Evolve to Love

Header Glass Windchime 1

I’m still trying to process Sunday’s tragedy in Orlando. What happens to a person that causes them to snap and take their fear and rage out on innocents? Perhaps we’re not supposed to figure it out. Dissecting such a horror can easily suck us into the event horizon of fear and hatred ourselves. I cannot begin to fathom the sadness felt in the communities of all my brothers and sisters. Not just the LGBTQ community but the decent majority in the Muslim community, left ashamed and branded by the horrific acts of the extreme few. As a fellow human being, I feel equally ashamed and branded. To be a part of a society that breeds this type of behavior is unthinkable. I am a human being and human beings can be insanely cruel. It is needless heartbreak. Haven’t we all had enough?

The chaos in our world does a very good job of distracting us from our daily life. Chaos shakes our foundations and distorts our view of ourselves and the world around us. But chaos can also show us the way back to the true meaning in life. The meaning of love and friendship. The meaning of sharing our hearts, unabashedly and without hesitation, to those in need—and even those who do not realize they are in need. This is what it means to be human. Not the senseless cruelty we inflict on each other with violence or slurs. Isn’t it strange how one must learn how to hate, but one does not need to be taught how to love?

In our beginning, we were all the same. We were all innocent babies without opinions and demands on those around us. We asked for our needs to be met: to be fed and clothed and loved, but we did not form thoughts of hate and judgment in this innocence. There was no room for it in our hearts. Where do we learn this cruelty? Where do we learn how “not-to-love” one another? How can we continue to live this way? We can’t. We simply can’t. The only salve for these wounds comes in the form of hope. Hope in the sense that we will see good come from this tragedy. That we will see growth in compassion and understanding. We must.

To those who will undoubtedly hold fast to your close-mindedness, I implore you: look beyond your opinion of the truth. Open your hearts and open your minds. Stretch your perspective and the limited vision of self or the world you’ve created around you. Put yourselves in others’ shoes. Evolve to become better human beings to each other. To be human is to love. It is in our inherit nature to love. It is what we were all born to do. No matter what path we decide to follow, our one and only mission in life is to love. Nothing else matters.

Late Bloomer

“Nothing stirs a soul so mightily as two polar emotions, singularly enthroned. Love unconditional or the tiny terror of something unknown.” – D.M.

So, here it is. My tiny terror. Something new, exciting and far out of my comfort zone. This will be my unveiling. I am unfolding the raw, tender petals of a woman no one knows exists. Erica Ruhe, the writer. Sharing my personal creativity has been a challenge. It’s comfortable to create something no one can criticize or ridicule. It’s safe to create something for yourself and never share it with the world. But over time, this comfortable, safe approach to my work has felt incomplete.

I’ve always felt a little bit behind the rest of the world, a late bloomer, if you will. From a young age, there was a disconnect between me and the rest of society. I honed my survival skill of fitting in, making small talk and attending social events. That’s what normal people do, right? It didn’t come naturally to me, so I faked it. As long as I kept my mismatched petals from popping out, I could pass for any kind of flower. That was the beauty of being an inconspicuous bud on the tree.

Occasionally, I got comfortable and opened up my septal shell, showing a hint of my true colors. I wasn’t quite sure what species of flower I was because I’d never opened my petals far enough to find out. But I tried. When the judgments and questions began, I realized I wasn’t like the other roses around me. Those moments were the painful reminder to ‘quiet my crazy’ and go back to being a bud.

This went on so long I had convinced myself and everyone around me that I was a bud. I felt the only shred of authenticity in my character were my flaws. At the edge of a failed long-term relationship, a non-existent career and declining health, I realized my camouflage and ‘survival’ skills had ultimately failed me. This wasn’t how I was going to live the rest of my life. It was time to grab my excuses by the collar and show them the door.

Now, I am in the middle of a very long, very emotional epiphany. I have spent the past few years trying to get to know this woman inside, for she has kept hidden a cache of intimate longings, passionate inspiration and disturbing secrets. Even from me. This woman does not have all the answers, but she listens. She does not express herself well in public, but she knows exactly what she wants to say. The more she reveals, the more I’m aware of an inevitable step in my own evolution. Like the moment before a water molecule becomes steam, I feel my spirit buzzing, anticipating, eager to expand. Labor pains of consciousness are preceding a new birth of self I never saw coming. My spring has finally arrived.

So, there it is, dear readers. My first step in a long walk to self-discovery as a writer in the public eye. I’ll face my tiny terror, nausea and all, to finally open up and share a few words. My hope is that something you read here will speak to you, stir an emotion, spark an opinion.