The light and the dark

In my previous post I wrote about the things I had learnt about love in my few years on this planet so far, but as I selected those things I realised that there were several I was unable to fully explain in the constrained structure of a list.  Some of them I had written longer posts on previously, so I didn't mind if the repeated rendition of them was incomplete, but it really irritated me that I couldn't fully explain the ones I had not directly addressed before.

So here I am, explaining myself.

I said that I have learnt that... "the pleasure is worth the pain, although the light and the dark are two sides of the same cannot be had without the other.  But never love less to protect yourself from heartache, love more to risk it all for the joy."

As I read back through my posts on love, I can see that this reconciliation of the light and the dark is something I have touched on again and again, without ever really stating it that clearly.

To put it simply, I believe that the pain that we so often experience through love, be that love for a child, a friend or a lover, is neither avoidable nor unwanted.  It is part of love, and the more we love, the more it hurts.  It is so easy to turn away from the negative emotion as the pain builds to the point of heartbreak, but in doing this we are also turning away from the flip side of the coin, the intensifying, building, purifying love.

So much love is lost because people are scared of getting hurt.

My dog Floss was put to sleep a week ago, I spent the entire weekend before she died in her company.  Most of it I spent crying, not wailing and sobbing, just gently overflowing with tears.  And yes, it was painful.  I was, and still am, sad that her life was at an end.  But that weekend, the strongest emotion I felt was love.  My eyes were overflowing with tears not because I didn't want her to die, but because I loved her while she lived.

There is nothing to be gained from grieving over a separation, a loss.  Grieve over the living flesh, be open to the pain that love brings as it unifies and you may just learn something.

“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.”

Mother Teresa

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