Your past has taught you well. You learned to fear. You fear rejection. You fear hurt. You tell yourself,
"You're not good enough for a feeling like this. You don't deserve anyone."
You find yourself questioning what love is. You reject the notion of pursuing someone. If someone loves you, they will come to you, and you will know it. It will be clear and obvious. Right? So, your roommate introduces you to a friend. He's attractive. Captivating eyes and a good heart. You get excited when he's around.
"No," you say. "Do not fall in love. Do not feel. Do not be hurt. I will not be hurt."
You invite him to an event. It'll be fun! He brings another girl. You learn her name. Leaving early by yourself, you pull out your earbuds. A few weeks ago, a beloved teacher gave you a song to listen to. You never understood the song, but you put it on your phone anyway - Mae's "The Fisherman Song (We All Need Love)." You hear a few lyrics, but the fast-paced beat and riveting instrumentals make you dance. You fly around your small dorm room. You feel freedom and hope in the sound of this music. You feel there must be more to it.
The song tells the story of a songwriter and a fisherman at the ocean at sunrise. The songwriter seeks understanding. The songwriter seeks love.
The fisherman offers some advice to the songwriter, saying,
"I see you came out here to write your song // I'd like to give you a little something // You may think it's nothing on first listen // In the time it takes for you to make love // You could break love, waste love // And throw it all away // But all you need is faith // And hope will bring a brighter day // And every time that you love // Let it lift someone else up // If somebody tries to burn you // Give him your hand in turn and pick him up // When he's all alone // Now if you find yourself getting frustrated // Try not to get too jaded // Or you could go 'insane' like me."
The fisherman prescribes faith to the fisherman. Through faith, he says hope will bring awakening and revival ("a brighter day") to the songwriter in the way that he loves. Love that is to be given unselfishly, for the sake of others. The fisherman gives wisdom to the songwriter for what to do when love sparks pain. For those times when he might get burned. He seems to encourage the songwriter to love in spite of the hurt. In spite of the fear.
Yet, "It's so hard to love."
The songwriter screams this phrase towards the end of the song, as if the burden to love like as the fisherman taught bludgeons his soul. He sounds anguished, understanding what the fisherman has said but dreading to be accountable to his words. But do not be frustrated, dear one. Perhaps there is freedom in viewing love in this light. There is often pain when you choose to love. You may be rejected. You may not be heard. You may not be pursued in turn.
Yet there is an unmistakable beauty which radiates from the one who chooses to love, despite all odds.
The concluding lyrics of the song are, "We all need love." Those who choose to genuinely love are arguably a rarity in our world today. We all need it. Since love is something we all need, we all can share it.
To you, dear one, who hopes to love one day, I propose a solution: It may be in the vulnerability in showing love that we are then able to find it.