Is there a box or a compartment to file I loved and still love after a breakup? I’ve always wondered where the love I’m left with goes? I’m not much of a believer in conventional romanticism but am not devoid of its affiliations, although, I still say that I haven’t experienced great love. I wonder if there’s even such a thing? I think that the great love I feel towards carbs suffices and is all prevailing anyway.
Breakups are hard, especially when you’re the doing the breaking. It still hurts and even if the relationship didn’t quite work there are so many complicated feelings involved. The other night as I was watching a movie, I hit pause and asked myself: What the heck do I do with the love? I glanced at the ceiling stupidly. No answer, but I did manage to see Ramesh, the rogue spider roaming around my house. He finally surfaced and scared the bejesus out of me. I think I scared him, because he just hung there frozen, deafened by my screams. Normally he just stares at me and scurries away. He’s so fast, he’s the spider equivalent of Usain Bolt. Maybe Ramesh was trying to tell me he loved me and adored living with me. So, I vacuumed my roommate. Sorry, it was just so creepy to have a spider as a roommate irrespective of how he might feel about residing with me. I’m hoping (kinda) he’s alive, eating all the potato bugs I’ve accumulated in the central vac bin thing. I just don’t want him in my house. Ugh, I rambled, didn’t I? Back on the where do I put the love topic. Where do I put it? Anyone? Anyone? Does it just fade away and turn into memories? Does it go to a love credit note towards someone new? It was really bothering me that I didn’t have the answer.
I asked an ex of mine if he could shed any light on my question. He was silent at first and did this weird thing with his eyebrows when he’s contemplating. (I don’t know what’s creepier, Ramesh or those brows) He said that he had coped with the leftover love by being angry for a while.
“How long were you angry?” I inquired.
He shrugged. “I can’t remember but the anger turned into sulking and then I just moved on but Minelle, you should know that the love doesn’t go anywhere.
“So you still have it?”
He frowned. “Depends on the breakup. If it was a bad breakup, then as much as it hurts there’s an underlying happiness that it’s over.”
“Hmmmm.” I chewed my bottom lip in contemplation.
This was utterly confusing. Later I figured out, for myself anyway, that the love would stay with me with all its brevity until I let go of my anger about the way things transpired and how awry the relationship went. Maybe this was the first time I truly cared for someone, wanting things to work and felt really idiotic when they didn’t. Is that why the love is sticking around? Is it hope? My friends on the other hand think I’m a magnet for emotionally unavailable men. This may be an outcome of my being terrified of relationships. Look at that, I’m my own therapist.
The odd thing is that the breakup didn’t change my inner level of happiness. My core remains very un-affected because I don’t rely on someone else to make me happy. Sure, a person adds to it but never ever has the power to remove that contentment and that’s something that has taken me years to cultivate and master. So, I’m not walking around like a wounded animal. Quite the contrary and I’m looking forward, but, I still think about him.
Do we ever stop loving the people that we were with or does that love turn into something else? I looked back at my past relationships and there were a few good men in there, men that are capable of resuscitating feelings. Love? No. Feelings? Yes. So, I contemplated if our love just fades into the lesser category of feelings? You’re probably wondering why is any of this important, but it is. I don’t believe you can look someone in the eye, (or in my case say it in your head) tell them you love them and then when the relationship is over, feel nothing. It’s good to know that the love you felt for someone went someplace noble because regardless of how the relationship ended, you chose to be with an individual you could open your heart to and what’s more honourable than that?
For the longest time, I was afraid to open my heart and it wasn’t because of all that I didn’t love myself crap. Many of us really have the tendency to feed ourselves the inanest advice just so we can justify the security we feel in holding on tightly to our fears; they become somewhat of a security blanket. I was scared. Scared of being abandoned or not being good enough. Scared of letting someone see my vulnerable heart, but what good does that do? Nothing is permanent and some romances are only meant to last a short time. I am a believer that every relationship is here to teach us something. My last one taught me how to love unconditionally and that is a beautiful feeling. I just wanted to love and love and love. (you can throw up now) Yes, me. Lil’ miss anti-feelings. Now, I have a box of flying hearts and am just sitting here wondering what to do with the excess because I always keep some for myself.
Watching the paused television screen I ate a handful of sugar-free gummies (those are life by the way) and silently culled through my last relationship, reminded of a metaphor. In India, the cooks in the kitchen take out a giant silver tray or thali and pour a few cups of rice in before preparing it for dinner. They patiently sift through the rice and throw out any stones or unwanted bits. My mother used to make me do this when I was super small. It’s actually one of my fondest memories because it left me with such a feeling of importance and responsibility of preparing food. I ascertained that I was mentally doing that with my last relationship. I was winnowing through the perfect bits and throwing out the rocks. (preferably at him) Why couldn’t two seemingly well-suited people make it work? As I combed through the rice in my mind I chose to remember how good it was but realized I ignored so many little rocks. Maybe I had some unwanted grains of my own in there, perhaps my hesitancy to fully commit was one of them.
What was it exactly that I was reluctant to let go of or get over so quickly? Then I wistfully thought about way he touched my face with the back of his hand, how warm his shoulder felt when I would rest my head on it. His squinty eyes that smiled sexily at me. I didn’t want to throw away the memory of my heart warming up so much that I thought it would burst with happiness. So, I decided that I was going to keep those feelings. Also, isn’t it nice that when it’s all said and done, I can hold the good moments close and discard the unhappy ones, risking what I like to call bond optimism? After all, the memories were mine and even though he stirred things in me that I thought were dead for the longest time, it dawned on me that maybe that was his purpose and I was grateful. Having said that, it would be great if what I felt for him could slowly swivel back into my full heart because I think we take a little bit of all the love we’ve given to others, kind of like a piggy bank of hearts to the next person we meet. Fuller, and more capable to give than ever before.
I’ve also learned that you can’t really make sense of love. That’s probably why countless novels have been written about it and some gawd awful poetry. I think the thing isn’t to figure it out, because it’s decoded differently for everyone. Maybe that’s the mystery of it, the perfect combination of the mind and the heart. An enigma shrouded in useless rationalization and people making a mess out of the business of it. If we just let it be, then love could heave out a sigh of relief and do its own thing. The problem is that we try to hold it when it’s supposed to run though us, out and back in again. At least, that’s my simpleton take on it.
The one thing I know is that the feeling eventually leaves the forefront of our hearts and if we allow it, disperses into our own selves making us capable of feeling more greatly. It’s the love bank baby. Sounds so wrong but it’s such a winning concept. So, if a relationship may have not worked out for us, the love stayed and elevated our capability to love even more. Even the most jaded and unwilling of us will still dip into the love savings and use it for our own benefit. Whether it’s to love ourselves more, our family, do good, or love someone else, there is no real loss when you’ve opened your feelings because it’s circular. Love finds its way back, always.
No matter how hard we try to turn our hearts off, there will always be something that triggers us to stumble upon what we had with another person that reminds us of how hard we loved. It can never be the same with anyone else. How can it? You could have something more solidified or if you’re like me, you like to stick your foot in wet concrete so that you can leave your mark. All I can hope is that I’ve left an etching on someone’s heart and from time to time, when they find it, they remember how I cared. That the feeling is still residing in me too, somewhere, sometimes hidden, sometimes in the vanguard of my mind. I guess I’ve answered my own question. The love doesn’t really go anywhere at all. It’s in our minds permanently, finding the vein right to our heart when we least expect it. Just when we thought we didn’t have that capacity to love again, the same love gives us a kick-start towards someone meant for us. Some people call it hope. I call it a helping heart.