If Your Love Hurts You, Let Go.

Via Rebecca Lammersen
on Aug 16, 2014
get elephant's newsletter

couple distance holding hands nature river love


When I checked my messages this morning, I found this poem waiting in my inbox:


Leave if your love hurts you.

Leave if it is always more pain than it is joy.

Contrary to what they’ll tell you,

Love does not make the world spin around.

You can want someone, baby.

You can want them until you’re raw.

That kind of longing can turn you into water after a live wire has been thrown into it.

It can turn you into the hand holding that wire,

But that doesn’t mean it’s right.

It doesn’t mean you should stay.

Don’t hang round just because you’re scared that you’ll never feel that kind of electricity again.

It’s not true, it never was.

The thing is, you were made to be touched by hands,

Attached to a body that finds itself at rest when it’s with you.

That finds itself quietly trembling when you’re together.

Those hands need to come with gentle words and an honest mouth.

A mouth that says your name in a way that sounds like the very definition of “falling.”

So don’t take less than that.

Don’t take half of that.

Above all, if it hurts, go.

You’ll fall in love so many times that you’ll lose count and it’ll shake you.

Tiny vibrations like tectonic plates with every stranger who you looked into the eyes and made your body feel new.

Find a love that makes you feel new, and better.

Always like you’re moving and staying still at the exact same time.

Grow, expand, and if it hurts, leave.”

– Azra. T. “Lessons #2”


I am embarrassed to say, it has taken me 35 years to learn this particular lesson, but as the dizziness from the spinning subsides, I see clearly—-

Love doesn’t hurt and if it does, it’s not love.

Love doesn’t provoke that burning, throbbing reflux of anxiety from my gut to my throat. Love isn’t unstable or inconsistent. It’s not fiery or volatile. Love is not words void of action.

I thought it was all I deserved, this type of love. I thought I needed to labor at it, fight for it, explain it, claim it, chase after it and be dragged by it.

I was wrong.

I couldn’t see that what I was feeling was the opposite of love, it was desperation to be loved, because I have lived in fear of being alone. I have settled for less than what I want and need in my life.

Someone once said to me, “Boring is good, especially when it comes to love and relationships.”

Love is mundane, routine and familiar. Love is the cherishing of myself first and foremost and then, of another.

Love is not unbridled passion and grandiose gestures; that’s lust. Lust is intoxicating at first, but it will spin me around until I end up on the floor, completely disoriented and unable to function.

Just as fear is mistaken for love, so is lust. Lust distracts me from life. Love encourages me to live.

Love is like the oak tree that’s been there for hundreds of years. I know it will always be there, even if the tree is chopped down; the roots will remain.

Love is the morning hug and kiss at home that I still feel standing in the produce aisle of the grocery store that night.

Love is love when there is no question of its existence and its loyalty. It was there, it is there, it will always be there. Just like the tree, it stands right where it is.

Love is not love if it is in constant movement; yes it can grow, blossom and sway, but it doesn’t stray.

The elation, the sweep off my feet feeling, that’s just temporary, like a gust of wind. Yet I chase it, I try to catch it and make it stay. It never will and I will end up on my knees gasping for breath because lust is elusive, it is and will remain, a mystery.

Love is stationary. Love is the look across the table when I tell a story about my day that is less than exciting and the eyes staring back are intent, listening to every word, captivated by my life, every piece of it and celebrates the details.

Love is the embrace of details, because every one of my thoughts, feelings and dreams, matter.

Love is not bloated with pedestals and infatuated with idealism. This will only last as long as I do, standing on one leg or a broken pillar. I will fall in the end and it will hurt, terribly.

Love is the acceptance of each person as they are. Whole separately and whole together.

When love arrives I will never have to censor what I say or how I say it. Love does not utter the words,  “You are too this or that.”

Love doesn’t struggle, it doesn’t know how to, but fear does. Fear loves to misunderstand, misinterpret and fight for what it believes to be right. But love? Love doesn’t need to be right, instead it listens until it understands.

I mistake fear for love because I’ve gone numb.

