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The Faces Of Love That Both Excited And Shocked Me

Lessons I learned About Being In and Out Of Love

By C C FarleyPublished 2 months ago 7 min read
AI art created by this writer

If you've experienced the ebb and flow of love, count yourself fortunate. Love, a profound emotion seldom taught in schools, is best understood through lived experiences. Through the years, here are some fundamental lessons that love has taught me about life and happiness.

1. Love Is Exhilarating

Singer Bryan Ferry sang “Love is The Drug” in one of his hit songs. When I was younger, I fell hard for the wrong man. In the beginning, being in love felt like the biggest high. There were undeniable feelings of longing that were of such an intensity that I couldn’t stop thinking of the other person…day or night.

This surprised my younger self.

If you have ever been in love, you too, might have experienced these delirious thoughts that are sometimes overwhelming and overpowers your rational thinking.

The Undeniable Heartbeat Of Infatuation

Like Cupid's mythological arrow, I was struck by some unseen force that caused me to gravitate towards this dark-toned stranger who was equally at ease speaking English as well as his native tongue. I cared little that he was of a different religion or culture --he and I were the same age, the same astrological sign, and we both spoke the same language of spoken and physical love.

That sweltering August day when I met Philip (not his real name), he sailed down the sidewalk as though he was on wings; grinning widely, he wore a white cardigan sweater that made him stand out like a slick character out of a Great Gatsby novel. He wore his facial hair well; in fact, everything he said seemed spot-on.

Our Early Love Was Like an Adventure

As the days passed to months, we explored many different restaurants, and nearby parks, as well as taking in one memorable concert-- enjoying the pop songs of the legendary blues band, the Neville Brothers.

There is no denying the intensity of my love.

It is such a powerful aphrodisiac that at first glance, everything is so much brighter and bigger. Love is not for the weak, or the faint of heart. Because there is always the danger that things could go wrong, one needs to be strong on the inside and realize that if you believe in love, nothing is guaranteed.

One big truth stuck out for me:

Falling in Love is Easy –But Together is Not Forever

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2. Love Is A Battlefield –Me Vs. Blood Ties

For me, the biggest stumbling block in my relationship was not the object of my affection, but it was his family.

Our love didn't stand a chance because his family stood in the way. Had I known he was so stuck on them, I might have done a high-tail and run to the other side of the street when I saw him. Hey, I wasn't psychic and I couldn't have predicted that love could also bring about heartbreak.

So caught in the middle, I was tormented by living in his secret world, which involved him making excuses with his family to see me.

Another revelation: Love felt heavy; it was as though I was carrying a load of guilt on my back.

Ironically, at the time, my love interest at the time expressed an admiration for the Neville Brothers, who famously wrote a song that captured our relationship.

"Bird on a Wire" echoed the sentimental nature of our sometimes tenuous relationship.

Like a bird on the wire,

Like a drunk in a midnight choir

I have tried in my way to be free.

Like a worm on a hook,

Like a knight from some old-fashioned book

I have saved all my ribbons for thee.


Oh, how I loved the melody of that song, but the lyrics were too close to home.

Love made me feel wanted, alive and grown-up.

On the other hand, It seemed like a no-brainer to choose freedom over a lifestyle that promised me nothing more than fleeting escapism, with the threat of danger coming from his incredibly rigid family who knew only that tradition and familiar loyalty are more important than the heartstrings of a romantic.

Another truth that I discovered is that love is not constant but changes with the circumstances.

3. Letting Go Is An Act Of Love

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I put my feelings of love back into my physical body and let him go.

I saw the tears of a man who could not break free from his territorial family members. I released him and when I did, I also experienced a sense of relief, too.

During one of the last heart-to-heart discussions that I had with him in his brand new teal-green Honda, I wiped back tears of regret and sadness only to hear him quote some words from a long-dead poet, Alfred Lord Tennyson:

Tis better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.

Yeah, right. Instead of feeling grateful that I had experienced love, I found myself angry that he would pull the poet stuff on me instead of walking away from his family. But realistically, deep down, I realized that very few people walk away from their families for true love. Life wasn't like fairy tales, and blood ties, family property, and inheritance were enough to destroy things as immaterial as love.

What has this ill-fated love ever taught me?

I was struck by the transient nature of love itself. One moment, one's infatuation with someone else could lead to heart-thumping enthusiasm and over time, this same love can turn as bitter as salt.

I learned that loving a beautiful stranger is never simple, because there could be other unknown factors involved.

This brings me to another revelation: love is like gambling because you are placing your bets on someone who you feel is right for you. But in this game of love, there are winners and losers.

I might have lost at love, but unlike a real game of chance, I won the lottery of my freedom. I fell out of love only to find myself and my future happiness.

Love allowed me to protect myself because it allowed me to step away and protect my interests. My self-love taught me that I was worthy of love, and so long I was loving, I would someday have that love reciprocated.

Letting go was difficult for me, but it allowed me to come to terms with the reality of the situation, and that my life still had meaning without this man who had once offered me false hopes.

4. Love is Something One Chooses To Give Willingly

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Ever the optimist, I bounced back emotionally from the heartbreak of a love gone wrong.

The remarkable thing I discovered about love is that one can love again. It is free to give and truly an unlimited source of comfort. There are as many kinds of love as there are plants and animals in the world.

There is self-love, love of friends, love of family, love of another person, love of the environment, love of lollipops, love of travel, love of ice cream, love of pets, love of Vocal Media, love of contests, love of love, love of sour candies, love of sunbathing, love of astronomy, love of pasta, love of anime, love of AI Art, etc, All these kinds of love come from the same source: our thoughts.

Love should make you happy and the minute it doesn't, you are walking on arid land.

But for me, the most challenging kind of love is romantic love.

Despite my heartbreak, I continued to read about love and was inspired by the writings of the author, motivational speaker and professor, the late and great Leo Buscaglia. He truly inspired me to not give up on myself and to one day open my heart to someone deserving.

He taught me that love is a natural feeling and opens the door to a lifetime of adventure.

Love is always bestowed as a gift -freely, willingly and without expectation. We don't love to be loved; we love to love.

Leo Busglavia

Some years passed before I met an unlikely person who matched my love for rock and roll, romantic ballads and life-long learning. Even though I vowed never to go out with someone who seemed to be from a different culture, I couldn't shake my new friend from my mind and embraced another seed of knowledge: love is colour-blind.

As I reflect on this relationship, I am grateful that I had the wisdom and the resilience to open my heart again.

Had I not walked away from my dead-end relationship, I would never have met my husband, who has shown me the true meaning of love.

He allowed me to grow and found love in different pursuits, from writing to music, and now to teaching --even if it is a few days a week.

As we celebrate a milestone in our marriage of being together for over 20 years, I just have one more thought to convey: love is stronger than hate.

If you plant small seeds of love, you may find it fun to watch it grow into a rainbow of beautiful experiences that last as long as you believe in the power of love and happiness.

AI Art generated by this writer


About the Creator

C C Farley

I loved reading at an early age. Writing is also a passion and I love writing, reading, and spending time with my pets.

I also love photography, independent film making, travel and writing.

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  • Willettabout a month ago

    This is awesome 😊. Well explained and perfect how come I haven’t seen your stories before now. You’re good at what you do. How long have you been writing?

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