Heartbreak paralyzes us at our core.
The initial moments don't last long but the healing process seems to hurt worse than anything in the world. Sometimes it even feels like it lasts forever. I didn't think I could heal after giving her everything and watching her throw it all away for nothing. Her actions quickly made me think that she was just an example of what all women were like and I proceeded to develop a fear of love as a result of her act of hatred.
But, somewhere along the way of turning my back to Cupid, I realized that my fear of love has given so much power to hatred. I began to realize how my past was crippling my present and future, holding me back the "forever" that could be around the corner. Healing is relevant and can happen on your own terms but at some point, we should all grow past our pain and learn to love again.
Ultimate growth happens when we stop and realize that love is a relative and necessary application to our lives. It's not about trying to make love a little sweeter or a little softer. It's about being able to truly embrace its taste.
Love is an acquired taste.
Its sweetness can sometimes be the perfect balance to the sour moments in your life, but then that same sweetness can be abrasive at other times. Like lemonade with too much sugar in it. It can also carry an unimaginable amount of heat that can be just the perfect temperature for those cold nights. However, that same heat can suffocate you in the middle of the summer.
You get it.
It's interesting how cultural expectancies and norms take tolls on our lives. There are so many things that we suffocate because we expect a "norm" to exist and love is certainly one of those realms. We're bombarded with the 'happy-ending' love stories in films and literature, and then take all of these norms and spend our little lives chasing this fairytale ending without paying attention to the hell that led up to it.
Then we falter, fold, and wave the white flag. We delete Cupid's number and block him on all social sites then build walls around our hearts like a Mary J. Blige album.
Love isn't "for us" anymore.
Even I've stared into the dark tunnel of love with anger. But, after a few lonely storms outside of that tunnel, I realized the anger was merely the result of fear. I became scared of love because of a few bumps in the road and the control that love can have over us. You don't always get your way in "love" and for many of us, that's the first lesson that love teaches us. A lot of us don't survive that lesson.
It's learning the hard way that love and sacrifice are synonymous.
Many of my friends have shared that same fear, male and female alike. Each of them love to get drunk and talk about Cupid's bad aim without acknowledging the lessons in the pain. We quickly and collectively demonized love and started suggesting that it's far too painful to attempt to bear. In some cases, it just wasn't meant to be but that's not the issue in question. The issue is that we take those bad cases of love and decide to completely give up on it. We learn one lesson and decide that the rest of the curriculum is too difficult to understand.
Dating people who neglect to work for love or completely neglect the idea of commitment. It's tough.
BUT, imagine what is on the other side of that heartbreak? Imagine how relationships will taste now that we have experienced what we don't want to deal with. Now, we walk into our next chance at love with better understandings of ourselves and our self-worth. We ain't dealing with anything that disrespects us! Love is for everybody and that vision that we have of a strong relationship is no mirage; it's very real. A couple of run-ins with the wrong one(s) help us appreciate the right one even more.
Contrary to popular belief, love deserves our best efforts. It deserves us stepping up to the plate even after striking out before.
We should stop and understand that there is no perfect love. The beauty in that four letter "L" word is that it's not one size fits all. Your interpretation of 'love' shape-shifts itself to your idiosyncrasies. However, the bulk of the work comes from us understanding that we will undoubtedly have to work to keep love afloat; no matter how "perfect" our significant others may be. One thing you'll notice when couples renew their vows, or when we hear stories of love that has stood the test of time, is that you're going to have to work to make it work.
Sometimes the work is in getting back up and trying to love again.
Consider this a plea to you (and to myself, tbh) to not give up on love. Your last try may have been draining but it didn't drain you completely. That old and toxic situation is not worth your present and future happiness. After understanding who you are, try to understand who you are in love and then give it another go.
Female or male, love is still a valuable jewel that I would hate to see you get robbed of because of a bad experience.
xo, Brian James
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