I’ve been reading through my old writings, you know all the ones about passionate love and passionate love lost. They made me slightly famous, after all, back in the day.
I wrote these essays and poems as a single woman living in San Francisco, passionately seeking “The One” along with all of you. In the past 20 plus years of dating and relationships I’ve had my heart broken a few times as well as broken other people’s hearts. There were multiple Ones, all lost in the winds of change.
Passionate love is beautiful but can also be excruciatingly painful. There have been times where it just doesn’t seem worth the agony. The highs, the lows, the panic. The non stop doodling another’s name in the corner of our post-it note. We go mad with the euphoria and then mad again with the pain. Sometimes multiple times with the same person…
But is it all worth it? Or would a simple, passionless life be better? We’d probably all get more accomplished. And our head would be clear and focused.
A few months ago I had decided that I would need or want no one ever again. It became my mandate to focus elsewhere and maintain my sanity. My daughter, my career, and baking the perfect blueberry muffin were all I cared about. Then I watched this movie…
In the 2006 movie “The Mirror Has Two Faces” the handsome-but-boring Columbia Math Professor Gregory (Jeff Bridges) believes that passion has ruined his life, and marries a woman with absolutely no sex appeal, but with whom he has a strong intellectual bond. Professor Rose (played by Barbabra Streisand) is that woman. The two get along well and their relationship is sex and drama free….until Rose realizes she needs passion to survive and sacrifices everything to unleash it. The movie shows that even if a passionless life is safer, it’s not what (most) human beings need or desire.
“I believe in love and lust and sex and romance. I don’t want everything to add up to some perfect equation. I want mess and chaos. I want someone to go crazy out of his mind for me. I want to feel passion and heat and sweat and madness. I want Valentines and Cupids and all the rest of that crap. I want it all.”
In the movie Rose decides she wants it all, even if she also loses it all.
“‘Tis better to have loved and lost is better than to have never loved at all,” said Tennyson.
I believe the heart is made of regenerative material. Scar tissue just makes it more interesting, not less strong. I tell myself this as, let’s face it, I am TERRIFIED of getting hurt again. I’m terrified of the whole roller coaster with its dips and spirals and unpredictability. I feel too darn old for it all. But I think I’m still going to hop on at some point….maybe I’ll even enjoy the scream as I fall.
Wherever you are in your love journey–whether you have been married for 15 years or just starting to get “out there” again, let down your guard and hop on the roller coaster. Be like the character Rose and let in passion. Get out of the practical safe life. Remember, you can still be a good employee, friend and parent and have romance too. You are teaching your children and others how to live a full life. Teach them to ride the roller coaster not just the safe Merry-Go-Round, as my friend Mazz always says.Perhaps it will give them confidence to try other pursuits as well.
Because when it’s all over and we are 90 in the nursing home, we will all want to know that we experienced a deep passionate love and lived life as fully as we could. And if you get your heart broken in the process, let it break open and grow back fuller.
Love doesn’t make the world go ’round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.
– Franklin P. Jones
This is the second post on October’s love series. (Last week’s was on Self love). But there are many Past Love and Passion Posts from me…
**Top photo by Zach Vessels, Unsplash