Written February 20, 2021:
Lovers In Bali
Misconception #4. Love is not a feeling.
“Many, many people possessing a feeling of love and even acting in response to that feeling act in all manner of unloving and destructive ways. On the other hand, a genuinely loving individual will often take loving and constructive action toward a person he or she consciously dislikes, actually feeling no love toward the person at the time and perhaps even finding the person repugnant in some ways.”
Would not it be nice if there are more genuinely loving people? Imagine how so much better the world would be if people are still nice (let alone loving) towards people they do not like (or even hate).
“Genuine love implies commitment and the exercise of wisdom. When love exists it does so with or without a loving feeling. It is easier – indeed, it is fun – to love with the feeling of love, but it is possible without it. The person who truly loves does so because of a decision to love. True love is not a feeling by which we are overwhelmed. It is a committed, thoughtful decision. Love is as love does. Love and nonlove, as good and evil, are objective and not purely subjective phenomena.”
There were certainly many times I did not feel like loving him (always because of our situation and never once because of our personality, we just click from the start), but I always came around and honor my commitment. And it may not be present all the time, but the loving feeling always comes back. I often told him I was overwhelmed by what I feel.
If only it is easy to make a decision to not love a person, I would have done so months ago. Maybe it is, and maybe I have, but to actually get over and forget someone who was a big, big part of your life and whom you made plans to grow old with, is a different matter altogether. Or maybe… it is not, for it sure seems to me like that was what he did. Made the decision to not love me, broke up with me and forgot about me, just like that.
We fell in love fast and were able to make our honeymoon phase till the end. We were not dependent on the other. We did things out of love, not self sacrifice. We committed to each other despite the times we did not feel like loving each other. The problem was not covid, my immaturity, his age, his loneliness. Our relationship ended because he decided to stop loving me.
I seriously did not see this coming. It dawned on me as I was writing this post. I finished the book weeks ago, but until today, the realization eluded me. If you have any doubts whether journaling helps or not, it surely does. This must be how Archimedes felt like upon discovering how to precisely know if the Greek tyrant’s crown was made of pure gold.
I am consciously making the decision now to stop loving him. Be thankful of the wonderful memories we share, but let go of the past and accept the fact that we are no longer part of each other’s lives. This epiphany sure is worth pure gold.
If M. Scott Peck is right, love is not a feeling but a decision. May we live a life without regrets. What little decision do you have to make today to better yourself?
PS. One of my favorite photos of us, taken in Bali where I spent my 34th birthday with someone whom I met not too long ago. I made a lot of decisions about whether or not to acknowledge my feelings for this man. If this is a painting, I’d call it “Lovers in Bali”.
Update: I am consciously making a decision to not live in the past and give love (and myself) another chance.