Don’t you love a good love story? I know I do. Yet, when I think about those stories, they are fairly predictable. And when I say “good” love story, you know it has contained struggle, perhaps even heartbreak. A girl and boy meet, fall in love and live together in wedded bliss for 85 years would be GREAT love story, with emphasis on the love and not the story.
Even if that were the story, because we are not with that couple all the time, we don’t really see the whole picture…the hasty word blurted in anger, the misunderstood silence, the heartbreaking illness. We haven’t witnessed THEIR health scares, unwelcome diagnoses, the fear of loss, the grief of losing a partner, child or friend.
But I did like romantic stories. I still do.
Like many little girls of my generation, I grew up with the story that life was like the fairy-tales and that I would be rescued from everyday living by meeting, falling in love with and marrying my one true love. We would meet and he would make my dreams come true. In my early fantasies there were always many children as well as the handsome husband. Notice that there was never any notion of the hard work it would take on my part to make a happy, long-lasting relationship.
Although I have been blessed by having three quite wonderful men fall in love with me, we didn’t have the same fantasies about how we would manage to live happily ever after.
Happily ever after became happily even after
More often than not, we learned to live happily even after. After the quarrel, after soul-shredding name calling fights. After the disappointment of not being able to conceive. After the upheaval of moving hundreds or thousands of miles away from family and friends. And the happiness wasn’t deep and profound, but rather pieced together with promises and lies.
I always liked Tennyson’s words: “Tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.”
But then I started studying metaphysics, and found that real love is generous and eternal. It is bigger than any personality. We never truly lose love, it really only just changes form. Currently, I am not in an intimate love relationship, but that does not mean I am without love. I have so many people to love and be thankful for. I have so may people who love me. I am greatly blessed.
I am reminded on Joni Mitchell’s song, “Both Sides Now.”
From give and take and still somehow
It’s love’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know love at all
To say “I love you” right out loud
Dreams and schemes and circus crowds
I’ve looked at life that way
They shake their heads, they say I’ve changed
Well something’s lost, but something’s gained
In living every day.”