This post is going to start with a sad note, but I promise you it gets better… As I wrote the first sentence in the paragraph below I tried and tried to find a way to avoid the ‘M’ word, but I just couldn’t. So please, accept my apologies for the darkness of those first few lines. The post is actually about love, so bear with me, and you’ll see why I’ve had to start it the way I did.
Last week I decided to stop at the place where Lee Rigby was murdered. It’s only a few minutes down the road from me, but every time I drove past it, I got shivers down my spine. Then, finally, last Saturday I took a walk down. Among the hundreds of cards and messages one really stood out. It said:
I remember being told that love is not supposed to hurt. And granted, for the sake of preserving your own dignity and respecting yourself, you should never settle for someone who hurts you. But the truth is, love sometimes does hurt. If it didn’t, I would perhaps question the depth of my feelings.
You know your love is real when you’re far apart from that person and you just can’t handle it, or when you have an argument and going to bed without saying “Good night” hurts more than your pride, or when you simply cannot imagine your life without that person. Love is supposed to hurt a little, otherwise how do you know the difference between friendship and love?
One quote I’ve recently read says: “It hurt because it mattered”. Past tense. Because sometimes we only realise that someone truly mattered when we have lost them. Before Floyd and I got married, we ‘split up’ a couple of times, but within just a few hours, we were back together because we missed each other tremendously. Not being together made no sense to us, so why fighting it? But, if one of us felt no pain during those hours apart, then I’m sure we wouldn’t have lasted. It would have meant that it wasn’t love. As simple as that.
Once one of my closest friend told me that it’s better to be alone, because that way you’ll know there is no one there to hurt you. Of course I never believed that he meant it. But it did make me think a lot about love and friendship… So after gathering my thoughts I replied: “…but when you choose to be alone for the fear of getting hurt, life will make you weak and incapable of loving again, and in the end it will hurt even more… I’m prepared to continue suffering and crying for having lost someone every day of my life, if it means that it is because inside me I feel deep love for that person. It means that I’m alive… And yes, one day I will die with the regret of the words that hurt that person so much, but at least I’ve died knowing that I kept my promise – I was still there for that person. Even if they no longer wanted me.” When you love, you don’t walk away. Ever. It’s okay to take some time to refocus and make sense of life. It’s okay to argue. And it’s okay to hurt. This is what love is all about: deep-seated feelings; feelings that keep you alive; feelings that sometimes make you so happy and grateful you just don’t know how to say thank you; feelings of regret and sorrow as you realise how powerful your words and actions can be when you hurt someone you love.
No one wants to hurt someone they love. But we are imperfect humans. Sometimes we do. It’s inevitable. When we are on the receiving end, our strength is in recognising that that person is probably hurt as much as we are because they never meant to inflict pain on us. Our strength is in not walking away, talking through it and forgiving the forgivable. Communication is the key; it’s a form of respect; it’s a humble act of love; it’s the proof that we want the relationship to last and that a way out is not even an option.
What is the point of this post? Honestly, I am not sure… I guess this is just a stream of consciousness. Sometimes you just have to write down whatever is in your heart. That message to Lee Rigby really struck a cord with me. I don’t want to imaging my life without the people I love; but the truth is, one day it might just happen. And if it does, it will hurt; but then I will know my love for them was real.