Love is Never Wasted

I’m single again, and processing all the feelings that come along with a break-up. I had high but cautious hopes and they have been disappointed. Being in my first serious post-widowhood relationship revealed so many things, including the places where I still need to heal.

But more than anything, in the disappointment and hurt, I am saying one thing to myself over and over: it is never a bad thing to love someone with your whole heart. Sure, the consequences can be painful. Sometimes we transgress boundaries we shouldn’t because we are trying too hard to love someone. Sometimes loving someone leads us straight to our own deepest pain, and we forget to take care of ourselves while we care for them.

But even then, the love given to another person is never a waste, and should never be regretted. Love is worth the risk, every time. And people are worth loving, even when they (we) are deeply flawed. Every time.

Love is the path forward, and the path back to ourselves when we are broken and defeated. Love is the way–the only way–to something bigger than ourselves, the Oneness we call God or Source or Universe. Love makes us brave and stretches us toward goodness and justice. Love never fails, even when the lover or the beloved do.

And as I tell friends and family about this latest grief I’m processing, I’m reminded again how much bigger love is than any one relationship. Love is more than a romantic attachment, or even a commitment between two people. Love is the foundation of all that is good in this world and beyond it, and it doesn’t just end because a break-up happens or a person dies.

We know this instinctively because we still love the ones whose hearts we have broken and who have broken ours. Yet we fail to draw the conclusion all the way to its logical end. The love I had for my first husband still exists, though I no longer feel it as an emotion. Love lives on in the person of my son, who our love created. The love I had for my second husband still exists, though he’s been dead for over three years. It is expressed through my love for his children, and in relationship with people in the midst of addiction and recovery. It is expressed through my work with others who are grieving.

The love I have for my now ex-boyfriend obviously still exists, in a way that is painful and keeps me awake at night, but I know that I will find places for that love to live on as well. Love is like matter which cannot be created or destroyed, but only find a new form in which to continue. How exactly it morphs after this break-up remains to be seen, but I am well-supported and well-equipped to figure it out.

What I know beyond doubt, and knew even as the break-up was happening is that every bit of love we shared was worth it. I am better for loving him, stronger and wiser and more hopeful. I love myself better now than I did ten months ago. And it was love, from him and others, that gave me both the courage and motivation to dig deep and continue growing.

So keep risking love with me, will you? I guarantee it will be worth our while.

One response to “Love is Never Wasted”

  1. You Collette are an amazing woman! You have such a gift of expressing yourself & to heal others . I feel like I have known you forever & yet really don’t much at all . Please keep doing what you are doing for so many , you really do touch a persons heart . 🤗 it was great seeing you at Bagels awhile back. Ruth

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