But I don’t like feeling numb, so I grasp for what’s out there, or I feel the air on my skin and it wakes me up so I run after it; I want more of it. I try to catch it with my hands, my mouth agape trying to swallow it; make it a part of me. That’s when it happens, the addiction—I consume the delusion like a drug, because it helps me feel alive, like I was still the little girl who could twirl and twirl and not get dizzy.

Why didn’t I get dizzy?

Because I knew love then, I didn’t need anyone to spin me around—not the world, not a person.

Now?  I’ve lost that love so he spins me and it’s not the same, but I convince myself it is; it has to be. Around and around I go, no longer me, but a blur of confusion.

I try to ignore the sick feeling rising, I want it to stop but I think,  “This is it, I won’t ever feel this way again and I want it, I need it.”

That’s the drug of illusion, it’s almost too late. The abnormal has become normal, I’ve been drugged by the tornado of lust, addicted and out of control.

The love that hurts is like heroin to my veins; it cripples me, weakens me, and will kill me eventually.

When I finally let go of his hand, I crashed to the floor, the whirl turned to stillness and I realized—that was never love.

Love is the right kind of medicine. It coats me slowly, my spin turns to a twirl again. I feel safe in its remedy. I start to feel better, back to myself.

A bit bored? Yes, but there is peace in that. Serenity is love.

Healthy again, alive again, free to feel. I recognize that this feeling is lasting, never dizzying.

Love is not supposed to hurt. With this realization, I stand back up, dust off my hands and begin to twirl toward the tree.

It’s been there, is there and will always be there waiting for me, to love me when I was ready to love myself and let go.



Relephant Read: 

Do Not Settle For Love.

Once you’ve let go, fall in love with yourself:



Love elephant and want to go steady?

Sign up for our (curated) daily and weekly newsletters!

Editor: Emily Bartran

Photo: Flickr


About Rebecca Lammersen

Rebecca Lammersen is the founder of Yogalution, an intimate, boutique style yoga studio in Scottsdale, AZ. I love being alive. I love being a mother. I love teaching yoga. I love to write. I love to know. I love to not know. I love to learn. I love to listen. I love to read. I love to swim. I love to travel. I love to dance. I love to help. I love to serve. That pretty much sums me up. For daily inspirations, check out Rebecca's website. Visit her yoga studio website and peruse her articles at The Huffington Post. You can also find her on Facebook. Subscribe to Rebecca's feed and never miss a post!


54 Responses to “If Your Love Hurts You, Let Go.”

  1. Melissa says:

    Like others, I rarely comment. Like others, I was moved by this post. I have been lucky enough to have various experiences of what I would call “love.” Some were painful and abusive. Some were strong and stable. I too have chased after intoxication at the detriment of valuing the kind of love that can sometimes, yes, be mundane. There is, for me too, peace in the mundane and the boring. I too value that kind of love. It took me 36 years (you’re a year ahead of me in this apparently) to come around to this.

    Like others, I was mortified to see how some people responded. Nothing about your writing or your tone read as didactic–rather, as having the intention to share your experience of love and understanding and growth in the hopes that others might relate and hear something they needed to hear. I’m sorry for those who appeared to feel so threatened and distant from your experience that it seemed appropriate to lash out, attack, or question your character or personal truth. That’s certainly not in the spirit of Elephant, and as a reader from the very beginning, I’m disappointed. Different perspectives, and the sharing of them, has so much value. Attacks and mud-slinging do not.

    Thank you for sharing YOUR truth. I got something from it that I needed today, and I’m grateful that YOU took the time to record your growth and insights.

  2. tania says:

    Agree . totally. I’ve felt that kind of hurt before. The kind which made me feel so small, it was more of fear than real love which kept me going and I wasted 5 years of my life.

    This article is so good. I can totally relate to every paragraph. Thank you.

  3. San says:

    Well put! Nothing is ever black or white and the same for everyone

  4. Lindsay says:

    Beautiful. Love is not just a word or feeling,it is a verb so requires action to be real. This action can be absolutely many ordinary moments…. and I think it often is. So thank you for this…


Leave a Reply