Today I am humbled. How is it that every time I go to church, I am sure to hear just the words I need to hear. Without fail, this is always true. A few weeks ago, a relationship ended that I really loved. I was so happy, I felt like it was finally someone I could see myself with going the distance and then it ended abruptly. I’d been through this before, the last time I was in a relationship that meant something to me, and I was scared of the sadness that I knew inevitable. It’s a terrible feeling, that is, to lose something with no control over gaining it back. It’s a process of acceptance that you’re forced into. I’ll rewind to when it happened, we were supposed to go on a date but when I called him to check up on our plans he revealed he’d decided to go to SF instead and we’d make up for it the next day. After not hearing from him the next morning, he called later that evening. It was a very short conversation, one he said he didn’t want to have, he asked me if I had any commentary but amidst my tears I couldn’t speak. We hung up. Meanwhile, I was scheduled to drive to LA the next day to get little e, he was supposed to go with me, but due to the breakup I ended up making the trek alone. After crying most of the evening, I just didn’t know where the strength to make a thirteen hour drive, alone, was going to come from. Turns out, that drive was just what I needed. I listened to my music the entire time, a lot of it did remind me of him, and I cried if I wanted to and I thought about everything I could have done differently and how I could have served him better in the relationship, our differences, his unrealistic expectations, my unrealistic expectations, life, the complications of life and relationships combined. I was exhausted after that trip, physically and mentally, but I think it was just what I needed and I believe that trip was the biggest blessing toward my healing and betterment after a terrible breakup.
At church the last couple of weeks, the pastor has been discussing the nature of love. Every week he replays the same message, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
Every week he repeats this same message because we tend to forget. Love is an action though, an act, it’s not enough to read these words–we have to bring them into being. I think about my thoughts, the one’s that went through my head on that long car drive and I can’t say that at any point in our relationship did I stray from the attempt to show love in my actions. I could have done better, though. The pastor said something else that I found to be profound, loving others requires us to walk in their shoes and to see things from their perspective. When we do this, we lose ourselves and focus on performing the actions they need and to our best ability. Sometimes relationships need words, other times they need silence, sometimes one person needs togetherness and the other needs space. It’s learning to give up what we need, sometimes, for the moment, in order to show our love and understanding for another. This concept was relatively foreign to me after my divorce, but as I’ve grown through my own hardship and struggle and through the loss of things that are important to me I’ve learned what it means to sacrifice and lose something you can’t get back. I’ve learned that sometimes short-term sacrifices are better than not having something at all.
I’ve accepted that that relationship needed to end–it’s still hard. To be alone again is not what I want but as I’m learning it’s not always about me. I know though, I did everything I could to show love and I understand the concept of what love is after these past four years (since my divorce). Love is hard. It’s the hard things though, that prove the greatest aspects of our lives.