Updated: Dec 10, 2019
Love has always taken the spotlight of my life. Whether blissfully in love or desperately heartbroken, it has always commanded and depleted me. I hate to admit it, but there have been far too many times where I’ve let myself become devoured by love’s uncertainty to the point where I’d be paralyzed from it. If I had gotten into a really bad argument with a boyfriend, if I felt something was questionably off between us or if there was a lingering distance growing, I’d become nauseous, unable to sleep well, and sometimes even call out of work because of my ambiguity. As embarrassing and unsettling as that is for me to admit, it’s the truth, and one that I’ve never liked about myself.
I was fourteen the first time my boyfriend broke up with me and I was so taken off guard by the break up that I went into a small, self deprecating depression asking myself all the things I must have done wrong for him to end things so out of the blue. I was waking up with anxiety every morning and getting sick before school because I just couldn’t adjust to what I thought of then as a drastically sudden change. I haven’t gotten physically sick from endings in relationships since then; I think as a very young girl I just didn’t know how to deal with rejection for the first time. But to this day, I still feel heartbreak and uneasiness through my stomach.
As much as I can feel abnormal for reacting to loss the way I did when I was fourteen, I know these experiences have a purpose and that in reality, my past response to a breakup is more common than I had thought. I’m never one to beat myself up over past decisions or experiences; I believe that life is like one big class we are taking and everything that happens to us, all the people we meet, all the love and heartache we endure, are our teachers helping us to graduate onto the next chapter of our lives.
The truth is that even to this day I find myself both so enamored with love and relationships yet at the same time in a boxing ring with them. As much as I don’t want to be the person that feels more deeply than others and that can’t easily brush things off, I am that kind of person. I am easily affected by love; I do get knots in my stomach when something isn’t going well; I have a heart that wants so much to be ample with awe and a mind that acts as its protector, fearful of any damage or shattering it may encounter.
I’ve come to learn that it’s good to feel things, and by things I mean all the emotions we were born equipped with. I used to and still sometimes do associate being a deep thinker and feeler as a “weakness.” I couldn’t be more wrong when I think that way though. It’s beautiful and powerful to be connected to your emotions in such an intuitive way. You get to know yourself better as a person because of it and you let yourself love more even if that means risking getting hurt.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said of love: “Thou art a delicious torment.” He was correct to precede torment with delicious because that’s really the truth of it. We’re always afraid to brace the agony of heartache if things go wrong but we still continue to dive with arms wide-open into the next love of our life. That certainly is a delicious torment – like flies attracted to light, we forget the burn of the heat we once suffered in the hopes of flying for the next brightest beam.