When you boil it down past all of the hurt and uncertainty and not knowing what to say… what if, at the heart of it, there was just love?
I know this might be hard for you. You are so entangled in all of the weirdness and turmoil that you don’t even know what happened anymore.
You’re telling yourself this story about how you were treated unfairly, but then I show up and say that at the heart of it, this was love; it just got confused and wrapped in on itself too many times.
But everything I’ve read lately seems to suggest that when you melt these difficult situations down, when you get rid of all the hurt and confusion and the little things that were misinterpreted and all the times you decided that he just didn’t care… that all that remains at the essence of the relationship is love.
What I mean is this: if you had all the information—if you knew the whole truth, instead of just what you were told and what you assumed, then you would see that at the core of this whole messy thing, there’s just love: love that’s gotten tangled up and confused.
Even though she never called you back.
Even though he said that thing that seemed kind of hurtful at the time.
Even though she told you she would be home at 7:30 but she didn’t get home until 9:15.
Even though he’s dating other people.
Even though she left the party without telling you.
Even though he’s moving to California at the end of May.
Even though she keeps talking about that other dude.
Even though he said you can’t be friends anymore, out of respect for his new girlfriend.
Even though she didn’t look up from what she was doing to say hello when you came home last night.
We are all so afraid of getting our hearts trampled on that we have developed all of these elaborate protection mechanisms. And the behavior you’re seeing and finding fault with? Those are her protection mechanisms. Or she was just talking without thinking—running her mouth without considering your feelings—she’s allowed to do that sometimes, you know. Or she just got busy. Or maybe it’s just your protection mechanisms interacting with hers. There are any number of explanations for what happened. So why do you always choose the one that feels the worst?
At the heart of it, there’s just this big, crazy ball of love.
Does this mean you’re going to get married, or do whatever crazy thing is next on the culturally conditioned List of Relationship Progression that exists inside your head?
Nope. Not necessarily.
And does this mean you have to stay with her? You’ve gotten so annoyed lately.
Nope. But it might make choosing to stay a little easier.
We can apply this to more than just our romantic relationships—although we do seem to manufacture a lot of trouble with those. It can also be true of the way we interact with our parents and our siblings and our friends. We confuse things sometimes. Our egos get in the way. We feel slighted and we misinterpret the little stuff.
I just want you to give people a little slack, because often, the decisions you’ve made about what’s going on were made without the full information. We usually don’t have all the intel about the situation—or when we do, we don’t accept it.
We can only work with what we’re given. And you, you made the best decision you could with the information that you had.
But are you taking stock of love? Are you giving a little hope and leeway for love?
What if, just for today, you could believe the best about it?