I heard a song the other day, something about love being more painful than hate. I wondered if that was true? Was that my experience with love? Was love really more painful than hate? I guess it depends on what you consider painful.
There’s a profound pain that comes with loving another person, and we may experience that pain when that person is hurt or dying. We may experience that pain when we watch them suffering because of their own choices and there’s nothing we can do to change it. Or even if they are suffering at no fault of their own and we are fettered in our lack of control of the situation.
Hate has its own pain too, more of an internal rotting of the soul, because when we hate we don’t just hate a particular thing or person. That hate permeates everything: how we view the world, what we’re willing to do or not do, how we see the sunrise or sunset, how we eat or sleep. That kind of pain is similar to a flesh eating disease, slowly ripping through every vibrant, beautiful piece of ourselves.
The pain of loving can be unbearable, don’t get me wrong, but that pain has the silver lining of love itself. We have memories of love. Feelings of love. Occasion of loving, even if the person is gone or no longer available to us.
I’d rather experience the pain of loving than living in hate. The pain that accompanies hate may armor me against the world and freeze my heart from any untoward scrapes of potential loving, but it offers nothing valuable in return. There is nothing hate gives me that is nourishing or life-sustaining or precious or joyful or heartfelt, which are all things I wish to experience today.
I guess if you’re not into those kind of things and like what hate offers, by all means, you can live your life however you wish. But for me, love is not more painful than hate.
The presence and experience of love is worth the inevitable pain that will follow, because there is no get-out-of-dying-or-hurting free card. All of us, at one point or another, will lose someone or something we love, and we will feel the pain of that loss.
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