I don’t believe it’s possible to love without feeling pain. Not because love is pain, but because love is always accompanied by pain. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that love is necessarily preceded by pain. In my personal experience, the few times I realized I was in love it was because I was in pain.
I realized that I was hurting because of her, for whatever reason, and it was because I was in love with her.
The pain isn’t a result of her trying to hurt me, but because her actions, her words or the situations she found herself in that I witnessed made me feel hurt, I had to accept that I deeply cared about her. We know we are in love when the other person can hurt us without trying.
People always say you know you’re in love when a person makes you happier than you thought you could possibly be – and I believe that to be true. However, being in love and realizing that you’ve just fallen in love are two different things.
Accepting that you are in love is usually the most difficult part. Unless, of course, you’re one of those individuals who "falls in love" biweekly. But those sorts of people don’t count because they don’t understand what love is.
For the rest of us who fall in love rarely – no more than a handful of times in our lifetimes – accepting that we are in love can be difficult.
It’s much easier the first time around, but the second, third or fourth time get much harder. In fact, it gets more difficult to accept you’ve fallen in love each consecutive instance. Why? Because it almost definitely didn’t end well the last time.
Even if it ended well, the experience itself was painful. No matter which stage of a loving relationship you consider, each stage brings with it intense, and sometimes overwhelming, emotion.
Coming to accept that you’ve fallen in love is always preceded by pain – even if only by the pain of wanting someone you don’t have. Being in love, with all the wanting, needing, missing, is a sort of pain in its own regard.
Assuming we aren’t too experienced with love and relationships, there then comes massive confusion during the comfortable period, wondering if we’re still in love or if the love has faded – also painful.
Finally, for the majority of loving relationships, there comes the breakup – incredibly painful and emotionally damaging.
After all of that fun stuff comes one of two things: peace or agony. We either accept that we lost the person whom we loved and move on with our lives, or we find ourselves unable to let go and instead live on in the shadow of that relationship.
Some are able to make clean breaks while others are fated to yearn, but to never again touch.
It should come as no surprise that so many refuse to allow themselves to fall in love again. They’re likely still hurting from the last love, not being too eager to go through the whole process again.
Being in love doesn’t make you crazy… you have to already be crazy to allow yourself to fall in love – especially if it isn’t the first time around.
Only an insane person would voluntarily sign up for so much pain, such sadness, such voluntary madness. We would probably all be better off if we never allowed ourselves to fall in love, to pretend as if we had no heart at all.
I don’t actually believe that. The only guaranteed way not to get your heart broken may be to act like you don’t have one, but that is no way to live. The truth is, all that pain you experience, all those difficult times you have to face and deal with, all of that is necessary.
It’s necessary for you to learn and to grow as an individual. It’s necessary to feel the pain of love in order to understand the meaning of loss. Most importantly, you need the pain of love in order to love.
Without the pain, without the needs and urges, love wouldn’t be the miracle it is. Without pain, happiness doesn’t exist.
You need to hurt when you are in love in order for you to understand how much you need the other person. You have to feel pain because, through pain, human beings do learn – basic behaviorism, but nonetheless does hold to an extent.
We hurt, and by hurting, we understand we need that person in order to stop from hurting. We need the person we love in order for us to feel at peace, to feel safe, to feel like we’re home.
As long as you have a heart, have that basic emotional need to find and spend your life with a partner, you not only are risking the chance of getting hurt, but guaranteeing it.
The only thing you can do is find the person who will hurt you the least.
Photo Courtesy: We Heart It