There exists a unique character of silence. When the world around begins to drift away and for a moment you feel completely alone. But, this silence is not the dismal, pestering quiet we have come to know. Instead, it is a peaceful haven for the mind to roam free. A place where a heart can interrupt its constant tossing and turning and simply just exist in serene tranquility. In this silence, I find my heart peeking through the seams of its protective binding, slowly peeling the shell it has housed itself in. As it gently unwraps its casing, it begins to expose its raw and tender flesh–finally breathing as if for the first time–leaving a trail of exteriors and skins while it steps further out into the light. This lambent light gleams down on the exposed core of my existence, and caresses it the way cooled silk hugs the skin. In this sedated lull, there is a persistent whisper that resounds in the air around me, a calm voice that seems to almost hover with the silence in unison. The tone of these utterances is all too familiar. Every syllable verbalized by this whisper is dripping with divinity. With complete abandonment my heart unfolds under its beckoning. It draws out of me complete vulnerability, and I am suddenly cloaked in humility, covered head to toe in outstanding timidity. Rapidly, I have decamped my inflated confidence and am overcome with docility. With no words, simple urgencies elicited by this presence press within me, and I can feel something begin to materialize. Something both foreign and familiar begins to rejuvenate the worn muscles of my unconcealed heart. Each tendon is strengthened, and every artery begins to pulse with a powerful current carrying a breath of potency to the rest of my body. This invader is one that I have tried to contain, but regularly tries to escape the trappings I have set for it. With but it’s residence, this voice, has broken every seal I had welded on the cage doors. He calls out this emotion by name and there it rises to the brims of my soul… Love. Suddenly, I feel the cold chill of another invader I had tried to lock away… Fear. Both fighting for the foreground, with me trying to give fear the advantage of my support. Fear is a familiar foe. One I have come to a neutral agreement with, one I can depend on to know its regime. But, love is an entity in which is too unpredictable to find comfort in. But this voice silences fear and extends its light to love. There it stands, chosen to share my light. I find myself attempting to rationalize it away, but it does not budge. It remains there in humble elegance unscorned by my frightened contempt for its inhabitance. It reminds me of all the hopes and dreams I placed on its shoulders, and how I let it carry me through the tides of life, and in a single bound dropped me, and all of my wishes, to the ground. Even with every reason to wish it away it overpowers my discomfort and draws me in with its intoxicating allure. I am afraid. Afraid to let love in and have its way once again. Afraid to let myself fall and trust that it will catch me. Afraid to admit that even when I tried to convince myself that I could be rid of it, I was secretly praying for it to come to my rescue. Afraid to confess that I never stopped hoping in love, never admitting that–even after all this time–I waited, and continue to wait. So here we stand, face to face reacquainting ourselves with one another. In an instant I am reminded of its charm. How it felt to be free in the arms of love. How it brought me to places unconstrained by circumstances and expectations. It was then I realized that it was not love that let me go, but fear that pulled me away. Fear loosened my grip in small subtle moments and not in one great pull. It patiently waited and siphoned my confidence a little at a time. With every withdrawal my strength to grasp love waned until finally I was too weak to hold on. Yet, here it stands in front of me holding no record of wrongs–even after all I had done to keep it chained down–once again outstretching its hand and giving me the strength to try one more time. With bashful deliberateness, I risk another journey with love. This time around a little wiser, a little stronger, with an unweighted heart, and guided by the divine voice that sends peaceful shivers down my spine and rests in my soul. That same silence that inspired me to naked vulnerability is now the resting place for my once veiled heart and an unwavering love. The same love that binds together compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience in perfect unity.