The Flower of Life

Tibetan%20Yin%20Yang%20MandalaFor most of my life if a friend drifted away I felt what we shared was completely lost. Once in a while we’d get hooked up again at some point, but most often not. Then there were the romantic relationships frequently referred to as “not working out” even though for a time they may have worked well. That was then. My perspective is different now.

Love of any kind is never truly lost. It may end, fizzle out or be damaged beyond repair, but what came before never dies. Whether shared with a friend, lover or family member, whatever good existed will always survive. The fact that love once was, will always be a fact.

No matter how much heartache and pain may have followed, love is never wasted. It’s a gift one always get to keep. It’s important for me not to bundle what was positive then turned negative, into a completely terrible memory. I believe the ability to separate good from bad and appreciate both individually for what they were is a sign of maturity.

…”falling in love” is largely unconscious and by its very nature involves a considerable amount of idealization and projection. When we fall in love, we look upon the object of our desire as someone who will complete us or provide what we imagine we have always wanted or needed. For that reason… idealization always leads to disillusionment because another person cannot be a product of your imagination; he or she is always a separate, real person.

Coming to know and accept an other for who they really are is the practice of true love: becoming knowledgeable, witnessing, holding in mind, and repeatedly turning to the beloved with interest and willingness to enter into and resolve conflict, these are the components of true love. Often, love begins with a strong emotional attachment—a magnetic attraction, a “falling in love”—but not always. It can also begin in friendship. Over time, you feel fascinated that you can be close and trusting and different, all at the same time. This is the nature of love: the beloved is both mysterious (fascinating) and familiar (comfortable); we begin to see the world through someone else’s eyes. By Polly Young-Eisendrath, Ph.D.

Inside me there used to be a driving need not to be alone, especially in a romantic sense. In due course no matter how many friends or how deeply ‘in-love’ I felt to be, my discovery was I am always alone. Sharing my life and others with me does not change that fact. Accepting this was a doorway to greater understanding.

Bearing witness  to one another’s existence makes people feel less alone and therein lies a component of the magic of love. Love does not change the world so much as it changes how one views it. I am grateful for the love of friends, family and lovers, past and present, I got to keep which molded me to be the person I am today. Love is NEVER wasted.

Love is the flower of life,
and blossoms unexpectedly and without law,
and must be plucked where it is found,
and enjoyed for the brief hour of its duration.
D.H. Lawrence