Many years ago I met a beautiful lady, she was 98 and had an amazing life story. When she was 20, she lived in New Zealand and was engaged to a man. Her family moved to Australia for business and she was torn apart from him. They wrote letters for many years, but this was before planes and before it was easy to travel back and forward. My friend told me she was still angry with her parents for not letting her marry him. She had an 80 year regret and cried even at 98 about this sad outcome. She married someone else and had a family, but still loved this man. When I met her and heard her story, I thought life is too short to have regrets like this. I think it was a different time. At 98, this lady longed for a love she was denied. I often think about what would have happened if she had been allowed to fulfill her dreams of perfect love. Would he have been as perfect as she imagined? We will never know. Besides being sad, I think this story is a strong recommendation to not have 'what ifs?' or regrets and to simply follow your heart. You only live once and you may love many times, but make sure you live and love fully.
As Feargal Sharky once said, 'A good heart these days is hard to find'. I don't know if I agree. I think many people have a good heart, most people do. I think a long lasting, respectful and fulfilling relationship is hard to find, but I guess that is not as catchy in a song. I decided to do some research about what makes a relationship last. My research consisted of asking my family and recalling numerous celebrity quotes I have read in my life. My aunty once said a happy marriage is one where every day both people wake up and try their best to make the other person happy. Simple hey? Gwyneth's Paltrow's mum said her marriage lasted just because she and her husband never wanted to end it at the same time. Dolly Parton says her secret is she just stay gone - touring, with tongue in cheek I am sure. Years ago I worked with a lovely lady who had been divorced, she had recently read a book called the 5 languages of love all about how different people like to give and receive love in different ways. She said if she had read the book earlier, she would not have got divorced. I think a lot of factors come into the equation. It is more than physical attraction, it is more than loving their mind, it is more than working together for a happy home, having similar parenting or cleaning ideals (although these seem ultra important at times). My cousin recently said 'Don't be afraid of love and don't blame yourself if relationships don't work, falling in and out of love is one of the most wonderous cycles we ever get to experience, it is both good and bad, easy and hard, but the joy true love brings is worth every moment of the bad and hard times' this is true I think, just as in life there are a good days and bad, so there are in relationships. I don't think I have a an answer to why relationships work and why they may fail, they are as individual as we are. Sometimes they crumble due to external forces and sometimes just implode. A friend once said to me that relationships only last a few years and then you get bored and have to find a new one. A friend's mum used to say men play with love to get sex and women play with sex to get love. So much advice, so many views. We are all chasing love and happiness and I think it is healthy to understand, that it is not always perfect and sometimes you have been barking up the wrong tree, but those sad moments, those failures, just make the ideal of success clearer, you know what you don't want next time. Yes we all want an eternal love, one that lasts forever, but it is OK if you stumble on the way there.
We all know the pain, it feels like you have been shot through the heart, for what ever reason you are suddenly no longer part of a couple. They might have cheated, you might have cheated, you might have just outgrown each other and someone finally had the guts to end it. So there you are in physical pain, you miss them, you can't sleep alone, you can't eat, you can't switch off your mind. You might try drinking to excess, or smoking or something to fill the time. What you need is time. You need to heal, to be kind to yourself, to talk to friends, get a massage, laugh, cry and deal with it. This time can be long or short. It is a period of mourning. The thing is, it does end. A time will come when you will embrace your independence and you will realise you are better off this way. So for as much pain that you are in, don't fight it, wallow in it, pamper yourself and let yourself be sad. Personally I find a rule of no contact to be best for healing, but if you had children I realise that would be difficult. You want to get through this time with dignity and self respect. Love your self and heal. Soon you will shine again and everyone will want a piece of you.
This article was written by Jenny Mason tweet her @jennymasonrocks or read her own blog www.jennymasonrocks.com
Many people will contribute to this blog - it will be advising you to fill the gap that is left in your heart after a break up with love for yourself until you radiate!