Better to have lost in love, then never to have loved at all

As I have gotten older, I am more aware of the impact painful relationship endings have on a persons uninhibited joy in new love. Tarnished, bitter and unwilling to put their heart out their again, they hold back, and loose those first few months of the wonderment of new love. They let their previous partners behaviour prejudice their outlook on women/men. They become sceptical about a woman's/man's motives. They ridicule the opposite sex and in turn disrespect themselves and their new partner.They are wasting everyone's time.

Personally, I have been fortunate enough to not want lose the joyful sensation of new love. Mind you, perhaps that could have simply been, new lust, because I am now learning that love doesn't happen over night, it takes time - alot of time.

And it also may be because I have yet to experience the crushing feeling of loving someone with all my heart and soul and loosing them in a heart beat. My heart hasn't been broken by someone I love. Perhaps after all, I have guarded my heart better than I thought.

Sadly, I have done my fair share of inflicting pain and heartache on some very special people who were in my life. Thoughtless, selfish, self seeking behaviour derived from lack of self love and self respect on my part led me to act in ways that would napalm relationships. It is only a credit to the men that I shared those relationships with, that we still have a respectful love now - or perhaps there was enough love in me and uniqueness in what we shared, that despite everything, it has allowed us to move forward with a new, caring kind of love. And I look back now and am so grateful that somehow my previous partners didn't turn into bitter, spiteful men.

It has taken till now to get the concept of myself being friends with an ex. Because of my own insecurities, I would hate and veto a current partner being friends with an Ex. Time, maturity and respect for self and a settled understanding in my mind that I have no control of another person has helped.

So because I was too insecure to allow my partner to keep a friendship with an ex, I wouldn't even consider it. What I didn't realise , was I was cultivating it,and living it. Because there are different types of friendships and different kinds of love. I am proud to say that we now have very healthy boundaries.

My children's father is one type of friendship. He is the man who is the blood and heart of my children. The kindest, loyal and honourable man I could have as the father of my children. He is not perfect, and I could have judged him to the moon and back.(and likewise with him) But I don't.We quite simply were two very different people who were bought together to make 3 very beautiful, wonderful individuals.

It has been 14 years now since our marriage ended and now I can look back and honestly say I am stunned at the level of commitment and support he has offered myself and the children. And this, is after I selfishly broke his heart and broke up our family. To say that I respect and have the highest regard and love for this man is an understatement. He moved interstate 14 years ago, at what was my suggested relocation for the whole family. I was fortunate he didn't move back Canada, and that he had the children every school holidays. He always supported my decisions and when I was backed up against the wall by the kids, he was there to guide me and stand by me. The children always knew, when Mum and Dad talked, there was no hope. We stood united. And we fortunately have walked away with a genuine love for each other and  respect for the roles each of us play in our children's lives. And for that, I am very blessed.

The love of my life is another type of friendship. A man I spent the longest time with, who overcame the fear of loving me, loving again, a second marriage and invested his heart and soul into our life together. We had absolutely nothing in common, but a connection that only the Gods would understand. He saw me at my best, my worst and to hell and back. I saw him look death in the eye, struggle with his own self belief and the importance of loving himself above anyone else. Our love was so strong, it survived ex wives meddling ways, blended families, death, judgemental families, addictions and near death experiences. In the end, they did beat us, but they didn't destroy that unconditional love. He was my best friend. Fortunately that deep caring and respect will remain forever.

But they are then and this is now.

I have had to learn the if you still respect someone when a relationship ends, you take a step back from them, allow them to find happiness elsewhere and show you value their right to move on without interference.

I have come out the other side, still with the passion to love with all my heart and soul, but with a very clear understanding that I cannot love anyone else if I don't love and respect myself.  I understand now that Love is a gift to give, not an action that you take, in order to receive something back.

I can honestly say that I went through life not understanding love - not understanding the true meaning. Slowly now I am trying to learn the real meaning. Trying to make a conscious decision in love.And to remember that the most important person to love is myself.

So as graciously as I can, I have handed over my past loves, grateful for an open heart and grateful for the love in my life now. And I hope one day, I will be able to love in a very pure and unselfish way. 

What are your struggles with love? I would love to hear your journey.

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