That old adage, "love is pain," is one I've readily subscribed to.
I can't say that subscription is unfounded; to love someone is to hand over to that person a box of your deepest insecurities and failures, a playbook of all of your vulnerabilities.
Today, I had an epiphany,
I came to Jesus,
I was (metaphorically) struck by lightning.
I hope you're ready because I'm going to fuck you up with some truth.
I realized recently that where loving someone will assuredly entail some pain, neither your ability to be hurt by someone, nor the extent of agony you endure on that person's behalf, signify the depth of your feelings for them.
Maybe other people don't struggle with this distinction the way that I have. I have, consistently over the course of my romantic history, believed that if someone caused me heartache, they were also the remedy. I thought this was love. And I would walk around wounded, writhing in pain from his indifference, the horrible way he would tear me down and make me feel like shit, the unrequited love he so readily bequeathed upon another.
And maybe I liked it.
Maybe I was so hungry to feel something that even pain would suffice.
But now, at least, I know those times weren't love.
I don't know when it hit me, all I know is it had something to do with meeting him.