I see the pain of love every day. Love hurts. I’m experiencing it right now as the failing health of my mom is a stark reminder that I will not have her with me forever. How can something that feels so powerfully good, feel so awful at times? In Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, he lists “love and belonging” as a fundamental human need for survival. Loving and being loved is a basic human longing. The most fulfilling life experience is to love and be loved. Love comes in various forms: familial love, friendship, romance, pets, etc… Relationships have a beginning and an end. Holding on feels so good. Letting go hurts so bad. The first jolt of pain hits most of us in our teenage years when we experience our first love. The inevitable break-up really hurts. Love hurts not just at the end, but along the journey too. For some, the hurt can exceed the happiness. For example:
- Disappointment – a pattern of negative behavior from someone you love hurts. Repeated broken promises is another disappointment that hurts.
- Faded love – falling in then falling out of love. While one feels love, the other finds it has faded away.
- Betrayal – from someone you love feels like a dagger in your heart.
- Unanticipated Endings – terminal illness, tragic accident
- Natural Endings – the natural course of ending after a life well-lived.