Monday, February 15, 2010
(Image from: www.flickr.com/photos/pinksherbet/220279254/)
Valentines got me thinking about love. Not love in the perfect sense. Not love in the Godly sense or even the movies sense of the word. Love the way it happens in real life. The good, the bad, the ugly of love in this imperfect world.
See, Valentines never makes me sad. I have so many people in my life I love and who love me. The years I've been in a relationship on Valentines haven't been all that different from the years I've been single. I think whether this was your year or not, we all find love at some point in our lives. Some of us find the love you get to keep, some of us don't. You can't always control the end result and I'd say most of us felt at some point like we couldn't (or wouldn't) control being in love either.
When I was younger I thought you only got one chance to be in love in life. I'm not sure where I got this notion exactly. But later, I determined I'd wasted my one chance. My first experience with being in love was a bit of a bust and I had this dread that since I couldn't make that work out, maybe I would never get to be in love again. Weird huh?
It's been a few years now. Being far enough removed from the situation to see several things more clearly than I did back then, I have a new perspective. First off, I realize that plenty of people don't 'get it right' the first go around. That falling in love more than once in your life doesn't necessarily cheapen the second time. Perhaps it does the opposite. Maybe failing at love makes the later success that much sweeter?
The thing those of us who had a botched first go around have to be the most aware of is containing our fears. As a social worker I've studied 'projecting' more than the average person. It's easy to project your fears and failures onto someone new. This is definitely a problem. But even worse than that perhaps, is the fear of trying at all. Not everyone has to try at love. Sometimes it finds you. When it does, you can't be afraid of failure at love anymore than in other aspects of your life. Fear is paralyzing.
Love is hard work but I don't think that failing in a relationship always means you didn't try hard enough. Somethings just weren't meant to be. I think I've been able to accept that about myself...that it isn't always my fault. You can only bend so far before you break.
Just some thoughts coming out of this weekend. My Valentines was filled with love, surprises, and people who mean the world to me. I hope yours was the same.