This Messy Little Thing Called LOVE

Last week I read a post that completely unravelled me. It was one of those innocent moments when something catches your eye…

You click…

Screen shot 2013-06-20 at 10.39.05 AM

You read…


And somehow the words slip past your defence and turn you inside out.

Judy Clement Wall spent a year in 2011 “publicly committed to fearless love”. I’m yet to find out what that means in her collection of essays, but the manifesto took me back.

I wrote poetry as a young girl. Copious diary entries and stories and poems.

At the age of about eleven, my best friend and I shared a little boy crush. Even then, I knew it was a case of displaced affection. But I played the part, and wrote a swooney love poem. Nathan, I think, was his name.

It was an innocent enough poem. All soft, melting sighs for the beautiful eyes and a wish for that one stolen kiss…

My poems were my prized possession. Carried around in school uniform pockets, re-read and re-worked until the scraps of paper fell apart.

Or until my mother found them.

I still remember the bitter, hateful look on her face.

“Disgusting!!” she spat, as if it had a taste. “I will not have that Filth in this house!!!” Tore it to shreds and threw it in the flames of the combustion stove.

It was the moment, or one of them, when Love became something rank and vile. A dirty little secret, to be hidden in words that never see the light of day.

Writing became the place I bury things. The most important things – hate, anger, pain. And the source of all the trouble – Love.

Hide Love

I learned to hide my love and affection, which also meant my writing, very well.

This post is officially my 53rd post, which means I’ve been blogging for a year.

Bringing my words, and my heart, out into the public has been one of the most terrifying experiences of my life.

Yet, strangely, also one of the most transformative.

Each one of you, whether you know it or not, has encouraged me to keep going. And with each week, to be a little bolder. A little braver. A little bit more personal.

Opening ourselves involves risk. It takes us down uncertain paths and, truthfully, I’ve lost my way a little bit of late.

But sometimes, maybe that’s just what we need to find ourselves again.

Coming back, I realise – I’ve been hiding under the pretence of ‘inspirational blogger’ to shy away from the topics that move me most.

They’re not always pretty. They hurt. They confront.

They also purify.

This last year, blogging has been the only thing between me and quitting writing altogether. And every day I hide myself, I die a little bit inside.

nurse-jackie-season-4-posterAs Nurse Jackie recently taught me:

 “You’re only as sick as your secrets.”

– Zoey

 It’s the opposite of what love is all about.

So, going forward, if you notice a raw edge and the occasional ‘f’ word appear. I hope you will forgive me and understand…

It’s all in the name of Truth. Authenticity. And this messy little thing called Love.

Anyone ever tell you to hide your Love? Did you listen?


  1. says

    No. Like my mother before me, I love wildly, publicly, and with abandon. I have been laughed at gently and right out loud, have loved many times unrequitedly, have been met with bemusement and resentments of every sort. But I just cannot seem to help myself. I wear my heart on the proverbial sleeve.

  2. says

    Those moments of utter annihilation as a child are devastating…and as adults we just have to let them go, and recognise where the other person was coming from.
    I’ve hidden many loves too – it was safer at the time, and therefore it worked for me…
    And I’ve always enjoyed having a secret life…something kept back for me , myself, something that no-one else can measure or judge or be-little!!!!
    Different layers of life and loving…

    • says

      I fully appreciate the appeal of the secret life…and I agree with you. Sometimes it’s necessary for self protection as much as anything. Has its downside, too, though…

      The freeing thing about adulthood is being able to look back and understand those moments. It’s a making peace, I guess?

  3. says

    “I’ve lost my way a little bit of late.But sometimes, maybe that’s just what we need to find ourselves again.”

    congrats, Alarna. 🙂 here’s to another year of conquering fears, writing and loving… write on! ~ san

  4. liz says

    Congratulations on a year of blogging and a year of sharing little bits of yourself! The blogging world is a better place for it. 🙂

    I am looking forward to your raw, edginess. I think it is. A brave step. I remember that the first year i blogged, it was much more fluffy and happy. And it still is, to one degree. But it has become much kor authentic as i have let my soul bleed out a little more & more. Yep the f word has been there, unhappy times, tough stuff. It’s freeing and cathartic.

    Can’t wait to see what next year brings you! Much love & peace. xo

    • says

      Time flies in this world, that’s for sure! Thanks or your kind words…It’s inspiring to hear your story unfold, and others, who are brave enough to put themselves out there. I’m not even sure yet 100% what I mean, but I know that it’s the personal edge that draws me to others blogs. So we’ll see where this takes me 🙂 Thanks for being part of it!

  5. says

    Hi Alarna — I think you are still an “inspirational blogger,” meaning that you are inspiring for me to read, although perhaps you are refining what that means to you. I suppose we could view being an inspirational blogger as requiring you to write lists of “10 things YOU should do TODAY” and so on. But actually, just sharing your experience is a lot more inspiring to me than that.

    • says

      Thanks, Chris – I appreciate the encouragement. Others stories move and inspire me, too, so I figure there is nothing to be gained in hiding. I’ll leave the expert lists to someone else… 🙂

  6. says

    Wow, a year, Alarna? How can that be? You’ve been awesome from the get-go, and now you’re going to dig deeper, and that’s good. Takes guts to share those raw emotions, but those are the blog posts people can relate to, and they’ll remember them, will be touched by them. I think your writing rocks and I look forward to more! XO

    • says

      You’ve been with me from the start, Lynn! It’s hard to believe a year has gone by – I was sooo nervous starting out! But you’ve helped me hang in there and keep on growing. I owe you a big debt of gratitude 🙂 xoxo

  7. says

    I’m inspired simply by you saying you want to share more of the real you.:) I struggle with this–the truth and how much I am comfortable sharing. I am truthful, but there are definitely times I hold back for fear of judgment. But other times I am completely comfortable keeping some things to myself. It’s a balance I haven’t figured out. Yet? 🙂 Not sure.

