Love, Loss and What I Learned
(Note: This is a guest blog by Jill Plotke)
Doesn’t love have many definitions? How I love my mother vs. my friends vs. my niece vs. even my dog! These are all deep loves, all deserving of our attention. But the love I want to talk about today is the heart-stopping, breath stealing kind of love.
You know the kind of love I mean…? I’m talking about the kind of love that at the beginning you wait, with baited breath, hoping they will give you a chance. The kind of love that you can spend years in – and still when they walk into a room, you smile from the inside out. Oh, glorious love!
Last year, I chose to leave a 5 year relationship with someone who I was in “that kind of love” with. After many a night with a bottle of Pinot Grigio in one hand and a box of tissues in the other, I made it through the other side of a badly broken heart.
How did it end? We said we wanted different things, but in reality we had let “that thing” creep in.
You know that thing I mean…? I’m talking about that inner feeling, that nagging doubt, that “if only” they would do that or be this. Or that “if only” I could just do this, or be that.
As much as I am an optimistic person, and as much as I do know people who have found that person that fits perfectly – the reality is that we all have gifts, and we all have flaws. And it all takes work. Happily married. Unhappily married. Committed life partner. Still on the fence. It all takes work to work it out. It takes work to ask for that first date. It takes work to make the time. It takes work to communicate. It takes work to confront. It takes work to make that leap of faith into love. And it takes work to avoid love. It takes work to deal with your baggage. And then there’s their baggage. And it takes work to be happy – plus keep pursuing happy. It takes work to grow happy in ourselves and to actively encourage that same happy in the person we love.
I used to believe in that old saying, “If I only knew then, what I know now.” Today, I prefer not to look back with regret. I prefer to look forward to the journey, because I now know, post-break up, that with it all, new lessons are always being learned. I now know, post-break up, that I discover myself today, achy heart and all, much wiser, more centered, and far more in touch with knowing what makes for my happy, so when the next glorious love comes (and it will!) it might at least be a little less work.
by Jill Plotke