Do you wonder sometimes, should I go there again? The familiar “Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all” can be hollow and fail to reassure. Then again, who said love was risk free? There is no such thing. Matters of the heart are hard to define and need to be experienced. Loving someone means being vulnerable, cut open, and can hurt., It is also life changing and breathtaking. You may wonder single parents, as I have, is it worth the risk (again)? Having risked it myself, seeing family and close friends do the same and witnessing first hand both my parents risk it again, that familiar poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson holds true. Rather would put my heart on the line, risk it by doing so, and lose it than playing it safe. Actually, playing it safe is the riskiest thing you can do.
“Don’t go through life, grow through life” – Eric Butterworth
My Dad said to me growing up: ‘Son, wish I could model a great marriage to you’. Though that was his intention and desire, it was not the reality of our lives in Asia. My parents were married for ten years, and our family split apart as we went our separate ways when I was seven and my brother, Will, who was raised by my mom, was five. Each of them learned from their experience and I know they look at me and my brother and are thankful for us, as hard and painful as the lessons were. I was close to my Dad (he was single the entire time I grew up) and he was quite comfortable in his own skin as a single adult for twelve years before he found love again, or found him. He was happy, knowing full well that it may be without the ever after. He did desire to share his life with someone again; love can be unexpected and when you least expect it. When he came back to the United States, he was introduced by a college classmate of his to my now step mom, and they have been happily married for over 30 years.
My Mom remarried quickly after the divorce, and she has told me that it was one of the biggest mistakes of her life. Wrong man, wrong time and knew she should have taken the time and space to figure things out and heal. After her second marriage ended with a night that she nearly lost her life before my eyes, she took that time and what a difference it made. Three times is the charm for her and she has been happily married to my step dad for over 30 years as well. My parents loved then lost it all. Love ran out the door, and it came running back again.
Though I was in love for nearly seventeen years, know there is much I still need to learn. Love often does not make sense and can come about from unlikely places. As I shared through growing up with my dad and where I am, certainly not going to put my life on hold waiting for it, thriving and happy are great on their own. It is more about becoming and being the right person rather than wondering when and are you going to find someone.
“This is one of the miracles of love: It gives a power of seeing through its own enchantments and yet not being disenchanted.” C.S. Lewis
When I think about authentically loving someone, what comes to mind I’m sure is quite familiar to many. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
If you want to try a humbling exercise I learned that serves as a constant reminder of what love should resemble, substitute your name for each instance of the word “Love” or ‘it”. Love, it is an action without condition or limits. It is fearless. It is an indescribable and heart pounding feeling for someone that you know is there, can be felt yet hard to put into words. Yet, behind the words that are found, love is also a decision that has a purpose that is bigger than oneself, it is selfless. It involves work between two imperfect individuals that want and choose to be together, and there is no place they would rather be.
So, do you want to go there again?
Sure sounds like it’s worth it…
“Love is a second life; it grows into the soul, warms every vein, and beats in every pulse.” Joseph Addison
Until next time,