    • says

      Hey Coleen, I totally get the struggle… A lot of it is to do with fear of judgment, or maybe worse, not being understood? And who knows, maybe the blog isn’t where it needs to be? I haven’t figured it out either, just going where the flow wants to take me 🙂

  8. says

    When I first started blogging, I wrote political posts almost exclusively. It was during Obama’s first campaign and I felt so strongly about him, I took up blogging. After the election, I had this crisis, not knowing what I wanted to talk about. I’d been sort of hiding behind politics.

    It took me quite a quite a while to find my footing, and I remember the moment when I realized I was going to have to blog about what mattered to me. And if I was going to be authentic, I’d probably have to say fuck sometimes. : )

    Every year I’ve written closer and closer to the bone, and it’s been amazing – the support, the understanding, the overwhelming sense that I’m not alone, that there are people struggling with the same demons I am. I’m glad I found you right when you decided to be absolutely true to you.

    • says

      Hi Judy, one of the things I love about blogging is it’s so interconnected. It makes you feel like you are part of something bigger..and there’s a real exchange that happens.

      It seems fitting that you started out blogging in politics and then it became personal…it’s such a powerful platform for change on all levels. I’m truly excited to have met you and I can’t wait to read your essays! 😀

  9. says

    53 posts. How wonderful. Did someone once say, “writing the truth will set you free?” Looks like you are there. We can never change our childhood, but we can change the way we feel about those negative experiences. Not easy, but for many of us, writing is our way. Keep writing.

    • says

      Someone must have said it… I thought ‘the truth will set you free’ was a biblical reference? Either way, it’s powerful. I promise to keep writing – thank you for being here to cheer me on! 🙂

  10. says

    Told to hide or be transparent in the nature of love… Can not say that I have. Listen, always listening… Choice is a good thing, and choosing to develop your writing further is a good thing too. F bombs, they’re sometimes needed to express the point to which an extreme has been met head on, in sometimes the most emotive way the the word in itself can only express. Everyone can do with a few more cups of experience, in what ever the pursue, where ever it finds, leads, takes, steals one away to in some direction. Seek not to inspire, but seek to do, to lead your way….

    • says

      ‘Seek to lead your way’. I like that… There’s an Om poster on my wall which I read everyday… It says ‘Walk the path of your own heart’. That’s all we can do, I think. 🙂

      • says

        There’s much we can do, but today, most often it has become lost in different directions, for reasons more machine like than human 🙂

  11. says

    It makes me so sad when parents or other authority figures accuse a kid of their art being “dirty” or not “worthwhile”. I hope you’ll stop listening to that little engrained voice. It’s not true. You’re figuring that out, but keep fighting it until that voice goes away. It’s okay to be yourself. Don’t hide what you love, because worthwhile people will celebrate you for it, and it’s a good weeding tool for the people you don’t want or need in your life anyway.

    Writing is for exploring, learning, educating, enjoying, expanding, processing, venting, catharsis, joy, and so much more. Words have power, and stopping up your words would hurt.

    • says

      Thank you so much… your words touch me. It’s one of those life lessons, I guess… Learning to be yourself – not to hide, or seek approval according to others expectations. A ‘good weeding tool’ is a great way to look at it 🙂

  12. says

    I love your blog Alarna! Happy one year of blogging! Writing is something I hid for a long time. I’m just starting now to embrace it. Please keep on writing, we love your words.

    • says

      Aw, thank you, Rita! So glad you’ve started to embrace it… The great thing about writing is it’s never too late – and you can do it anytime, anywhere. I promise to keep writing. Thanks for reading 😉

  13. says

    Hi Alarna! Am I ever glad I didn’t miss this post! You are an amazing writer. I just love your voice. It’s sincere, raw, forthright, brave! I applaud you for sticking with this blogging gig for a year! I think that’s the hump we need to make it through and then we find our comfort zone. Yet, we all struggle. And we have crazy mothers. lol. Yet, after that emotional turmoil, you’re still writing! You’re still sharing a bit of your heart with the rest of us. Thank you. {{Hugs!}} 🙂

    • says

      Thank you so much, Karen! **Hugs back** 😀 Really appreciate the love and support you have shown me, and the blogging community at large. And it’s great to meet others who struggle through…Yes, we all have our baggage. But that’s what life is about, hey? Working it, and sharing it 😉 Much love xo.

  14. Deliberately Delicious says

    I love the raw honesty in this piece of writing, Alarna, and that you are acknowledging that you’ve “lost [your] way a little…” It’s funny: I’ve been reading backwards and marveling at the tone in one post (about your former prime minister) and the content of others (the trip into the country with your partner). It’s interesting to wend my way back to the source. I like your raw edge. It’s a place of power.

    • says

      Wow, what a lovely surprise you’ve given me, today! And it was a tough day, too, so you’ve timed your visit perfectly 🙂 Thank you, Sally. I can’t tell you how much this means to me… I guess it’s been one of those years, the up side being it is putting me in touch with that scary raw writing place. You give me much needed hope…

      • Deliberately Delicious says

        I’m so pleased I helped brighten your day 🙂 It was lovely last night to work my way through the posts I’d missed and to see new aspects of your writing.

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