The other day, I overheard a conversation between a woman and her partner. Sometimes, when you’re out on the street, you hear something, and as much as I tried to ignore it, at that moment I had no choice since I was riding public transit and was so close to them.
As they dove into their language of lovers, and while the sweetness of their hugs and kisses dripped from their words, I heard her voice declare “I love you more than my own life”, to which he responded with a fervent and indiscreet kiss, that left all the other spectators in an uncomfortable silence. His own voice was then heard saying: “There will never be anyone else like you”.
Destined for pain
Similar phrases were spewed out during the entire trip. In cases like this one, it’s always best to pretend some sort of distraction, because…what else can you do? So I preferred to pay attention to the music in the background, where they were definitely singing about something completely opposite to the lovers’ sugar-coated words. The singer uttered words of bitterness, along the lines of “you promised me love, and look what you gave me”, “You said I was your world, your life, and look at who you spend all your time with now…it hurts, it hurts, your betrayal hurts”. Yes, it’s funny, but I couldn’t help but think about the possible and heart breaking break-up for this couple that is promised by the most fantastical love story.
Frequently we move from love to pain, and then from pain, we jump right back again into love. And to tell the truth, it’s often times harder to make the last just, especially when the pain is not understood.
The truth is, pain is not love. Pain is rather a sign that forces us to take a look inside ourselves, and pay attention to something that needs urgent assessment, appreciation, and respect on our part: that something, is “me”.
The message of dependence
If we were to listen a little bit better to what we say when we’re in love, it would give us an obvious clue as to why we feel pain so often when we love: “I can’t live without you”, “I love you more than my own life”, “If you go, I’ll die”, “there will never be anyone else like you”, “love only comes once”, “you’ll always be in my heart”, etc. We were taught that these words were a sign of great love, but I think what they really do, is distance us from great love, and over time, create pain. There is something just beneath these words that in some way condition us to pain when we repeat them. There is a message of dependence and undervaluation for whoever utters them, because underneath these words, you proclaim: “you are worth more than I am”.
Expressing love: Love is sharing
Love between two people is sharing. To promise eternal love to the other, or to tell them that if they go, we’ll die, unnecessarily ties us, and conditions us. These types of words trap us in dependency, because in some way, we rest our happiness in another. And even though at that moment, they seem like just some playful words, it is absolutely necessary that we observe in every moment what we say, no matter how nonchalant they may seem.
Everything matures and transforms, and what once was one thing, becomes another. This is a natural process, everything has its own time and place. To say “never change”, or “my love will never change for you”, is to trap the heart with cheap thoughts that deny it the magic of transformation.
If we learn to depend, we will feel pain. If we speak in words that limit us, we will live in a prison. If we begin to observe and become more creative with our words, we could begin to express love in more sincere terms like “it’s amazing sharing my life with you” “I love being by your side”, “my heart lights up in your presence”.
Speaking should be more than a simple action of “filling” time. Our words should be taken from our deepest understanding, and then given form with our own creativity, wearing our heart on our sleeves. By doing this we become more conscious of the power and magic of words. The more depth and understanding that we express in speaking, the more free and honest we will be. We will allow both our partner and ourselves the opportunity to grow and live the experiences that burst forth from our hearts, without limiting ourselves or anyone else by forcing them to be by our sides because…”I can’t live without…”.
What a beautiful thing love is, when someone comes to our side not because of what they promised – not to fulfill their word, not because they feel sorry that we feel bad without their presence or because they can’t leave us because it’s not right – but because quite simply, they take true pleasure in what they can create, invent, and be, by our side.