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How to Fall In Love:

To fall in love, you must put away everything you have learned up to now. You must put away pride, wisdom, street smarts, and sophistication. You may keep dignity, patience, instinct and an open spirit. Relax your body, unclench your hands and open your palms. Look up to the stars and let snowflakes fall on your face without intercepting them. Wait. First, you must find someone or let them find you. In fact, it’s better if they find you and you find them at about the same moment but this is only possible if you both walk backwards and into each other. Because you must start unaware and without expectations. If you are waiting and too ready, you will not fall in love. You might find romance which is love’s murmurings, but you will not fall in love.

The next thing you must do is to think of yourself as a house with all the doors and windows open. That other person will appear as sunshine that sneaks its way in and sends unexpected warmth upon you. You will bask in this delight. You will feel golden, perfect and radiant. You might even forget who you were, where you’ve been and everything else around you.
But then, it will change. Something will change. That wonderful sunshine will become alternately rain and wind; and then cool breezes with topsy-turvy gusts that upset your furniture, inside and out, and send your pictures on the walls all askew! You’ll want so very much to close the windows and slam the doors of your house; slap your hands together in that brisk motion that says, ‘enough of this nonsense’. You might feel fearful and in turn and in time, cover up that fear with the most wicked of all tonics: rationalization.

You might be so good at this that the rationalizations of things that are really a blessing and a gift, will seem as the truth that is the opposite of what is so. The rationalizations are the lies; the Truth will seem, well, unseemly. But no matter — if you go this route and forget this counsel, there is little to be done. And truthfully, for most of this, this is what will occur.

And then:

You might habitually protest the weather — shut it out and forget that it’s possible that in mere minutes, or hours or days, that same annoying wind with its fearsome gusts have the tendency to return and become again that sunshine that first warmed and beguiled you — that light, that feeling that made you feel you were finally home. So I urge you to become a student of the weather and simply watch it unfold. Welcome the rain and wind. Know that it will not harm you and besides, it will soon pass. If you can manage to keep the door and windows open, the rain will dry up, leaving only winsome brooks that are cheery and sweet. Those winds will settle, leaving only puffs of air to make your wind chimes sing merrily. And sooner than you think, you can look out again and see those golden rays which first caught you with their stream of light and warmth. You might marvel how it all changes all around you while you have sat still.

If you can sit still.

Then there comes a hard part. You will relax and get used to the changing weather. You will learn to be a companion to the wind and rain and not notice their tumult quite as much. Instead, happily, you will focus on that sun. That sun will become glorious. It will become larger than your own open house. And just when you get to that point and are reveling in this buttery, warm light, a big cloud will come. This cloud might stay and obliterate that sun which you have grown to love so well. It will stay so long until you know this is not a change in the weather. It is indeed, the new landscape and a painful reality of the heart.

At first, you will hope the sun will return but as the days turn into borderless chunks of time, you will know that is unlikely. Dullness might set in.

Now this is odd — because clearly, this is not simply weather changes but a
permanent state of affairs but still, you will have that same urge to shut the windows and close the door. Now, there is no rain, snow, or wind to make you do that but still — you will want to take a hammer and nails and hammer down shut every crevice that sun or any light might creep through.

You might even close the shutters around your heart.

I urge you not to.

If you are telling the truth about wanting to fall in love, this is how it
is done:
Take the glow from your own heart and your own truth. Set it in each window sill. Make candles of your faith. Take the glitter from that plant called hope and the twinkle from the dreams you cannot give up. Adorn your home with these things. In time, you will not miss that sunshine you grew to love. The light will go from inside, from your own hearth, to the outside. You will not need those flippant rays you first experienced and learned to rely on. That warmth that starts from within and stays.

One day, you might even look out again — because after all, you are still, in your heart of hearts, a student of weather. You might see another home — similarly lit. That might be an indication of another full, strong, open house — the only possible match for your own abode. It might be a place worth visiting. It might be a place to go to.

They say falling in love is wonderful. It is. But at first it will be scary and it might not always work out. You might only taste romance which, as lovely as it is, is simply love’s residue.

To fall in love you have to be smart but naive. Hope against hope. Hold your heart high, proud, but unfettered. Celebrate its scars. Cry until you simply don’t know what to do anymore. Sleep. Dream. Wait and be ready. There is always more weather. There is more sun. Put the hammer and nails away. Turn your palms open and upwards.

And that is how you fall in love.



Written by

Cookbook Author, Master Baker, Writer, contributer to Huffington, Washington Post, PBS Next Avenue. Find me and .

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