“It’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all” – Alfred Lord Tennyson
My heart was bleeding for a love that will never be when I came across this quote. As I pondered the meaning of these words, I started thinking, if I was given a choice to erase my feelings for him, would I choose to keep them or have them erased like it never happened.
We meet all kinds of people every day, from birth till we die but it’s always that one person who impacts you like no other, who leaves a mark on you. You meet them, they seem normal like the rest of the population, they are not aliens, they are not super human or even paranormal but they tag your heart and mind like no other.
You give them your all, some even fight their feelings at first until they realize, it’s a losing battle. So what do you do, you care, love and start to hope that your feelings will be reciprocated. You live for the moments you spend with them, the tiny touches, the bouts of laughter and the smile on their face.
If you are lucky enough, you get her/him, you get to share the moments you always fantasied about, introduce them to your friends and sometimes family. They become the centre of your universe, they become all you talk about. In other words, you are in love.
But like all good things, it comes to an end, a break, an uphill. That’s when you go through all sorts of emotions, you’re join an emotional rollercoaster. The self-doubt, denial, feeling of betrayal, anguish and pain become your daily motions. Your mind gets stuck in what could have been.
Then there is the opposite side to this, the unrequited love. From my personal experience, this could be the most painful of all loves. James Patterson says in his book, The Angel Experiment, “Because what’s worse than knowing you want something besides knowing you can never have it?”
You fall in love with them, tell yourself that he/she will come around, that they will love you too. But then reality sets in slowly, second by second, you realize that they will never return your feelings. The pain that befalls you when it becomes clear that all your dreams and fantasies will never come to pass.
Love surpasses age, race, culture and nations. Love comes in all forms and every love has its own thorn. The biggest percentage of us think of one love and believe it’s the only one that hurts. There four types of love according to the Greek language; Storge (Affection for an another person, like what a parent feels for an offspring), Philia (Friendship, the love shared among friends), Eros (A passionate love which sometimes is sexual) and Agape (Unconditional love). All these loves hurt to some extent, when a friend disappoints you, when a child fails from a parent’s perspective and when an intimate relationship goes sour.
And this brings me back to Alfred Lord Tennyson’s quote and the question I asked myself. The answer is a firm NO, I wouldn’t erase my feelings. Yes it hurts and it sucks to be me right now, but he is my great love and meeting him, getting to know about him is among the best things in my life. Many of us have loved and been hurt, when the time comes, some pick themselves up and do it all over again while others learn to just like new people.
“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.” Mother Teresa. Therefore I urge each one of us to keep loving, pick yourself when it hurts and start all over again.
Author: Patience Birungi