BENGALURU: Close to a week past Valentine’s Day and all the hopes that it possibly brings of feeling loved and connected to those who seek it. Here on the other side, we might be looking at how love can hurt. There’s nothing like love that hurts so physically even when there’s nothing physical that is happening, especially when love fails to meet one’s expectations, disappoints and crushes one’s desires, but the question is what kind of loss of love hurts more?
Is it sad to love and be loved but not be able to make it happen for whatever reason? Is it terrible when you are in what you thought is a solid, loving relationship of mutual trust and joy, only to discover quite suddenly that your trust was misplaced and that maybe you really aren’t loved at all the way you wanted? Is it worse to have started a loving relationship and then watch it slowly shrivel away into a dullness, an act of bare existence together without anything much by way of feelings of love or joy?
Each of these would claim that their pain hurts like nothing else. Those who love and feel it reciprocated but cannot continue might feel that they have it worse. The struggle to try and see if there’s some way, some trick of fate that might help them hold this thing that is good and beautiful, only to find nothing works and they part, staying in longing, struggling to move on, to say bye – that seems such sweet sorrow.
Thinking everything was great only to suddenly know it was all an illusion, and nothing was quite real seems so horribly hurtful, crashing like a hall of mirrors, leaving one bleeding and hurt. The thought of being with someone for years and years only to see love vanish like a pond in a long drought, leaving behind scum and cracked earth – that feels so empty and numb.
Or, is it worse still, to have always wanted love but never having felt it at all? People who experience this last bit might feel that their pain is worse than any of the others and speak of their frustration and longing as singularly painful.
If you were told that yes, you can and will fall in love, but you have to possibly go through one of the other pains above, would you still want it, or would you tell yourself that to love yourself was a better deal, and not really go out to seek lovers at all?
We are a species that lives on hope and dreams. Even if there was just that much hope for something beautiful and joyful, we might just say yes to the possibility of pain. We might say bring it on. Let the world be whatever it will be, let whatever disappointment come if it must, we will bounce back from it and still strive to love and be loved, and perhaps, that’s really the most beautiful of it all – the love we have for love itself.
(The author is a counsellor with InnerSight)