02 July 2009

Love in a complicated climate

I found this on Sparkles and Crumbs and I can't help but feel like it was written for me.

Sometimes in our relentless effort to find the person we love, we fail to recognize and appreciate the people who love us. We miss out on so many beautiful things simply because we allow ourselves to be enslaved by our own selfish concerns. Go for the man/woman of deeds and not for the man/woman of words, for you will find rewarding happiness, not with the man/woman you love but with the man/woman who loves you more.

The best lovers are those capable of loving from a distance far enough to allow the person to grow but never too far to feel the love within your being.

To let go of someone doesn’t mean you have to stop loving; it only means that you allow that person to find his/her own happiness without expecting him/her to come back. Letting go is not just setting the other person free, but is also setting yourself free from all the bitterness, hatred, and anger that you keep in your heart. Do not let the bitterness take away your strength and weaken your faith, and never allow pain to dishearten you; but rather let yourself grow with wisdom in bearing it. You may find peace in loving someone from a distance not expecting something in return. But be careful, for this can sustain life but can never give enough room for us to grow. We can all survive with just beautiful memories of the past, but real peace and happiness come only with open acceptance of what reality is today.

There comes a time in our lives when we chance upon someone so nice and beautiful and we just find ourselves so intensely attracted to that person. This feeling soon becomes a part of our everyday lives and eventually consumes our thoughts and actions. The sad part of it is when we begin to realize that this person feels nothing more for us than just a friendship. We start our desperate attempt to get noticed and be closer, but in the end our efforts are still unrewarded and we end up being sorry for ourselves. You don’t have to forget someone you love. What you need to learn is how to accept the verdict of reality without being bitter or sorry for yourself. Believe me, you would be better off giving that dedication and love to someone more deserving.

Don’t let your heart run your life, be sensible and let your mind speak for itself. Listen not only to your feelings but to reason as well. Always remember that if you lose someone today, it means that someone better is coming tomorrow. If you lose love, that doesn’t mean you failed in love. Cry if you have to, but make sure that tears wash away the hurt and the bitterness that the past has left with you. Let go of yesterday and love will find its way back to you. And when it does, pray that it may be the love that will stay and last a lifetime.

There are two ways to live your life: One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. There is no mistake so painful that love cannot forgive, no past so bitter that love cannot accept, and no love so little that we cannot start all over with.

-'Love and Life' by Albert Einstein
Here is the most resonant statement for me: "If you lose love, that doesn't mean you failed in love."  I always thought that I saw things in shades of gray, but maybe I only think in extremes when the judgments apply to me.  I know that I judge myself more harshly than I judge anybody else.  Somebody else might have made a human mistake, but I...I have failed.  Somebody else should have hope for the future, but I...I should pick apart the past until I find proof that it was all my fault.  
It's funny-- more than anything, I hate those people who say that if love ends, then it wasn't really love at all, because you only really get one shot.  But I kind of do the same exact thing to myself: I say that I failed in love and that's why it ended (because if I hadn't messed up, it wouldn't have ended), or I tell myself that because I had it, I can never find it again.  
I also judge my love against that of others.  If it doesn't look like movie-love, perfect-preppy-love, then it isn't love.  Self-help books tell us that if he doesn't leap over mountains to be with you, then "he's just not that into you" (not like there couldn't be any other explanation...of course not...).  So then, according to this model, all romantic relationships should look exactly the same, whereas I believe that loves are (or at least should be) like snowflakes, or fingerprints: completely unique to you-- literally once in a lifetime.  We are all shaped by our surroundings, timing, circumstances...and what happened to me and Exbf was a product of exactly those things.  We've always said that if we'd met six months later-- if I'd left my job earlier, if he'd had a longer time to get over his long-term relationship falling apart, if he hadn't had issues, if I hadn't been depressed-- we might be on our way to marriage now.  But then again, that's a destructive way to think: "if only."  But the point is, other people who judge us and the quality of our loves have no idea what background experiences are making up the collages of our existence.  I am not simple, nor are the men I am interested in.  We don't put forth everything that makes us who we are.  So although it hurts, I know that I shouldn't think that my dysfunctional reality with Exbf made our love any less transcendent.  And I shouldn't think that when, one day, he acts differently around another girl, that it means that his feelings for me were any less powerful.
The reason why I write about this is that, while I was in New York meeting my family, we took Exbf out for dinner, and I was reminded about how well he fits into my life.  My family loves him, I love his friends, and we know and accept absolutely everything about each other.  It's always tempting for me to want to try again at our relationship, so that us-in-initial-love could be rewritten into what I know it can be now, with our worlds coming together and me knowing at all times how he feels about me.  And yet, you only have to read The Great Gatsby to know that you can't recapture the past-- you can only look to the future and hope that it delivers something that is somehow just as good and yet infinitely different.  You know, like snowflakes or fingerprints.  


Pixie July said...

This really made me think, just like Einstein's words - I found it amazing how they were telling me just what I needed to hear at the time I read them in the kindest, most matter-of-fact way. Also, bizarrely, I included that photo with the gorgeous quote in the post I've just finished, before I read this! Great minds think alike... you, me and Einstein...! :) xx

Ashma said...

I found your blog through Sparkles and Crumbs, and I love reading your posts :)
Especially this one.. its so strange because when I first read this passage, the "If you lose love, that doesn't mean you failed in love." line struck me the most too!
Like snowflakes and fingerprints indeed...
-Ashma :)

Therapeutic Ramblings said...

Who knew AE was such a brilliant writer?