How many times have you heard the phrase “love hurts?”
There’s even a song by this title that became an international hit in the mid-’70s. Like so many falsehoods perpetuated as truths, we blindly assume that which is common, familiar, or is regularly repeated, is also true.
Reality check: loving someone does not hurt. Ever.
Does being happy hurt? It makes no sense. Yet, the idea that love hurts is so prevalent that masses of people unconsciously swallow this logic as truth. I challenge you to give me one example of how loving someone has been a painful experience.
Gabriela Gunčíková, singing “Love Hurts” – Nazareth
I can hear you now.
“That’s easy, Michele, my ex cheated on me, and I never stopped loving her so that love turned to pain.” Maybe you are thinking about someone special who died, and how loving them now feels painful? Or, you who are thinking about how you love someone who keeps making hurtful choices (drugs, overspending, infidelity, physically abusive behavior toward you, etc.) and how that feels painful.
The way I see it, we are not talking about the same thing. Love is the energy of kindness, positivity, caring, positive regard, and appreciation. When you consider this, what exactly is painful about any of these things?
Loving is not responsible for your pain. The betrayal, misjudgment in where you placed your trust, believing one thing, and experiencing another are the pieces behind your pain. Who you thought she was, what you thought you could count on, what you had hoped you could expect is not what you got. Loving her didn’t hurt you. Something else did. Maybe it was trusting her more than trusting your gut. Perhaps it is a lack of insight or understanding about how your behaviors have negatively impacted your relationship.
You cannot solve a problem that you have not accurately identified. To blame love for your broken heart and then conclude that you will never love again only guarantees that you will not heal your broken heart. Because, not only is love NOT the problem, love is the only cure for hurt. When you blame the cure for what ails you, you block yourself from ever learning, healing and growing.
Here are four prompts that will help you look more deeply into what
- What hurts me is ________________________ (focus on the facts)
- This hurts because _______________________(identify your stories about these facts)
- What I see now that I didn’t then is ____________ (notice what you see now that you didn’t before)
- How I contributed to getting hurt is ____________(look for how you participated in what didn’t work)
- What I can do differently moving forward is ______(name your lessons/insights)
When you experience the loss of a loved one, it isn’t that you love them that hurts; it’s that they are no longer here, no longer accessible. Loving is the part that feels good. Missing them, grieving them, and wishing they were here; that is what hurts.
Loving is unrelated to betrayal.
Love and betrayal are not even distant cousins. Holding love responsible for your pain is like holding money responsible for being poor. Money has no plan, no purpose or cause. People give it meaning, value, and purpose. Money just is. The same is true of love. Love has no agenda. It is defined, valued, brought to life, experienced, and expressed by people. It is a thing we do and an experience that creates emotions and feelings. Love, by definition, is a good thing. It is not ever a bad thing.
Love is never wasted.
Love is the good guy here. Love doesn’t hurt anyone. It is shortsighted and unhelpful to blame love for your pain. Love deserves better from us. Love heals. Love uplifts, encourages, cheers and celebrates.
To say “love hurts” is a lie. It is the absence of love that hurts. Give love the credit love deserves.
Let’s love more, not less.
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