I purged a lot of frustration while writing “Shots to the Heart”—it was somewhat of a bare-the-soul approach.
The pain I was stuffing created an angry edge to my words. When my sister (Cathy) read the first writing, she told me not to share it with anyone—she said, “Burn it.” Of course, she was right, and it’s in the trash. After a major rewrite, the final version ended up with many of the same elements but more carefully worded. Much is buried between the lines. For instance, I talk about how Linda and I struggled to be together while “others” fought to tear us apart. They would say, “It’s for our own good.” What they didn’t realize is that their actions served to bond us more closely.
Today, history is repeating itself. I’m told, “She’s not right for you!” “We will not accept…”
This tension has created an arm’s length relationship with some of my friends. Others are being even less polite. It feels like they want to punish me for being the one that survived. If there were a do-over button, I would push it. I would trade places.
Looking back, Linda and I had a poor chance for a lasting marriage. We were children and foolish lovers without a plan or direction. Today, I’m in a similar position, and the odds are about the same. The only difference is, I know what love feels like—and I’m still in love—although I do not understand love or the nature of attraction. It makes me question whether love is intrinsic or merely happenstance. Do some hold the key and will “always and forever” find love, while others search hopelessly?
We’ve all heard, “Love is blind.” I’m not sure that’s true. There is a difference between being oblivious to flaws and unconditionally loving someone despite their imperfections. John Legend makes a strong point in his song “All of Me.” He appreciates the flaws through a loving heart:
“Love all your curves and all your edges—All your perfect imperfections—you’re my end and my beginning—even when I lose, I’m winning.”
I’m trying to understand why those that say they love me want to reject me. I know there is a “reason behind the reason” for their actions, and I realize its’ not malicious. They love me, but with contingencies. I asked a friend why the rejection. She/he said, “I’m not rejecting you. I’m rejecting the woman.” Sorry, it doesn’t feel that way, and I’m struggling to understand that rationale. Does that mean some people are not worthy of love? Or, am I simply a footnote in their memories of Linda?
I continue to question my actions (and others). I search for answers to questions that I don’t know to ask. Because of this, I’ve become caught up in analyzes, and it consumes me. Even though it is a “fool’s errand,” my mind will not be still while I try to find peace and happiness after suffering a battered heart.
One of my favorite quotes sums up my quest for answers. It was written by George Santayana. For me, it carries a deeper meaning and is so thought-provoking that I’ve printed it on my business card.
“By nature’s kindly disposition, most questions, which it is beyond a man’s power to answer, do not occur to him at all.”