Welcome to my first blog for 2017. Personal blogging isn’t as easy as some may think. Although you have a lot more material with an ‘opinion’ piece, gaining inspiration from personal experience is a challenge. It forces you to reminisce about certain aspects that were rather dark and emotional and prefer not to revisit. While you’re also aware it presents an opportunity for others to judge and critique on a personal level. This latest blog is probably the most challenging yet and has taken me a couple of weeks to finish. It’s the first one focused on both past and present experience and it’s all about a little thing called Love and a whole lotta Loss that comes with it.
So, what is my definition of love? Love is that feeling that comes directly from the heart. It’s a feeling I believe cannot be properly explained with words but instead it’s the emotions that we show that speak its truth. Love exists in all areas of our life and although I’ll be focusing primarily on love towards another individual, love is just as important in our career, the way we see the world and just general life choices. Each and every one of us feel love differently to the next. I mean, we all don’t like the same movies and something that may make us sad doesn’t necessarily mean the person next to us will show the same level of emotion. Many people seem to approach love in a rather logical and strategic way these days. Either circumstances or timing isn’t ideal, they set unrealistic expectations for those involved or they may have simply been too burnt in the past to even consider ‘love’ actually exists. It’s unfortunate because it seems the heart isn’t even acknowledged and I believe that’s where real love stems from.
I remember listening to a motivational speaker who emphasized on the ‘fall’ part with falling in love. He said they don’t call it ‘rising in love’ for a reason. You’re going to fall down many times but that’s okay. Love is a gamble and to roll that dice we take a risk by letting ourselves become vulnerable, therefore welcoming love into our lives. He summarised his point by quoting
“It is better to have loved and lost, than never to have allowed yourself to love from the beginning”
Listening to that quote definitely changed my mindset towards love by appreciating the moments that occurred, instead of turning them into pure hate. I think we all go through some sort of ‘fun’ phase through our 20’s and although I would never refer to myself as an angel, my preferred goal ever since coming out was always finding that special someone to share my life with, regardless of how long. I own the fact that I’d often ignore the inner beauty of someone and instead focused on my ‘type’ in a shallow way. This approach didn’t really last long though and for anyone like myself who wear their hearts on their sleeve, they understand what I mean. I’d soon realise early on that we can find an oil painting breathtaking, but without a distinctive quality about it, it’s novelty soon wears thin. With my eyes and mind wide open, many forms of love soon presented itself.
For the last 3 years, my love life has consisted of many dates, a couple of walk of shames, a few boyfriends and a whole lot of heartbreak. Excuse my French but love is fucking hard haha and anyone that says it’s ‘easy’ hasn’t approached it correctly. It can make you feel like your heart has been stomped on and when you feel like your heart is broken beyond repair, you swear every time that you’ll never love again. Next minute though, we have picked ourselves up, let go of him/her and ready for it once again.
Dealing with a love fail always hits me pretty hard. Like I said, I wear my heart on my sleeve and I give it my absolute all and see this as a big cause for heartbreak. Do I regret being this way though? Not at all because it’s gotten me to a point where my approach to love consists of the right balance between speaking from your heart and acting with the mind. Let’s be real, you got to have a little brain. Early on I was all heart and a lot of naivety. I’ve been told many times by the people closest to me that what I was feeling towards someone, either wasn’t real or it was just pure lust and that can easily make someone feel crazy or delusional.
For a time, I approached the idea of love with pure logic. Yes, I felt a little smarter and didn’t feel that sense of loss often, but then again, I didn’t feel much at all. I was showing coldness and negativity towards anyone that attempted to take an interest and eventually lost myself. I missed the emotion and the ‘what could be’ feeling with someone so I worked hard on improving that. Within the last year I reached a stage in life that what works for me is speaking openly and honestly from the heart while using my brain to realistically determine how much time and effort is used. In my opinion, one doesn’t simply work without the other and if you can find the right balance I highly recommend this approach.
In order to stay true to this, I knew I had to step away from the ‘community’ I was in and that came at a price. My social life was less.. social, many friendships ‘acquaintances’ faded pretty much into nothing and the opportunity to meet that special someone became rare. I focused primarily on work and study and most recently, connecting through forums to provide some motivation for others. Oh.. and I started this little website ha.
It wasn’t until Christmas and New Year where that feeling of loneliness really sunk in. No matter how busy I was during the day, it’s night time that traps you when city life quiets down. Somehow I couldn’t seem to shake off this ‘meh’ feeling and found it a challenge to envision anything worthwhile in 2017 and TBH that scared the shit out of me. I’ve worked so hard on creating a positive mindset but I couldn’t seem to get it back. I fetI had hit a crossroad and trapped myself in a hole.
