Don’t tell me you aren’t beautiful.
It hurts me when you say these words because I know that you believe them. I know that you have been brainwashed into believing them, and I know that they are lies. They could only ever be lies.
Do you trust me?
You hear me when I tell you that every time I turn to look at you, your fiery orange hair is burning your love through the sunlight and your eyes are sparkling in all the colors of the sea, and everyday your voice dances around my scars and carries me gently to a home I had never known before. And still you say “I’m not beautiful.” Still you say, “I never will be.”
Such has been our childhood – growing up back-to-back in a world that shoves countless falsehoods down our throats until we either swallow or choke, and when the floods began and I tried desperately to save your fading ghost, my eyes were opened to the radical act that is believing – not in the words of others, but in yourself. I wondered innocently why such an act, an act of survival, an act of humanity, an act of the pursuit of happiness, must be considered radical. I wondered why it must be radical to love.
But as time flowed back and forth between us, I began slowly and shamefully to understand. I found the answers to my question in the eternal moment you decided to close the curtains of your life and shut me out. I found the answers when you chased me through the park, your feet kicking up the imperfect white sand, your expression breaking into the rarities of a smile and a genuine laugh. I found the answers when you lay beside me in bed and talked about how much you wanted to die.
Human love is radical because it is powerful. It transforms us ordinary animals into spirits and even goddesses. We take it from our hearts and hold it within our hands, and with it we decide who gets to live and who gets to die, who gets to move forward and who must be held back. The pure magic of it, dismissed by close-minded people who call us mundane, wreathes around our broken bodies and pours out into the world, building magnificent places and times and beings and then leaving behind empty, equally magnificent acres of hell. We collectively call this magic “love” because our languages, our words, too often fail us in our attempts to make sense of our journey towards death, but if “love” is the only way I can heal you, I will accept it. I will say it, I will breathe it, I will do it, until you grow nauseous and expel the thousands of lies they have force-fed you, until your unique mind begins to turn, until you set your sea-colored eyes upon the shifting horizon and even one, one miniscule fragment of your shaking soul opens up to the very possibility that you are beautiful. I will love you until this moment, and forever after. You may not believe me when I say these words, but that’s okay. I’ll do the believing for now. And one day, someday, your heart will see.
You might be wondering why I have changed. Over the seasonless years, the lessons of current and past suffering have taught me that the passive support I gave you for so long was not enough. I was trying to conform, to remain within the safe confines of what the world considered acceptable, and I’m sorry that I may have understood this too late. But now I realize that passive conformity, passive safety, will never be enough to bring out the beauty contained within your blown-glass soul. There is no other option but to be radical, which means there is no other option but to love. And so I will love you, even if it tears me apart.
They may not believe me – but there is no longer any other way.