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Love is a many splendored thing.
Until, of course, it isn’t.
For me, though, it seems to always happen quick and quite foolishly. These lapses in judgement can be disconcerting when we get excited about it in front of our friends and it proceeds to go crashing to the ground weeks—or even sometimes days—later.
When this happens, our choice is to either hide our heads in the sand and quietly wait for the embarrassment to blow over, or own our idiocy in a big way. I have always been one to choose the latter. As a matter of fact, I see many attributes to allowing myself to get carried away on a pink cloud of love whenever I’ve a mind to.
Here are 10 reasons why we should be falling foolishly in love:
The poetry can be great. But not all brokenhearted poetry is inspired and wonderful. In fact, a lot of it can be quite poor. In my own case, though, since I have been falling in and out of love for decades, I’ve had many years to hone this craft. As a consistent writer of poetry, I have always felt that nothing gets my creativity stimulated more than getting my heart smashed to pieces. The upside to all of this is that by the next year, the sting of the loss is gone but you are still in possession of a beautiful piece of poetry.
Emotional resilience. In my high school and college days, heartbreak would essentially own me. There was a time when my college sweetheart broke up with me during finals week and I managed to not only blow all of my tests, but move across the country with all of my graduation money in an attempt to distance myself from the restaurants we ate at and the streets we used to walk on. At this late stage in my development, I don’t even show up late for work. I used to watch in awe as my grandmother deftly picked up burning hot pots off the stove without so much as a wince. Her explanation was that she was “used to it.” My emotional structure has reached the same level of immunity as my grandmother’s hands.
Humility. Most people take themselves quite seriously and because of this, a public display of poor judgement can be debilitating. When we are able to reach a place where we are no longer bothered by people’s opinions of how flighty we seem to be, we inadvertently reach a level of humility reserved only for monks and garbage collectors.
Education. Many people have said to me in the past, “You never learn.” This isn’t altogether true. I can see how it might be perceived that way—especially because I keep making the same mistakes over and over, but with each situation, I gather experience. This experience informs my perception of humanity and enhances my knowledge of the human condition. What I choose to do with these lessons is entirely up to me.
We are participating in life. Yes, it is sad to get one’s heart broken; however, it is horrific to reach a place where fear causes us to just simply stop trying. Life, in a sense, is quite short. I have never been able to wrap my head around the philosophy of staying home on a Saturday night to protect oneself from life and the pain it indiscriminately doles out.
Empathy. Many people are under the misguided notion that empathy is a characteristic one is either born with or not. Lately, science has been able to prove otherwise. Empathy is a skill that can be improved upon much the way one would build any other skill. In my younger days, the initial reaction I would feel toward anyone I had a falling out with was generally “that person sucks.” These days, however, I become more curious about the person’s baggage and why it is they acted as they did. This evolution in my reactions to the world around me is exactly what these scientists were referring to.
We can feel! Anyone who has struggled with addictions in the past—and I mean any addiction; shopping, sex, alcohol, food—knows that shoving anything into our bodies is a halfhearted attempt at trying to numb ourselves in some way. When we go about the process of removing these crutches, we are presented with the challenge of learning how to feel the things we’ve been avoiding for so long. When I find myself disappointed after a bad relationship, a small part of me is able to still find gratitude in the fact that I am able to feel anything at all.
It improves one’s ability to perform. Whether people go out to see a play or a musician, no one is interested in spending money to see someone who is just going to phone it in. Being able to really draw on the true feelings of desire, unrequited love, and heartbreak make us much more believable performers.
It will strengthen your spiritual principles, too. When you have faith that a relationship will work out, when you hope that it works out, or when you need to be patient when it doesn’t, you are being given the opportunity to practice the three most important spiritual principles—faith, hope, and patience. And it is never a bad thing to work on becoming more spiritual.
It’s fun. Sounds like a weak argument at first blush, but what would life be without any fun? Sure, there are numerous pitfalls to giving your heart too freely to someone less than deserving but for that period of time but when we are in the middle of it, it can be delicious.
Obviously, there is no shortage of valid arguments that contradict my stance and for people who become debilitated after a crappy love affair, none of this applies. For the rest of us, though, there is nothing wrong with pursuing romantic love every chance we get.
Love is a many splendored thing. ~ Paul Francis Webster