Many of us want a happily ever after with the one we love. After all, when love knocks on our door, it sweeps us off our feet. It is a sweet surprise. Love fills our heart with hope, happiness, tenderness, and a passion for life, and we want that to last forever. It is one of the climaxes of being alive.
We want to belong to those whose hearts kept beating for each other day after day. We want to make it work with our special person. We want true love, the one people say withstands every storm and stays. But there is life, and as much as we would like to control how things turn out, it is very unpredictable. Love is a crazy bet. It takes two people. You take the plunge not knowing how you will come out of it. You hope for the best and wait for the days to reveal your journey together. At the end, some come out heartbroken, some with a love that fills their lungs until their last breath, and some come out with several people who left a mark on their heart.
Yet something that always surprises me is how people start to doubt what they had if it does not last. If love did not work out with someone for any given reason, it does not mean it wasn’t there to begin with. It doesn’t mean you were stupid or deluded or naive. It doesn’t mean it was fake. There are many reasons why a relationship might have not lasted. People all over the world have dated and loved people that they did not commit to or that didn’t stay with them until they were old and gray. People change. People drift apart, their values and principles might not align, their needs change, ect.
If you fully gave yourself to someone and they did the same for you, at some point in time, isn’t that enough to say it was love? Isn’t that union and experience worth cherishing? Aren’t all the lessons, both painful and delightful, worth being grateful for? Maybe not everyone’s story lasts forever. Maybe not everyone finds the kind of love that stays and matures over a lifetime, no matter the season. However, the time spent where two people in love are together, even if it was just one or two years or less, could mean so much. It was a moment of mutual love no matter how long it lasted. Maybe not everyone is meant to last forever with every person they have fallen in love with. Maybe we need endings for better beginnings.
Even if your relationship ended on a bitter note, even if you don’t recognize the person in front of you, the love was once there. Remember that. Take it for what it is. Look at the full picture. Don’t dismiss a beautiful thing you once had for how it ended and how badly it might have shook you, for life has many beginnings and many endings. Embrace it for what it was. The endings do not define your story. They are just part of them.