A professor once said that our core issues are always our core issues. They cycle around as our life cycles around. Mine has always been not having a partner that loves me.
When I was looking at the video of my first marriage back in 1988, I remembered the years before the divorce. He told me he had not ever really loved me. I would pull out this box of letters from the summer we were engaged but not able to be together.
He wrote to me every single day. Sometimes, he wrote two letters. Seriously, would a guy really do all that if he wasn’t in love?
During the wedding reception, there was footage of our first dance together. You can see us talking but of course, you can’t hear the conversation. But I saw the non-verbals. He gave me a look and then squeezed me a certain way.
HA!! It had “I love you” all over it. You can deny it mister, but you did love me.
But the bigger AHA moment came after that. It was a present AHA as I sat on the couch. My issue isn’t that I’ve never had the love of a man. I absolutely have. More than once, actually. The problem is that love hasn’t endured. It has always changed in some way.
It got me thinking about all the messages I believed as I was growing up.
If love is true, it endures.
True love is perfect love.
Real love doesn’t leave.
I think those are dangerous myths to walk around with. If for no other reason, love can die because your partner dies. I’ve learned that too. Yes, love continues on in some ways, but let’s be honest. It’s not the same.
For another thing, only God is capable of perfect love. And even God turned away when Jesus bore the sins of the world on the cross.
My professor was right. Our core issues revisit it throughout life. But that doesn’t mean they don’t shift as our knowledge and experience grow. I’m working on watering mine and seeing how it develops.