You have no choice of the people you love. You can’t manufacture it if it’s not there, no matter how strongly you believe it should be. And if it is there, you can repress it, but you can’t make it vanish. And it’s so risky to let loose those mysterious, uncontrolled feelings that most of us try to clamp down on them. Most people have a harder time letting themselves love than in finding someone to love them.
All of us have a place inside ourselves that we believe is ugly and grotesque, and this hidden place is the part of our personality that’s hardest to acknowledge to others. But when you love another human being, you are frightened to let them see that hidden place because you fear that they will draw away from you in disgust.
But that hidden place is the most human part of you. Many of us live our whole lives without ever revealing that ugly place. The excitement and romance of love comes when you decide to let someone reach around that shell and touch you. When you let another see that ugly spot, and they accept you anyway — and perhaps can even convince you that the secret inside your shell is not ugly at all – we experience the sweetest moments we can ever know.
– Bill Russell, Second Wind