Begging! Begging you!
Put your loving hand out!
Frida Kahlo reputedly told her husband, “I’m not asking you to kiss me, nor apologise to me when I think you’re wrong. I won’t even ask you to hug me when I need it most. I don’t ask you to tell me how beautiful I am, even if it’s a lie, nor write me anything beautiful. I won’t even ask you to call me to tell me how your day went, nor tell me you miss me. I won’t ask you to thank me for everything I do for you, nor to care about me when my soul is down, and of course, I won’t ask you to support me in my decisions. I won’t even ask you to listen to me when I have a thousand stories to tell you. I won’t ask you to do anything, not even be by my side forever. Because if I have to ask you, I don’t want it anymore.”
Knowing a little about the troubled background of Frida and of the heartbreak she suffered in the name of love, and through the traumas of life, I’m not certain that she meant this quite as literally as it may seem. I appreciate that her love for herself would appear strong in this sentiment – that one interpretation may be that she would not demean herself to beg her husband for the show of love that I believe most of us seek. In truth, I believe that at all times, we are doing one of two things: either showing love or crying out for it. And I think that here she demonstrates the latter.
The two stances – showing or crying out for love – may be the simplest distillation of our human condition. I am sure it is at the core of the most complex assembly of all that it means to be human; we all need to feel or experience the outward show of love. Anyone who says otherwise has simply devised the mechanism for shoring up after the wounds or traumas we have experienced. I think Frida’s was defense against her sickly childhood, her savage accident and the many betrayals she felt. Whilst she knew that she could endure much more than she first believed, surviving polio and physical injury – her spine and collarbone were fractured; three bones in her pelvis fractured and she sustained two broken ribs; her right foot was dislocated, her left shoulder came off, her right leg broke in eleven parts – she must have experienced immense physical pain from the metal rod that pierced her body in the crash. But, it is the emotional pain from which I think she suffered the most and which prompted this thought on love:
“Fall in love with yourself, with life and then with whoever you want.”
This plea from Kahlo invites you to distill romantic love and put self-love and courage above everything. Even above sentimental love for someone else. But most importantly, it is her invitation for to you to live life in its fullest colours that begs for love.
Whether you are coupled up or single, young enough to be seeking or stumbling across your first romantic love, or old enough to have surthrived several, I am begging you to fall in love with life, fresh every day! At the end of each one, the world will be brighter or dimmer, more or less kind and compassionate, and more loving or hateful because of the love you share or don’t.
I’m begging you; your move…