Since you’ve been gone, I’ve been thinking a lot about love.
The dictionary defines love as (amongst other things);
*A strong feeling of affection (noun)
*A great interest and pleasure in something (noun)
*Feeling deep affection or sexual love for someone (verb)
Yes. Yes. And yes.
So the question is, is it better to have had, or experienced those things, and then lost them – or to never have had them at all?
Greater minds than mine have sought to address this issue. Across time, countless books have been written on the subject of love; from the ecstasy of giving and receiving unbound affection, to the agony of having it returned, unwanted and despised.
And yet, we continue to love. We continue to offer our hearts, often, and even when we know we will be rejected.
My own view is that this is because love is, in most cases (but by no means all), involuntary. You can’t help who you fall in love with. Whether they are likely to love you back… well, that’s another story. But when your heart goes ‘BOOM!’, even the most level headed, sensible person can’t resist falling headlong into the high speed adrenaline rush of the love train.
If you’re lucky, your affection is reciprocated. But then, the chances are, it’s only a matter of time before one half of the love heart in the sand starts to fade. And eventually the tide comes in and washes it completely away. What happens then is gut wrenching despair as the unwanted party tries to come to terms with losing their love.
And this, I guess, is where the jury is still out on my original question. Is it better to have loved and lost – or never to have loved at all? Perhaps the answer is different, person to person, situation to situation… and whether it is asked at the very beginning, when the heart is so freshly wounded that pain is tainting everything with regret, or later on, when fond memories can be revisited and even enjoyed. Maybe it depends on how strong and deep and real your love was in the first place.
For myself, I would rather have loved and never lost. I suppose that’s a no-brainer. But also, my love is not, and never will be, lost. As Shakespeare so beautifully wrote in Sonnet 116, ‘…love is not love which alters when it alteration finds, or bends with the remover to remove…’. My love is strong and will always remain. My love may have to remain locked secretly inside my heart, and never manifested in the outpouring of affection that it so ardently desires to show. But it does not mean that it is gone.
I will never regret my love.