By Kenneth Stepp
Have you ever been involved in a car crash? Most of us have on some level. The sudden jarring and the sound of an immovable thud. There’s really nothing quite like it. You remember that moment your entire life. The suddenness is dwarfed by the feelings just after the crash. It’s surreal, like you know something huge just happened. But your mind just can’t wrap around it all yet. In that moment, change took place. How long will that change last? If the car is the only thing damaged, it’s insignificant and in no time, life goes back to normal. If you live the rest of your life in a wheelchair. Well, you get my point. At the moment of the crash, changes are in motion. You really can’t know how they will play out. Time will tell you…
I recently went through some changes of my own. They began years ago. Two to be exact. I realized I had fallen deeply in love with what had been a good friend. Time tells us what is real and what isn’t, not feelings. These changes escalated on my birthday, August 6th. Still my friend, she invited me to have dinner and a movie. My life would never be the same, as friends we met often, spoke often, and cared deeply. This was different. She was different. This time, we were all of the sudden a couple. A dream come true for me, I was in love and she returned my love. I felt safe and had visions of a wonderful future. Imagine waiting two years for this chance, only to have it slip away after only 2 months. We crashed. And everything changed…
We did what most couples do, or at least what many do. We kept talking and began dreaming again. Maybe, just maybe, we could fix this. So we decided to work towards this goal. We both knew we had deep feelings. We both knew we made a pretty great couple. The chemistry had always been there. Add to that the deep feelings and mutual respect. It was a relationship bursting with possibilities. But we knew other things as well. This was a person who knew me when I was on the bottom wrung of life. I never hid anything from her, she knew me better than anyone on Earth. I was honored she even considered me because of how well she knew me. We knew there would be challenges, one big one was, she owns a farm. I am a city boy. In the end, this was too big to overcome. In the end, we found ourselves stumbling around the crash site unsure about what really happened. In the end, we ended.
I’m told that if we learn from a bad experience that our loss wasn’t a loss. I’d argue that my heart disagrees. But learn I did. And I’m certain she did as well. Relationships are so fragile. More-so these days than in the past. In an age where we communicate by text, message, and email. The meaning of our words are lost. A simple spark can turn into a giant flame. Just because we didn’t understand what words shared meant. Everyone these days believe there are so many options, when “real” is so elusive, the illusion of options wins most days. Is it any wonder there are so many singles on a quest for the person they were meant to be with? The person God has for them? Their soulmate? What if that person came and went already? What if God sent them, fate drove them to your door, and they stood before you? Flawed and looking temporary, you dismissed them like the rest, only to wait for someone who will never appear. They can’t appear, they already did. I think about things like this because I see so many relationships come and go. Humans rejecting humans. Love tossed aside for whatever reason. I have written about lost love for years. It breaks my heart to think of real love being overlooked or lost. For me, I was determined yet still failed. For me, I will never try again, or at least that’s my mindset right now. I’m emotionally spent. Anyone who has traveled these roads know exactly what that feels like. It’s both deep and empty at the same time. So fully hurtful that you never want to risk it again. But will you?
“Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.”
― Kahlil Gibran
Love is a strange thing when it’s real. It is a permanent thing. Where infatuation, lust, desire, etc are temporary things. I told someone recently that life is full of trade-offs. Most of us trade a permanent heart for a temporary option we can only hope for. I’ve lived it. I have loved and lost, I hope, for the very last time. Feelings cannot replace love, although we continue to try to make them. The sun is bright and permanent. A candle shines as bright when close, but never lasts. Losing love, like the car wreck. It all happens in a moment, and you never forget it…
“When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.”
― George R.R. Martin