I was inspired to write this after hearing the story of a man who had realized that he had spent a majority of his marriage still secretly pining for his first love. While he loved and was very much “in love” with his wife, he would often find himself comparing his wife to his first love and when his wife fell short in his comparison he unconsciously created a distance between himself and his wife. This distance, amongst other things, eventually led to their divorce. It wasn’t until years later, when he had the opportunity to revisit the relationship that he had with his first love, that he realized that he had placed her on a pedestal of perfection that was far from the reality of who she really was. It wasn’t until then that he realized his mistake. She was not the perfect person that he had remembered, and her being the first person to ever break his heart and take a stab at his pride had caused him to place her in a position of power and perfection that was entirely unrealistic. The truth is that all of those years spent comparing his present love to his past love were futile, because any comparison between two people is an unfair comparison because no two people are alike and no two experiences of love are the same.
Our first love is one that we all remember. Many people will attest that no other experience of love is quite like the experience of our first love, and in many cases I believe this to be true. There is a purity to our first experience of falling in love that isn’t always prevalent in our experiences of falling in love again. This purity is a product of our innocence. Usually when we fall in love for the first time we haven’t yet endured the pain of falling out of love, and so we are open to the experience of letting ourselves go into love completely. However, when the love of our first love fails to last forever and the relationship ends, we experience our first heartbreak.
After our hearts have been broken once, they are never quite the same. When our hearts have been broken, we have a choice to either let the light of wisdom shine forth through the cracks of our brokenness in order to make us more discerning in love or we can choose to quietly close our hearts in an attempt to prevent us from experiencing the same pain once again. In the case of the latter, while building a wall around our hearts prevents us from enduring the pain of heartbreak, it also prevents us from experiencing the genuine pleasure of love once again. The trick is to remain open to all of life, both pain and pleasure, sorrow and joy, fear and love. Remain open and receptive to everything that is, this is truly the only way to accept our past, appreciate our present and anticipate our future.