Love.(This is not the fun part)
Never has there been a topic that has been dissected as much. Scientist have tried to explain it, theologians have revered it, poets and musicians make their money from it and people? Well people just feel it. We do what we can to explain it, but at the end of the day, we can do nothing more than feel. For even when you suppress your feelings, you cannot deny that you do feel.
I am sure that there have been times in your life when you have wished with all your heart that your feelings would not move you so – you fall in love with someone you really shouldn’t. The opposite is, of course, also true – you don’t feel anything for someone who is perhaps deserving of your love. It is hard to reject someone who you know is a decent person, but you just don’t feel it. You cannot explain why, but you just don’t. Perhaps it’s the nature of human beings – wanting what you cannot have. Or perhaps it’s the nature of relationships – opposites attract, they say.
The trick, of course, is learning your own limits and sticking to them, but for this you need to engage the sage advise of your brain over the yearning of your heart. I say trick, not because it’s some magical gift of enlightenment, but because it is sincerely tricky. It’s hard to tell your heart to not feel what it so obviously does. I am not advocating following your head instead of your heart, for this would be truly tragic. You cannot go through life and call it living if you’re not doing it with love and veracity.
But there are those relationships that call for your reason to rule your passion. Once again, I turn to the wisdom dispersed by Kahlil Gibran:
Your soul is oftentimes a battlefield, upon which your reason and your judgment wage war against your passion and your appetite.
For reason, ruling alone, is a force confining; and passion, unattended, is a flame that burns to its own destruction.
Therefore let your soul exalt your reason to the height of passion, that it may sing;
And let it direct your passion with reason, that your passion may live through its own daily resurrection, and like the phoenix rise above its own ashes… you should rest in reason and move in passion.
I have struggled my whole life with this concept, for to find the balance between reason and passion is where the true difficulty lies. I have loved someone with passion only, and ended up alone. I have loved someone with reason only, and ended up alone.
In particular, there has been one boy who I have loved through all of my life with a passion that I have yet to learn how to control, even though reason says that there is no other option but to let go. It is a self-inflicted pain that I keep locked up within my heart. I willingly allow it to tear me apart, for even though the hurt and the heartache outweigh the love he shows me, the sparse moments of love I do receive is like a beacon of light in my darkness, a lifeline to hope in love in a life long since rendered hopeless.
But is this enough? Of course not. My brain knows that, my heart even accepts this, but cannot let go. I bury the beating of my heart and erase every trace of him from my life, promise myself this will be the last time, convince myself that I am fine, because I am better off without him. But here I sit, thinking about him all the same.
I am not inclined to the label of martyr. The last thing I mean to convey is the desperate cries of a pathetic girl who cannot get over her school girl romance. I am quite capable of loving another, and have done so time and again even with this old-love festering in my soul.
When a relationship ends, regardless of who ends it, there is a wound that takes time to heal, but like with a physical wound, the scab will only heal if you don’t pick at it, and even when it does heal, the scar that you bear will be bigger and uglier because you didn’t have the self control to leave it well alone.
I have tried time and again to leave it well alone, and I have sometimes succeeded, only to have the scar cut open again. Self-mutilation takes many forms. Physically cutting yourself is no less painful than doing so emotionally. Like dogs we go off into our separate woods of solitude to lick our wounds, only to return to a master who perpetually beats us with a stick until we bleed. So why do it? Why do I continue to allow him back in? Why do I have this burning desire for him to love me?
Truthfully? Because he’s just as damaged as I am, because he knows the depth and breath and height of every scar I have, for as they are carved into my heart, so are they carved into his. He looks at my damaged heart in wonder and my pain is intrinsically linked to his pain. He becomes my light as I am his light in the darkness of our lives. We have become dependent on each other as if to a drug. No one chooses to become an addict, you just wake up one day and you are. Like a drug addiction, the torment of your cravings is directly proportionate to the pleasure of your high.
Is this a basis for a relationship? No. Yes. I don’t know. It’s been over 12 years and I still do not know what is the right answer. I admit I am addicted, and like the first steps to recovery, I acknowledge this to be true, but there is no 12 step programme, no buddy-system I can join. For the one person that is my salvation is also my suicide…