To love someone deeply gives you strength. Being loved by someone deeply gives you courage. –Lao Tzu

It takes a lot of courage to love someone well. It involves giving so much of yourself to another, and holding enough of yourself back to let them be truly themselves. It’s such an act of practical grace and wisdom.

It’s a wonder that we ever succeed at loving one another. We take hold of hands and lift one another up the craggy face of courage to the brave lands of loving gently and ferociously. We leap over chasms of honesty, truth and silence. Love, really good, true and honest love is made up of lots of forgivenesses, big and small. It is that forgiving that makes us so brave and scared all at once. Love is all paradox, hope and hopelessness.

There is nothing independent about forgiving another. It indebts you to another because where you forgive, you give away Love-That-Heals by choice, you pour love into the cracks of another jar from your own vessel. You leave something of yourself behind, making yourself vunerable by giving something away. Forgiveness frees you and ties you together at the same time. Forgiving is such a brave thing to do.

I said to a friend ‘I have learnt to love well’. What I ought to have said is that I am trying to be as brave as I can, for love needs to be spoken aloud. Love lends its strength only when given actively and purposely into the life of another. So perhaps I do not love well, so much as I am foolishly brave at times.

Still I am caught by my own insecurities and I do not speak the deepest things, or the strongest longings. I still find my sleep hiding in the safety of darkness rather than leaping into the daylight of loving so openly.

So dear friends, for you – I will choose to love you bravely and speak love aloud so you might be strong and courageous in the face of your challenges…I will place one hand into your hand and one hand at the small of your back and we will climb, taking as many as we can with us.

when the light rises it takes me
cast out adrift into the rush
the daylight crushes against me
steals my breath, takes hold of me
here on the cusp of bravery

put my hand in yours
put your hand in the small of my back
love is nothing if not known
in the smallness of your touch
love is everything brave about me
though I am a coward
holding your hand
i want to climb