If you never love, you will never have that devastating hurt. I had an interesting conversation with a good friend this week on love and commitment. I have always failed to understand people’s fear in commitment, but there are so many reasons that develop this particular fear.
With the divorce rate in America crossing the 50% mark, there’s never a guarantee a marriage will work out, however, there’s never a guarantee that anything in life will work out and last forever. It is quite unfortunate that so many children grow up in “broken” homes, or homes where there is little said of “I love you” and encouragement and respect are void.
What about the fear of loss? Why is the fear of losing the ones you love so great that you would rather not love at all? I had never thought much of this theory, as I always followed Alfred Lord Tennyson’s quote “‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” Maybe I am old fashioned, a tad naive, and desperately romantic, but I prefer to have been heartbroken and devastated versus having never felt the amazing love I had with Kevin.
Sometimes I cannot imagine fear becoming so cumbersome that one allows themselves to be completely detached from love, from growing forward with another person. My theory in dating, prior to Kevin, was to naively jump in full force: love first, question second. While it did end in heartache at times, and betrayal from others, it allowed me to explore love in all its’ good and bad qualities. When I met Kevin, I was hesitant because the love first, question second philosophy had broken my spirit a bit. But he whisked away my insecurities and pushed forward loving me anyways, and in turn, I fell in love with him.
Now that I have loved and lost completely, would I do it again? Yes, yes, yes. Widowhood is horrific. Losing your love when you are at a great height of passion and fulfillment in marriage is pretty devastating. You are never prepared, nor do you want to allow yourself to be prepared for the event of widowhood.
We all enter into relationships knowing that at some point, it will end: death, their death, divorce, separation. There are multitudes of situations that will separate us from the ones we loved, or in some cases, from the ones we once loved. Fear certainly enters in when we marry or commit-will we be able to care for them when they grow old and/or sick? Will they be able to provide us with the needs we have? Will they always love me? Will I always love them? What will I do when they’re gone…?
Something makes us go forward despite these unanswered questions, but in some cases, those questions stop some from committing themselves to another life. I cannot speak for them, I can only speak for myself. Loving is worth it all. Yes, even widowhood. I do not want to have to go through that pain and agony again, but I fear I may. It is just what happens in the course of life. We all die, it is a simple truth.
Love has provided things in my life that were far more fulfilling than the intensity of the pain I felt when I lost the one I loved. It outweighed that agony because when I had it, it was immense with joy and happiness. While the pain was almost equal, nothing could take away from the life I had before that. I believe that most widows would tell you a similar story. If you ask a widow(er) if they would go through this again, to have had that chance at love with their deceased, there would be no delay in answer: it would be a resounding yes.
Let love in, I know it sounds cheesy, and cliche, but let yourself have a taste of the fruit of love. It is encompassing, and while it can be bitter, and comes with trials and struggles, hurt and pain; the passion that can be felt in love is worth all of that and more.