It’s been two years since my marriage ended. It seems like both such a long time and as though hardly any time at all has passed. I’ve struggled with redefining who I am now as opposed to who I was then. It wasn’t an easy task trying to reconfigure my identity while also exploring what I thought an identity even consisted of. During that time I unexpectedly fell in love. And then proceeded to make a mess of it. I was saturated with fear, despair, and unwillingness to love. I was afraid of being hurt again. Fear is a terrible place to begin any journey. Love came at a time when I was unprepared for it, which it typically does anyway. While trying to rebuild my identity as an individual after my marriage I was also trying to establish a new relationship.
Acting on my fear I pushed away the person that wanted to love me and that deep down I wanted to love. And I paid the consequences. Now I have lost that person twice. I regret so many mistakes that I made. But nothing can change what happened. My only recourse is to honor that person and the time we spent together by learning from my mistakes and trying to be a better person. The more I learn though the more I realize how little I know. It’s like walking across the surface of an ever expanding balloon. With each step I take I realize the distance has grown. I guess I just keep taking one step at a time.
I won’t say hindsight is always 20/20. It’s not. But often it’s more clear than what’s right in front of my face. The only thing that’s really important is love. It’s also one of the hardest things, possibly because it’s so important. There is so much unnecessary stuff orbiting around the cultural concept of love that it gets more complicated than it needs to be. We’re all afraid of being hurt. And we’re all afraid of being alone. I’ve been operating from a place of fear for a good portion of the last few years. I am relieved to have finally come out of that place over the last few months. Having been alone now I know that I can handle it. Having been hurt I know that I can handle that as well. That said I also know that I want to share my life with someone. Being with someone and loving them won’t be something done out of or hindered by fear.
We live our entire lives isolated inside our own minds trying to connect to the outside. To connect to some other. To be both more and less than we are alone. I think as humans we have a deep need (maybe the most important need) to share a connection with another being. Sharing what’s inside us is the only way we can really be understood. And that’s a huge part of love. We have a psychological desire for communion with another. It doesn’t necessarily have to be with a romantic partner. It can be something done with friends or family. But we need that communion with some other outside ourselves. I think the epidemic of people struggling with a lack of fulfillment and meaning in their lives is a result of this. We feel isolated because we don’t have those connections that allow us to feel understood and seen.
Love isn’t the only component to a meaningful, purpose filled life, but it’s a very large part. Ignoring it will inevitably cause discontent. Feelings ebb and flow. Relying solely on feelings to stay strong at all times is a disaster waiting to happen. We are like a film of oil on the surface of an ocean. The waves of our feelings carry us up and down. They are always changing. We have little if any control over those ups and downs. But we do have control over our actions. At some point one needs to make the decision to love. Try to show love towards everyone you meet. And be open to finding that person or people to share that deep understanding that comes from really loving someone.