Love Is Not Enough

Love is a crazy thing. It has the power to build you up, tear you down, and build you back up again. It's special. It's transformative. It's life's greatest teacher. As sad as it is, relationships end, crap happens, and love cannot fix it all. Read more about how to find peace even when love is not enough: http://xoalwaysrae.com/theblog/loveisnotenough

Once upon a time there was a girl who fell deeply in love with a boy. He was everything she ever prayed for. When he magically popped into her life, her life dramatically changed. He showed her things she's never seen before, took her to places she never knew existed, and made her feel a way she's never felt. 

Well, once upon a time was about two years ago and that girl is - no, was - me. 

Before him, I never really knew what love was. Sure, I loved my family and I loved my friends. What I didn't know, though, was how much I could love this complete stranger whom I met randomly while leaving a college basketball game. 

We were both subconsciously looking for someone we could love and call our own. Who knew that a chance meeting in the bleachers would lead to a connection as deep + strong as ours. We both felt lucky to have found one another.

No one ever gets everything they want, but in my mind, I did. I've been blessed with many amazing people + things in my life, so to now have had found this guy I loved from the moment we met was the ultimate icing on the cake. I thought to myself, "I must really deserve this", and to a certain extent I did. BUT, there was also a lot that happened in the relationship that I didn't deserve. See: lying, cheating, betrayal.

Needless to say, our relationship has now ended, after many failed attempts at second chances. What finally put an end to us trying and led to us letting go?

Too much unwanted crap.

Forgive me for such a simplistically vague description, but that's the most respectful way I can describe it. The crap that had accumulated over the course of 24 months became too heavy on our hearts and basically exploded in our faces. It was too much.

I sought the advice of a counselor after I became overwhelmed when this love crap mixed with some life crap. 

So, there I was, sitting on a plush couch with a box of tissues next to me, tears streaming down my face telling my counselor about how much my heart hurt (yes, a complete cliche). Sure, there was bigger life crap going on that we needed to discuss but I kept fixating on the love crap - I didn't understand how you could give someone so much of you and it still isn't enough. 

I'll never forget this moment: My counselor sat up in her seat, looked me straight in the eyes, and said, "But Rachel, you have to realize that love is not enough. It just isn't."

I was stunned. I didn't understand. What did she mean that love isn't enough? Love is everything! Love is supposed to conquer all! I was so upset at her.

In that moment, I shut down.

How dare she tell me that the love I felt for this other human being wasn't enough. She had no clue what I was feeling. She wasn't in my relationship. My irrational thoughts raged on...

Then one day, about a month later after a lot of thinking + reminiscing, it finally hit me: 

Love isn't enough. No matter how much you love somebody, sometimes it just isn't right.

In that moment, I felt like I unlocked a new level of adulthood. 

With some soul-searching, I've recognized that one of my greatest strengths is also one of my hugest downfalls: I'm extremely hopeful. I think everything can be fixed with a little prayer, a lot of hard work, and some forgiveness sprinkled in.

It took a puddle of tears to understand that love doesn't work this way.

Hope is not enough to make love enough. 

As my mentor Lisa once said to me, sometimes you have to put your big girl panties on and walk away, no matter how much you love somebody. 

It takes a heck of a lot more than love to keep two people together and a relationship flourishing. You need honesty, commitment, and respect. You both need to be putting in the same amount of time + effort. And speaking of timing, timing {of the universe} must be on your side. 

Not only was our timing all off, we weren't mentally equipped with the knowledge of how to properly love somebody. Because we didn't have the tools, we messed it all up. 

So yes, I recognize now that you need more than love to carry you through.

As sad as it is, relationships end, crap happens, and love cannot fix it all. 

When the respect is gone, trust is broken, and hurt is too familiar, love is not enough to make the sting of betrayal go away. Sometimes you have to be BRAVE ENOUGH to open your eyes to your new reality: your relationship is no longer. The life you had with this person is no longer. Who you were is no longer. Gone. Over. Love cannot bring any of that back.

The sooner you accept this, the easier it will be to let go - although, are these things ever really easy?

Our love was not enough, but even after all of our highest highs and our lowest lows, I will always love him. Why? Because through his love I learned about myself. He was like a mirror, reflecting the best parts of me I never knew I had and the ugliest parts of me I never want to see again.  

For that alone I am eternally grateful that we found love in those deserted bleachers on a Friday night in February. 

Love is a crazy thing. It has the power to build you up, tear you down, and build you back up again. It's special. It's transformative. It's life's greatest teacher. 

One day love won't have to be enough anymore. Through this #LoveLessonLearned, I'll be a greater me which will lead me to a better he. Commitment, honesty, and respect will be on our side. 

Love will simply just be.   

xo always, RAE

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