Better To Have Loved And Lost

Is it really better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all?

Ah, Alfred Lord Tennyson’s immortal words: “’Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” Really? Actually, yes. In my opinion, at least. Why?

Well, without giving too much away (since I look very young for my age) I’ll admit to being old enough to have loved and lost; quite a number of times,  and one or two of them were hard to bear. But, here I am, still alive and kicking. It didn’t kill me to lose and it didn’t stop me from loving again. And I carry the memory of those experiences with me as a reminder of how it felt to be madly in love.

Loving, and being loved, is an integral part of life –  or at least it should be if you want to really feel alive. To deny yourself the glorious feeling of falling head over heels in love for fear of losing is to miss out on one of the great experiences of a lifetime. After all, losing, or the threat of loss, is as much a part of life as winning. Without it there would be no point to football, baseball or tennis. There would be no thrills or suspense in books and movies. There would be no fist-pumps and enthusiastic “whoops” at overcoming the obstacles and achieving one’s goals. If one never takes a chance, for fear of losing, then one is really only half alive.

Let’s face it, if it was better never to have loved at all, then nobody would be buying Nicholas Sparks’ novels, or lining up to see the subsequent movies that have been made from his books. And that’s just one, modern-day example. There are countless others. How many books, movies and songs have there been that have as their subject –  love? Some of them with tearful happy endings, others with tear-jerking sad, or bittersweet endings. Yet we never seem to get enough. The songwriters keep composing, the directors keep directing and the authors keep writing for audiences who never seem to tire of the feeling that can sometimes give our heart wings and other times break it in two.

However, I choose not to dwell on the losses, despite the tears and heartbreak I have personally endured, but rather to revel in the memory of the almost indescribable feeling of giving your heart completely to someone. It’s a scary, even risky proposition but the payoff is well worth it. And, if you’ve never experienced that feeling, then let me tell you –  you’re really missing something!

So is it really better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all? Absolutely. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Perry Martin

June 5, 2014

P.S. I should add, as a brief postscript that I took the plunge again on May 30, 2013 and married the person  I have been searching for through many lifetimes.  Love truly does conquer all.

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