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Monday, September 16, 2013

Walk Away From Love and Live to Love Another Day

"You're clinging to me tighter
Than you ever have before
I don't understand it
And I know it's gonna take everything I've got
To keep walking out the door
But those arms you've got around me
Will let me go some day
And I'd rather leave you holding on
Than pushing me away

"So I'm leaving, yes I am (I'm leaving, yes I am)
This time I'm playing it smart (I'm leaving, yes I am)
I'm gonna walk away from love (Walk away from love)
Before love breaks my heart"

"Walk Away From Love" by David Ruffin

I believe it is sometimes necessary to deny love. As much as it hurts you or others, walking away from love is an option that can preserve a life in limbo. I have done this. I have cruelly turned my back on mere affection and even on sincere, deep love. When I did this, something deep inside of me took precedence over my kind nature to convince me that reciprocating love wasn't the right thing to do.

Perhaps I acted purely out of selfish motives when I decided not to love. Yet, I believe I could have used others who wanted to love me even more by extending those relationships and reaping benefits of endearment, but I chose to say "no" to any attachment. I saw it as being cruel to be kind.

Looking back, I understand how ruthlessly I broke these loving ties. I never took extra precautions while leaving love to insure lessening any potential heartbreak. Just the opposite -- I believed "snapping" a love affair was better. Like pruning a branch with a clean break, I chose to snap all dependency, turn my back, make tracks, and deny any more love.

I am certain I mistreated and injured the character of others who cared for me to a degree far greater than I realized at the time. My nature drove me to acquire egotistical necessities offering no quarter and never turning back. Need I bother the reader with the old cliche "All is fair in love and war"?

At age 25, I remember finalizing my only divorce, then months later receiving a call from my ex-wife. She was sobbing and pleading with me to reconcile our relationship, all the while telling me how much she still loved me. I was shocked, confused, and angry. After listening to her pleas to get back together and hearing how miserable she had been without me, I said something I had never told a lover. I said, "I don't love you. I hate your fucking guts and don't ever call me. I don't want to hear your voice again. Just leave me alone." Then, I hung up. I never got another call from her and never again heard the sound of her voice.

I confess that I, too, have been on the receiving end of blunt, direct walk aways. I felt tremendous loss and suffered excruciating pain. And, the confusion I felt about being rejected was even greater. At those times, I lost faith in love and make ridiculous vows to never love another. I believed I had lost potential soul mates who just didn't take the time to know my deepest affection. I believe pieces of a heart remain scattered, lost upon the battleground of love. If you are lucky, someone compensates your service with a purple medal and you recover to love again.

Still, I confess that the memories of losing someone I loved never leave. Maturing with dreams of Camelot, I once believed complete rapture was attainable. Now, after realizing imperfection, I cannot verify that possibility, but I still often wonder if my decisions or the decisions of someone I loved prevented my entry into a loving paradise. I don't even mean to make this sound the least romantic and fantastic. I prefer to see the past in realistic terms.

So, in my skewed thinking, I may have pushed away the kindest fate. Or, I may have been too susceptible to accepting rejection from others and let go too soon. To my juvenile mind, love was supposed to be natural, easy, and ordained. What a stupid son-of-bitch I have been.

I now see some times I walked away from love as wise decisions. But, I also see some of those denials as ignorant, impetuous moves. Face it -- lovers use each other to acquire their ends. In a love affair, it is very difficult to view "the ends" of a lover. We can never control or completely "know" another, only ourselves. I realize now that I only walked away from love I perceived and my perception of an affair depended upon another equally "foggy" individual.

Therefore, I confess. I don't know myself well enough to achieve the "holy of holies" in love. Those I know who profess they have found perfect romance seem to think and act nothing like I do. In fact, they seem alien and artificial -- smiling but bland happy faces content to move to the middle of a plastic world ruled by the legal tender. Where is the passion? Where is the white heat struggle that melds two individuals through adversity?

Did you ever consider that while on planet Earth we may be destined to miss what we need to complete ourselves? Maybe we live with adversity in a proving ground. Depending upon how well we adjust to reality and provide the most people our best intentions, we may someday advance to a new and better plane of existence where we can learn to "complete love." So, wounded lovers, maybe those who "walk away" kindly provide our Purple Hearts through the scars they inflict. Excuse their sins to reach higher ground. For my part of causing pain, I can only say "I am sorry."


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