31 DAYS – a writing challenge – day 28
When you are very young, without much real life experience, but with your head filled with romance and life lasting love stories from all the classics you have read and all the movies you have seen, you feel mature. You think you know all there is to know about love. You have a relationship, maybe the first real love affair you ever had, and you’re sure you’ve found the love of your life. Because lots of details are exactly as in your favorite love stories. And maybe you compare your relationship with the one your young friends have and yours seems more deep, more genuine. And then you feel special. You feel unique. You wouldn’t even conceive that every happy couple feels the same about their romance. You are deluded by your recently awakened butterflies. You don’t even know what love actually is, but you’re using all you ever heard, all you ever seen and all you ever imagined about love as a map to a secret treasure. That’s what first relationships mainly are: a treasure hunt. We give ourselves body and soul in exchange of that legendary special something we never felt before and as we don’t know how to define it, we name it love. And we float in the highest spheres, inebriated by the novelty of our experience, untill the “endless love” reach its end. And then we go lovesick. We can’t let go, convinced we’ll never find anything remotely as intense and beautiful, and we measure our love by the depths of our despair. The more we suffer, the great the love seems to appear. And the pain, the suffering, are real, undoubtedly. But was the love just as real? Or just a youthful infatuation?
Sometimes, when the healing process seems endless and we feel drained of life, as if we’ve barely survived an emotionally buffer, we tend to think that we have no emotion left. No hope. Not a chance to ever love again or to be loved. And we pity ourselves. Because no matter how big is the emptiness we feel, on its bottom, in its most remote place, there’s still a drop of love left. Love for ourselves – which we use to pity our precious self. And we are to be pitied. It’s a period when along with our heart, our social life suffers as well. Maybe even other aspects of our lives. But if we feel comfortable to indulge a little in the bitter-sweetness of self compassion, the pity of others might have just the opposite effect. Our pride might feel a bit scratched at first, then humiliated from humble. We all tend to want the love and appreciation of others on long term, not their pity. So we put on the “I’m okay” mask. We start to pretend we feel better, even if inside our world keeps falling apart. And we become so good at pretending, that our dear ones begin to believe it and finally have the courage to tell us how we worried them and how glad they are we’ve better now. And we smile. With our heart still bleeding, we smile. And those are the hardest times. Hardest than when we cry on the sly.
Nevertheless, without even notice, the smiles became genuine in time. And the laugh no longer hurts like if it would be an impiety to feel joy while the heart still mourns the lost love. And so we slowly slide into resignation. But we’re single. For us it’s like all just happened yesterday and it’s too soon to be romantically involved again, but for the rest we’re just socially unfit. So we continue to put on other masks. The independent or workaholic type of mask. But those are just safety zones we develop to escape the unpredictable. And we recognise them as such only when we dare to step out of their limits and put some perspective between what we were and what we are. No matter how genuine they felt while we dwell on them, they were only poses. Stages of our healing process. Masks.
We grow certain of this when the buds of a new love bloom once more within our hearts, healing us completely. When the masks fell off. When we no longer need to be otherwise than how we truly are: loved and in love. At least this is my story.