I recently had somebody tell me they thought talking about love as "brave" was totally cliche. I was taken aback, and have been pondering on bits of that thought over the last few weeks. Are terms like "choosing love" and "having courage to love" just trite phrases that people say? Any time I hear a new idea like this, I ingest it and see how it sits with me. I'm constantly absorbing and filtering ideas through my system to see what becomes a part of my values. After taking my reflection time on this, I think my answer to the above questions is a resounding NO!
Love is brave and courageous. It's easy to be infatuated with somebody. It's easy to run for the hills when the going gets tough. It's easy to quit when you're bored. It's easy (though a lot of work) to protect yourself by keeping yourself closed off.
What isn't easy, is opening your heart and letting all of your good and gut-wrenching bad be seen by another human. It isn't easy to lay all your cards out on the table and give them to someone who could potentially hurt you. It's scary to love so deeply while having no guarantee of happiness forever and ever. It's scary to let someone take care of you because it means admitting that you are vulnerable.
It's scary, and not easy, but I believe it's one of the most awe inspiring and important things we can do in our lives. In my own love life, having the courage to open myself up to so much uncertainty has brought with it the most incredible feelings of strength, empowerment, and freedom. It's made me grow as a human being and experience feelings I would never be able to imagine without just experiencing them.
So maybe sayings like "love is brave" and "have the courage to choose love" get tossed around often-- but maybe it's because love is such a complex yet simple emotion that it's difficult to express in deeper words. And maybe because it's true. Choosing to love is extremely brave. And I want to photograph and document your brave.