My whole life, I’ve never felt worthy of being loved.

Intellectually, I understand that I am worthy and that everyone deserves to be loved, but that doesn’t change the circuitry in my soul that makes me feel the way I do. There are things intrinsic to us that can’t be changed, and the best we can do is jury-rig our insides and try to find mental workarounds.

Vonnegut wrote, “We are here to help each other get through this thing, whatever it is.” That goes for ourselves, too.

If there’s a higher purpose to our lives, it’s this: To get down the river the best we can and to hurt as few other people as we can.

So I live in a constant state of self-reinforcing amazement that my wife loves me, even though I know how hard it must be. I have never, ever been accused of being lovable. I have brittle parts of my personality driven by damaged anxiety generators in my brain. Anxiety disorder is a real thing, and more people than you know suffer from it. You may suffer from it, too, and not even be aware.

When I learned this truth some years ago, I sat there flabbergasted. “My whole childhood makes sense now!” I said.

So it means something that I can apprehend, acknowledge, and appreciate that I am loved by someone whose great ability seems to be that she sees the good parts of me in the brighter light.

Valentine’s Day, 2022.

— Addendum: Chris Squire is singing as I write this, “Don’t believe in miracles, but I do believe in love. Don’t advise you to stick to rules, but there ain’t no need to push and shove.” Amen.