love we give and to whom we give it.
It is through these learned behaviours that we keep others at arm’s length, especially those that we are inexplicably connected to and do not wish to explore said connection with. The fear lies in meeting the unfortunate fatality that is ‘love’.
Love is not a choice but a part of a pathway within a sequence of events that begins with the choice of whether or not we let someone in. This culminates in the unknown.