A simple question, “How many have you loved?” Is your answer, one and only? Or is it several, all of whom have shaped your life?
Someone shared this on my Facebook feed and I found it quite serendipitous considering that my co-worker and I spent some of the afternoon discussing something very much like this, but not nearly as in depth. I made a statement about how once you’ve really loved someone, you always love them, you can’t just hate them or forget the way you felt. I’ve always thought that but I’ve never really been able to justify it.
Everyone I’ve ever truly loved has shaped me in insurmountable ways. I am who I am today because of the people I’ve loved and who have loved me. Relationships are not always smooth…in fact they are rarely ever smooth. I sincerely believe that you find people for a reason, and once that reason is fulfilled then you move on. Sometimes the reason serves you more than it does them, sometimes it’s the other way around. Any way you look at it, you should, I think, always strive to leave someone in a position to be better than how you met them. You should also always try to take from relationships, the good and the bad that makes you better. I want to believe that every relationship I ever had has made me better, and not worse, even if at the time, I saw nothing but bad. In hindsight, nothing is ever all bad. I cannot hate anyone I’ve ever truly loved because in the act of loving them, I put myself through a process that changed me and taught me to consider possibilities outside of my sphere of understanding at that point. It has increased my capacity for emotional pain, and expanded my range of empathy.
This is an unusual post for me to do because I’m not trying to make this emotional…I think it’s rather quite practical. Once, after a long and drawn out break up and subsequent regret over the break up I told my good friend that I didn’t understand why the guy and I weren’t getting back together, because I tried so hard to make him better. My friend then said to me something that has both comforted and haunted me: he said ‘Maybe you did make him better…but not for you’. So maybe that’s life. And maybe that’s love, a series of processes we go through to make us better prepared for the people who are yet to find us, and love us.