For the most part, I think that people don’t want to hurt each other. Whether we break the heart or have it broken. It is painful on both ends. It is the loss of hope. Because that is what any intimate relationship really is, hope. Hope that we won’t die alone, hope that we are accepted as we are, and hope that we got someone who’s got our back. Lost hope sucks don’t it? How can the other not see yourself anymore?
As much as people don’t really want to hurt each other, the stronger desire is to not feel pain. We build walls around ourselves to protect ourselves from this pain we are so afraid of. Whether it was in love the first shot was fired or school-aged bullying… we all have holes in the armor. And the chinks, give us all a complex. I don’t think we even mean to give them that much power and yet we do.
With each spear, we grow an even greater need to seek affirmation, a greater need to be loved. We seek this love out as we seek out food or water or air. We need it to thrive, and so we are destined to thirst for acceptance and connection; it puts us in harm’s way and it causes us to inadvertently harm others.
There was a boy in school who used to pick on me every day, he went out of his way to push my face into the water fountain. I lived in fear of this boy’s constant ridicule and the public laughs he choreographed in my direction. One day I caught him at the drinking fountain… and shoved his face into the water fully prepared to laugh in revenge… He wretched around blood gushing from his gums, an expression of pain on his face. I saw vulnerability and for the first time, I felt love.
I could see then, this boy had a crush on me; but I could see that he, like the rest of us, had a feeble complex too. He did not have the courage to just tell me… Why?
Because the fear of letting me see him for who he was, and not accept him; could be the moment of vulnerability that could ceaselessly destroy him.
We forget that the person closest to our hearts is ourselves. The only one truly capable of knowing, accepting and loving the soul within is the one inside… It is knowing, accepting and loving ourselves that draws love from others, because we are mirrors to one another.
As Fitzgerald saw in Gatsby, I see in the boy; “And so our hopes beat on, boats against the current, born back ceaselessly into the past.”