I said it once and I’ll say it again: it’s uneasy for me to talk about this subject, no matter at what emotional state I currently have, in love or heart broken. For me love is an abstract subject which once I dive into and try to write about it, it feels like I was suck into it and can’t resist to continue talking about. It’s like revealing our weakest point, willingly. But how could someone do something willingly if it opens the vulnerability of itself? Doesn’t our evolutionary process lead us to survive and develop the reflexes of defense mechanism, whatever forms it take? I don’t know. And the funny thing is, I am writing about this just after I had a break up from years of relationship. So that becomes one purpose of me writing this, to reflect the lessons I got. And second, because I think I can’t run away and avoiding this topic forever.
Let me tell one thing, about how I feel after ending this years-worth of connection with someone: Unlike pain once I had when my heart was broken after the rejection of my first love in SHS, this one is liberating. It is liberating for me, and I hope for that person as well, for my intention was to let her to pursue her dreams. It’s not like losing somebody to go, but letting someone to grow.
I’ll be honest, I’m inexperienced to talk about this, but I can tell you that I learned enough. Did you ever have feelings but never have courage to embrace it? Or did you ever embrace it but in the end, you were rejected? Yeah, sometimes it sucks, and sometimes it leads to blaming ourselves.
If your heart has been broken before, or your feelings to someone was unrequited, I’m quite sure you’d be holding back to let your feelings fall for the second time. You learned not to trust someone again, to let no one ever hurt you again, to wipe away any tiny chance that potentially harm you in the future. You think you learned. Or so I think I did.
The truth is, I was mistaken. When I thought I learned not to fall again, I leaned to logic and try not to let my affection took control. I was focusing energy on my work and study, and building barriers so no one can enter. It’s like maintaining a perimeter of my own and keep everybody else away, and I was and idiot to do that. Time answered, and the answer was ugly: I tried hard not let people hurt me, but in the end, it’s me who hurt myself.
There’s always part of a man who can’t be left behind and everything will fine. Balance is always the answer, and all I did was creating unbalance version of me. I tried to leave my affection away and only living with half of myself. Even if I logically think about it, it’s illogical to abandon my nature, feelings, just because one or two shits happened. What happened was, unconsciously and slowly, I was cold to people, and in return, so do they. And yes, I learned once again.
And there’s one quote I can recall easily about this, it’s Liam Neeson’s:
“Everyone says love hurts, but that is not true. Loneliness hurts. Rejection hurts. Losing someone hurts. Envy hurts. Everyone gets these things confused with love, but in reality, love is the only thing in this world that covers up all pain and makes someone feel wonderful again. Love is the only thing in this world that does not hurt.”
It encapsulates my point briefly, and I think, beautifully. We associate our heartbreak experiences with love, while in reality, it’s the opposite of it. It’s what kills love in the first place. Please recall any experience when you were close with someone and cherished the moments, that’s what love is. But if in the end that someone left, or your heart broken, what you felt wasn’t love; it’s losing, it’s loneliness, it’s rejection, it’s envy. Everything but love. Love is one thing that covers all that up and make you rejoice your moment again.
And if you think this is irrelevant to you, or you don’t relate to what I’m talking here, just remember in the future if your feeling is down, never blame your love to someone or your love to yourself, but try to find a way to embrace it, and let it be a lesson instead.
The Answer to Title Question
If rejection doesn’t stop you, at least there’s one question to ask: Why do we love in the first place, if there’s always a sad ending waiting in there? Why is it like preprogrammed in our mind to have affection to special person sometimes in our lives?
Someone told me that I was asking the correct question. Because it is indeed preprogrammed in our mind, whatever process it took to shape our tendency to that. Modern human just born with that affection program, and social life is nurturing them to have compassion.
There are many answers to that question, from philosophical, religious, even scientific or psychological perspective. Some call it is part of our biological nature to support procreation and prevent our species from extinction, while other mentioned that it is our psychological way we develop to escape from sorrow and loneliness (Bertrand Russel). The ancient Greek philosophy saw love’s purpose is to make ourselves complete again, while Buddhist saw it as a misleading affliction that must be maintained down. There’s also another view from social perspective that saw love is the desire of people to integrate with another, and society can be better if we love each other better (Beauvoir).
Addition to the short references above, I really like these lines of dialogue from Interstellar (2014):
Cooper: “She’s in love with Wolf Edmunds.”
Romilly: “Is that true?”
Brand: “Yes. And that makes me want to follow my heart. But maybe we’ve spent too long trying to figure all this with theory –“
Cooper: “You’re a scientist, Brand –“
Brand: “I am. So listen to me when I tell you that love isn’t something we invented – it’s observable, powerful. Why shouldn’t it mean something?”
Cooper: “It means social utility – child rearing, social bonding –“
Brand: “We love people who’ve died … where’s the social utility in that? Maybe it means more – something we can’t understand, yet. Maybe it’s some evidence, some artifact of higher dimensions that we can’t consciously perceive. I’m drawn across the universe to someone I haven’t seen for a decade, who I know is probably dead. Love is the one thing we’re capable of perceiving that transcends dimensions of time and space. Maybe we should trust that, even if we can’t yet understand it.”
Brand: “Cooper, yes – the tiniest possibility of seeing Wolf again excites me. But that doesn’t mean I’m wrong.”
Those lines got me in place -among other sets of dialogue of course, typical Nolan.
People will call her crazy for talking like that, not to mention how she relates love to the trans-dimensional power. But if you watched the movie (and watch it gain for like 20+ times like I did), and like to read astrophysics readings, it’s not crazy after all. The writer purposefully set the context of the story so that he could put that specific message in that specific moment, so we can listen it thoughtfully. Hopefully.
So why do we love again? You tell me.
We can tell how we develop this affection, how love functions in our life, and how it helps us in several ways. But if we’re asking the question “why”, like in “what’s the purpose”, unfortunately I can’t tell you that. And no one can, yet, with certainty. Only if maybe we met God we can ask about that, why He created us this way, and love this way.
And we also cannot separate love in particular ways, whether it is biological, chemical, psychological, social, or spiritual phenomenon. All we know is that it exists, and we can always feel it when it’s there. We can always tell if there’s one or not. It is always part of us. And it is us.