We love a lot of people in our lives. As a friend, as an inspiration, as a crush, as a lover, as a member of one’s family, as a sibling. The list can go on endlessly as the labels we attach to relations we share in life. Of all the people who enter our lives, we love a few of them and give a special place to them in our hearts.
As humans, all of us are flawed. We make mistakes. We have expectations. We have limits to our patience and compassion. We may lie or break trust at times. Sometimes for a good cause too.
If a stranger does something not conducive to you, you may get upset or angry for a while and then forget all about it. But what if that same act is done by someone we love? It hurts much more. Of course, we forgive them too, but the level of pain caused is higher than that which a random stranger would have caused.
A lot of times, the ones we love, break our hearts with their words or actions. Sometimes our love is not reciprocated from their end. We may see them as our special ones, but for them, we are just one amidst the crowd. Due to one or any of several causes, we may lose our loved ones. There comes resentment, anger, melancholy or pain.
In the face of pain, we often question if it was all worth it? Whether the relationship was worth all the sadness we are now engulfed in? Would it have been better if we never knew that person at all? At least we wouldn’t have been so badly hurt then. These thoughts are even more profound when the relationship was very short-lived and it ended with flimsy ties or bitterness or regrets. Every time I am heartbroken or I lose a loved one from my life, I often revisit these thoughts and questions.
And every single time, my heart gives me one united answer. “YES”. Every person who enters your life gives you memories to cherish for a lifetime. They teach you certain lessons and they also mold you into the person you become or are yet to become. They inevitably influence us in some way or the other. There is, of course, a positive and negative side to both memories, influences, and lessons. It actually depends on one’s perspective towards life and the person in question; with factors like connection, time and affection shared with the person being a variable factor to adjust. Some people make a special place in our lives in a really short span of time while some relations although decades old are mere acquaintances.
Based on my experiences of loving and losing, I have noticed one thing in common. The positives have always, always outweighed the negatives. I might have a few not so pleasant memories, but a lot more fond memories. Some harsh lessons learned made me a stronger, braver and wiser person from the naive teenager I once was. There is to learn something from every person you come across in life. Some teach you the lessons by leading through an example while some lessons are learned by failing the test of life. But, you learn. And you grow. You evolve.
I have had some of my greatest learning and lessons and the fondest memories from the loved ones I’ve lost. Their loss has taught me to value the presence of other loving relations in life. It has taught me to appreciate the beauty of the moment as you never know what tomorrow has to unfold. Never has this loss stopped me from loving again. At times I am surprised as to the heart’s capacity to expand and share love. Love, kindness, and compassion have boundaries that can stretch up to one’s will. Love and loss make us stretch these beyond our imagination. We learn to forgive and to move on in life. We learn to let go. We expand our frontiers to love unconditionally.
We understand that not everything in life is mutual and reciprocated. We got to deal with rejection and loss associated with the unrequited love. We learn to give our best and beyond to our special relationships irrespective of the outcomes.
We learn the sportsmanship spirit to accept defeat and sometimes losing to your loved one can be a victory in itself. And most importantly, we learn to be kind – to ourselves, for making mistakes; to others around us and the special one we’ve lost. We learn empathy by practice. Life comes as a circle and often you find yourself in the shoes of the other person you once resented and then you better appreciate and understand the person and their situation. Because sometimes nobody is wrong. It’s just the circumstances that went wrong.
So, if I’m asked the question is it better to have loved and lost or never have loved, I choose to be vulnerable. Vulnerable to feelings, to love and loss, to hurt and learning, to memories. Choosing to be vulnerable is scary at times. But it is indeed so beautiful – to open up your heart. You have great possibilities of being hurt, but greater to be truly happy. But for that, you need to trust. Like if you’re jumping off the cliff you need an assurance that your harness is tied correct or that there is someone or something to catch you. You need to trust yourself. That you will be okay no matter what. You need to trust the larger picture of life. That every problem is an opportunity in disguise.
It’s okay to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.