Reflecting on past relationships, I asked myself, did they ever love me? Did they pretend to love me? Were they confused too, thinking they loved me but actually never did? Or did they know from the start that they did not love me, but still went ahead and deliberately hoodwinked me into believing they did?
These questions, I pondered as in lay in bed one September morning thinking about the past 3 years my life and how it has gone through a number of relationships that are today no more. How could love do that to you? I wondered. When I think about what they did, I just can’t wrap my mind around love hurting someone like that. Was it truly love? If it was love, why did it bring so much pain?
Love seems the total opposite of their actions. Heartbreak appears to trail what we refer to as love. If it was love, wasn’t it supposed to be sweet, pleasant, euphoric and most of all long lasting? So, are those relationships that lasted only weeks, months or years entitled to be labeled love? Are they worthy of being called love or were they some unexplained feeling that disguised itself as love?
These questions I ruminated on as I thought about my exes and the specific actions that led to the break up. They all wanted me back in spite of having hurt me and having done something that made it impossible for me to move forward in the relationship. My trust was shattered. And how does one go about a relationship without trust? After thinking about them, I thought about me. I wondered if love is truly an illusion. The phrase “love can conquer all” seemed like such a blatant lie. If love was so powerful, why didn’t my love for them empower me to overlook their defects and embrace them again? To them, what they had done did not deserve a punishment as severe as a banishment from my life. To me, it was the end of the road. If truly I loved them as I claimed, why couldn’t I move past their fatal flaws.
It was easier for me to conclude that they never in fact loved me, than it was for me to admit the same of myself. I believe I loved them each while it lasted. I know the sacrifices I made, the actions I took to show that I was in love. On my part, it was real. But ultimately, my self preservation came first. I loved me first and I loved me more, so the need to protect me was higher that the need to receive their counterfeit love.
I guess if they all looked back they’ll probably affirm that they loved me. But the validity of that claim is questionable because their actions were unable to back it up. So after my long introspective journey into the past that September morning, I came to the conclusion that love is really an action. It’s in what we do, not what we say. Talk is cheap. I remember an ex telling me at the point of desperation that I should listen to what he says and not pay attention to his actions. I would have been brainwashed to do that, but by then the scales had fallen from my eyes and I saw him for who he truly was. The blindness that supposedly comes with love was gone from my eyes and after what I saw, nothing could propel me to spend even a day longer in the relationship with him.
Regardless of how we feel, if our actions do not measure up, then it can’t be love. That being said, self love remains a basic foundation for romantic love. This was my biggest take away from my morning musing. One has to love his/her self enough to reject counterfeit love.
If it doesn’t live up to that perfection that love is, then is it really love? Love is perfect or is it? But if you must call it love, then call it what it is, counterfeit love. Some of us need to experience a number of counterfeit love before we can recognize real love. What is real love? Real love is a love that we choose. A love that even if it breaks our heart, also has the ability to heal and restore us back to wholeness, over and over again. A forever love that lasts as long as you both shall live.