This was a way that she seemed to understand herself, the way that words felt their meaning, the way that they communicated to her her pain, her struggle, without destroying her, without taking it away from her and making it part of themselves – without taking her self away from her self. She found that she was always trying, never really understanding what it meant to really learn who she was, that she found giving away easier than receiving, that promises were hard to keep when they were not written. She was afraid but then again she had always been afraid, and that fear had saved her as many times as it had destroyed her, had given to her as much as it had taken away, and she did not know what to do without the fear. It was as much a part of her as her hands, her feet, her heartbeat, and the ones who wanted to take it away did not understand that to take away her fear was to take away most of who she was. So she stopped. She tried. She cried and she wondered. She prayed but only in small pieces, as if God could not handle her if she offered everything up at once; as if she could not handle it if she lost all of herself at once. She tried but she never really knew. She hoped but she never really understood.
But she heard it said once: “You can love completely without complete understanding.” And those words never really left her, even when she didn’t know if she agreed or understood, even when she didn’t want to remember them. Because the possibility that one could love something else – completely, wholeheartedly, without fear of self or hurt or death – without understanding the object of that love was deeply beautiful to her, more beautiful than anything she had ever heard before. It saved her, in the moments when it seemed like nothing could. It made her human when the world tried its hardest to dehumanize her. It made her okay despite not being okay – okay despite everything that would never be.