So, I decided to go see a Psychologist for a few sessions as some sort of self-development tool aiming to give me a little extra guidance and motivation. I understood he needed to know my life with great detail first but he dug pretty deep and focused on things I didn’t think needed to be discussed. During my last visit a few weeks ago, he brought something to light. Something I guess I had stupidly ignored for a long time and below is part of that conversation;
PSYCHOLOGIST: “When you look back as a child, what are your thoughts on being let down by your dad?”
ME: Umm, well it was sad. I was just a kid.
PSYCHOLIGIST: “And now?”
ME: “I’m fine with it because he’s out of my life. You get to a point where you accept it, learn from it and move forward”
PSYCHOLOGIST: “And your past relationships with guys? You said what hurt most was knowing that having a good heart wasn’t enough for them”
ME: “Well yeah, but I don’t regret them, I’ve learnt from them and now I know what kind of guy suits me and what I deserve. The right guy will come along”
PSYCHOLOGIST: “Tell me again about friendships or people you thought were friends but weren’t”
ME: “Ummm, i’m okay. It is what it is. It sucks but you just gotta move on with life”
ME: “I am okay. I’ve let go and over all that now”
PSYCHOLOGIST: “No you’re not”
ME: “Umm, what makes you think that?”
PSYCHOLOGIST: “You like to surround yourself with love. Love has been the basis of all your connections through life. With family, your friends and your relationships. But without love being present, those connections have no real purpose for you. I see your point and by hearing your story, I can see you have felt a sense of abandonment and loss many times since you were a child.
In life we tend to ‘lead by example’ For instance, when we reflect on an emotion we have felt, such as ‘anger’ our minds can quickly link it to a particular situation or person. Clear your mind right now and if I asked you to reminisce about the ‘love’ you’ve had in your life, what does your mind focus on?”
PSYCHOLOGIST: “That’s right. You believe in the realness of love too much to be scarred from it. However, love carries around a sense of ‘loss’ for you and that kind of burden can only be carried for a length of time”
He then went on to explain that many people forget to grieve properly. We are determined to move on with our lives by ‘filling the void’ but what is easily neglected is the loss itself. When someone of importance is no longer part of your life, a gap/hole is left on the heart. A lot may be intent on filling it with someone else while others focus on covering it up with other aspects of their life. In my instance, I accepted the situation for what it was, gained valuable life lessons for the future and therefore moved on. I just neglected the actual ‘loss’ part.
So what now? I don’t really think I need to revisit anything but instead a life lesson learnt that I’ll probably need in the years to come. This has pushed me to focus on my health though, physically and mentally. When we suffer a sense of rejection or abandonment, it can impact our self-confidence and it’s affected mine greatly but I’ve stupidly let it worsen due to a lack of worthiness about myself. It makes sense though, if I’m constantly carrying around a sense of loss, then lack of self-confidence is carried too. So, It’s time my focus turned to ME and this week I joined a Health Club in the city. Besides a gym, there’s a pool, spa, sauna, yoga, meditation, other mind/body classes and rock climbing. We’ll see how it goes but I’m excited!
So what’s my advice to anyone going through the good, bad and ugly side of love? I’d say be patient with it. Love is not a choice and it will find you eventually. When it does, regardless of the choices you make or its outcome, just be open and honest about your feelings and make sure the words that come out are from the heart. From experience, if this is done, then you’ll have less regrets along the way. I would rather be open and take risks than go through life carrying a ‘what if’ around. You’re going to make a lot of mistakes and love will let you down more times than it succeeds you, but you’ll soon appreciate them.
I reached a stage about a year ago and I think most people do at some point, of a mental ‘profile’ of a guy that is best suited for me. Not physically, but a variety of qualities they possess, beliefs that you respect and most importantly, someone you know you deserve. If you want to find yours too then you need to go get hurt, take those massive risks that others wouldn’t and don’t focus too much on what may/may not happen because it’s those ‘special’ moments along the way that will stick. Plus, you got to experience love and unfortunately for some people, they don’t even get to experience that.
Although heartbreak and loss is something that will never get easier as we age, hold on to a vision of something/someone greater out there and just trust the process because I’m a big believer that everyone we meet in life is for a reason. When I think back to my saddest losses, a quote by Winnie the Pooh always stuck out for me and think it’s an appropriate way to end;
“How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard” -Winnie the Pooh
LOVE all, TRUST a few, Do wrong to none ❤