The poetic, playful and prophetic musings of quintessential voices trying to keep up with life

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Pain of Love...And Why We Want It So Much

Feel free to listen to this before, during, or after you read this post.  It's just a good old-fashioned love song :)
I struggled to think of something to write for this week’s post.  Seriously, no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t come up with something that would make a significant piece that would be worth writing...let alone reading.  But then, as I lay on my couch watching 27 Dresses it struck me…I could write about love.  I’ve written about love before, but that was more about loving everyone in a way that would keep us from being assholes to each other.  This time, I want to write about the one-on-one love (mostly romantic, though I am not discounting friendships and familial love by any means) that both fascinates and terrifies us…that drives us towards committing ourselves (whether for the rest of our lives, or for just the present moment) to another person.  I am writing this as someone who has never actually been in love, but has observed it enough to have some sort of understanding of how it works…I think. 

Love has actually been on my mind for a while now.  I have quite a few friends who are getting married, engaged, in serious relationships, or have reached a point in their lives where they are ready to intentionally search for a love in a way they hadn’t been before.  I’ve also been watching a lot of romantic comedies lately (I am currently unemployed and have a lot of time on my hands).  Now, I know that Hollywood’s depiction of love and romance is not always right…and not always healthy…but I think there is some truth in what is portrayed, at least as far as reflecting society’s obsession with love and finding love.  We sing about love, we write about love, we read about love, and we flock to see love portrayed on the big screen in various scenarios.  Love makes us laugh, cry, hurt, and feel more joy than we probably ever thought possible. 

Love can be impossible.
Sometimes, we scoff at love because we don’t want to seem squishy and sappy (as I write this, I find myself wincing at some of the sappiness that is leaking through…but we plunge ahead!).  We harden ourselves to it because our world is sometimes so cynical, there seems to be no room in it for love or the desire and hope for love.  We can have the wrong ideas and expectations of love, thinking that it’s supposed to be this force that makes us happy all the time, every day.  The reality, though, is that real love is oftentimes one of the most painful things we can ever experience.  Love is terrifying.  It makes us vulnerable and opens us up to a special kind of hurt that only that person who we give our love to is capable of inflicting on us.  We face heartbreak, hopelessness…and outright rejection.  Love can make you want to curl up into a little ball and never face the world again.  It can make you want to lock away your heart and never give it away, so that you never have to feel that kind of pain.
Complicated: Check.  Scary: Check.  Doesn't Always Go the Way You Hope: Double Check
For all the pain love can make us suffer, however, we still obsess over it.  As mentioned before, I just finished watching 27 Dresses before sitting down to write this post.  I love that movie for several reasons, but one reason is because it shows that sometimes you find love where you weren’t looking for it.  Love can be complicated, and I always appreciate movies that portray this.  I also watched Love Actually for the first time, and, well, I loved it (teehee).  I liked that it showed different kinds of love…and that not every couple ended up living happily ever after.  It’s closer to real life.  While I do love the stories where the couples overcome every obstacle to be together (I’m a hopeless romantic at heart), I recognize that that is not always the case.  Love can be gritty…and sometimes it can be hopeless.  Another movie I watched that reflects this is My Best Friend’s Wedding.  Sometimes, no matter how hard you try or how much you wish it, your love is not always returned and it does not always win.  It’s sometimes a harsh reality, but it doesn’t mean you give up on love.  You just can’t let the heartbreak stop the rest of your life from continuing on. 
Love isn't always where you think it will be.
Ultimately, though, love and being able to love is worth fighting for.  I don’t think any group of people demonstrates this better than the LGBTQ community.  I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to walk in the Boston Pride parade not that long ago, not as a member of the community myself, but as an ally who believes no one should have the authority to tell someone who they can love and what kind of person they’re “supposed” to be.  I think it is an amazing testament to the importance of love that people are willing to fight so hard for their love to be acknowledged as equally important and as worthwhile as others’.  I think we could all learn something from the LGBTQ community about the importance and commitment of love…because I think the rest of us too often take advantage of love and too easily throw it away.

Despite all of the pain and fear that love can throw into our lives, however, it is a truly beautiful thing.  To truly find love is to not settle for the shallow, feel-good love that ends when the honeymoon phase is over, but to strive for the kind of love that causes us nearly as much pain as joy, that gives us the courage to fight to keep it, to throw all of our cards in on the person we think we can make a real life with.  If you are lucky enough to find this kind of love, the love that meets the test of time, the kind of love where you lay everything you are out in the open for the other person to see, the kind of love you are willing to fight and work for…then you are the reason the rest of us keep hoping, keeping searching, and keep risking the pain on the off chance that we’ll also find that joy.  Love is never neat and clean, and it shouldn’t be.  That much emotion, that much dedication, should be something that challenges us every day and makes us grow as individuals and as couples.  I am not in love, and don’t think I can honestly say I have ever been in love…but it is something I hope for, and will continue to hope for.  Not everyone feels the same as I do, and that’s okay.  Love can come in all shapes and sizes, and people might not always want to find romantic love.  But I think it is one of our greatest capabilities as human beings, and despite what real life often shows me, I will always be secretly sappy and I will always cheer for, and hope for, love.              

A little treat for all those hopeless romantics out there (like me)...and because I watched this movie this week as well :)
With love,
Erin B.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Any comments which are deemed strictly to hurt or insult are subject to deletion at the decision of the authors of Her/Story.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...