What do you do with a love that grows bigger than it’s allowed to?
I have a giant heart. So my love? It doesn’t stay small. It grows big. Sometimes it seems like my love grows and grows until a barrier comes in and stops it. That if those barriers weren’t in place that my love would grow forever.
It reminds me of what people like to say that about goldfish: That they grow to the size of its tank.
And it’s funny. My life is very full. Writing takes up a lot of that tank. I only have so much room for living. Sometimes I worry that my full life makes love dangerous. That if I let it, love will have a way of coming in and crowding all that out.
So what are you supposed to do? You only have so much room in your tank, don’t you?
Well, it turns out that the goldfish analogy itself is flawed. Because it turns out that how large a goldfish grows is less about tank size and more about water quality. According to that article:
When properly cared for, goldfish will not stop growing. Most fishes are in fact what are known as indeterminate growers. This means that, unlike humans, they grow until they die. What really stunts a fish’s growth is poor water quality and improper care. In smaller aquariums or bowls, water quality is typically very poor.
And the reality is that it’s not the size of any given love that determines whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing — but how much care you can give it. If there’s enough in your life that you can’t properly tend to everything, then you and everyone around you suffers.
But if you can manage it all, there’s plenty of room to grow. Because it’s not really about space, after all. It’s about quality.
Often those two things go hand in hand — but not always.