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“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” Lao Tzu

There are two statements here, and I will start with the latter one, first. Love takes courage! Within each person, there is a shy kernel of that person’s personality. Call it soul or mind or Freudian Id, but there is a secret, sacred place in every person. This little ‘place’ has the ability to impart the feeling that one is safe, but it is a solitary and secluded location. And a very lonely place! But the consolation is that this is a safe place to hide…

The illusion of safety is difficult to overcome. With loving parents, a baby is coaxed out into the open, but not all people have the luxury of having good parents that can help in this fashion, while life itself can cruelly buffet a fledgling, driving him or her back into this little lonely place, regardless of the goodness of their parents.

In some cases, especially in this world that humanity allows to be violent, this return to the person’s ‘place of safety’ is necessary to begin the process of healing, but to continue this process a person must muster the courage to leave this internal oasis of mind. Courage is required to seek someone to whom you can give your love, not from someone you can take love from. Love begins with giving love, even if it is not returned in kind.

Overall, there at two basic forms of economy, the monetary capitalistic this-for-that, or gift-giving, as described by Marcel Mauss. Both economic forms are practiced today, as capitalism is the well-known bases of the modern economic system, the gift-giving form of economy is not unknown. Holidays, such as Christmas, and family events (weddings, birthdays, etc.) reverses this capitalistic trend where billions of gifts exchange hands with no this-for-that. A true gift never expects reciprocity.

Love is a true gift.

If you have achieved a state where you can give your love unconditionally, where you have overcome your fear of loneliness and the false idea that love is a quantifiable product for which you NEED a return, then you are ready to receive love from someone else. 

When this ‘love’ enters a natural reciprocity, not asked for, but given freely in both directions, a strength enters your personal little oasis to face the vicissitudes of life with your partner because you do not wish to disrupt the bond of this state of reciprocal love. In truth, love does make you stronger, but together you are exponentially stronger.

-Andrew, New Hampshire

All Love Letters’ are pristine, posted as they were received. Please forgive any spelling and grammar issues, since the writing was done in the throes of love, and sometimes love doesn’t care about commas or misplaced letters.

Being marvelous and being brave means you’re willing to believe in the wonder of who you are and take the risks you need to take to Bloom Breathe BE Be authentically YOU Break the mold Expand Evolve Flourish Grow Heal Fail Learn Live Thrive Transform Triumph Trust Succeed .