The Lens by Tawni Vee Waters

Love you. Not just the pretty parts of you. The wide eyes and the killer smiler. Not just the part of you that has good politics and sound theology, the part of you that sings your babies to sleep every night, the part of you that loves the right person perfectly with a gift of $50 roses and an exquisite bottle of wine. But the parts of you that are ugly. The wrinkles and the cellulite. The part of you that secretly answers the big questions with a quavering, “I don’t know.” The part of you that forgets her babies’ birthdays. The part of you that drank a box of wine alone last night, weeping because nobody loved it. The part of you that ate the whole bowl of cookie dough. The part of you that can’t get her shit together. The part of you that loves the wrong lovers in all the wrong ways. Love that person.

This is the hard part, loving this person. Because it’s easy to love the perfect person, or it should be, but it’s not, because you know that no matter how flawless your mask, it’s not really you. You are the one that falls in love with the bad ones. You are the one that sings off key and keeps whiskey bottles under her bed unopened, just in case. You are the one that runs from the sun because you don’t want people to see what you look like in the light. You are all kinds of fucked up. And yet, you must love you. All of you. This is the part of being human that will make or break you. It’s not about how much of you you can get right. It’s about how much of you you can love, even when you get it all wrong.

Right now, right where you are standing, if you could pull the camera away from the close up, pull the lens all the way into forever where God lives, and see the intricate, tragic, glorious beauty that is you, you would love you.

I know what you’re thinking. If I love those parts of me, I will fuck up. Of course you will. You will fuck up epically. You were born to fuck up. If life were meant to be lived perfectly, it would come with a rule book, a rule book that is not open to interpretation, a rule book that makes sense. It doesn’t. By virtue of the very nature of life, no matter what choices you make today, one night, you will lie screaming in your bed, hating yourself, because of the choices you make. Love you anyway.

I know what you are thinking. What if I get it wrong? You will get it wrong. You have no chance of getting it right. Did you really think the point of life was getting it right? Did you really think your little brain could wrap itself around the vastness of all that is and get the perfect answer? You will answer wrong, and wronger, and wrongest. Love you anyway.

I know what you are thinking. What if people hate me? Of course they will hate you. Did you think there was some way to live quietly, kindly, flawlessly enough that another fucked up human, a human who is unable to love herself, would not look at you and see something in you that reflects her own pain and hate you for it? Did you really think that you could live in a world of fucked up humans and somehow come out unscathed? Live true, and love you, and let the people who hate you hate you. If you lived a lie, people would still hate you. It would just be different people. At least the people who hate you when you live true hate you honestly. At least they hate the real you. All kinds of people will hate you. Beautiful people will hate you. Ugly people will hate you. Smart people will hate you. Dumb people will hate you. Love you anyway.

You will fuck up. You will get it wrong. People will hate you. And in spite of all this, in spite of all the failure and wrongness, in spite of all this two in the morning screaming, this whiskey drinking, this fucking bad people in bad ways, this not getting your ass off the couch and getting to the gym, this mess that you are, love is the only lens that will allow you peace, will let you look down on you, curled up on the couch, watching pointless television., feeling hopeless, love is the thing that will look down on all the inexplicable unknowable unanswerable vastness that is you and see you for what you are.

A walking miracle.

About Tawni Vee Waters
Need a last minute gift idea for that writer in your life? Consider getting them a manuscript consolation with Dinty W. Moore, Jen Violi, or Tawni Waters, the author of this fabulous post you just read!  Plus, you’ll be helping a small press make more published writersAnd every time a writer gets published an angel gets… nah.  Its awesome enough just tog et published 🙂

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