“Love’s always going to require a huge leap of faith, a big scary leap over a hot pit of lava, and you might end up heartbroken, but you might be the happiest person on the face of the Earth. Personally, I’m glad I took that leap.”
– Josette Laughlin, The Vampire Diaries
Season 6, Episode 20, “I’d Leave My Happy Home for You”
While I would not exactly recommend The Vampire Diaries as a comprehensive guide for relationships, romantic or otherwise, it did still have its moments.
At this moment, Josette, or Jo, is speaking with a younger woman, Elena. The two have grown close, not least because of Jo’s developing romance with a pseudo-father-figure in Elena’s life. In fact, Jo’s about to marry the man the next day, and she couldn’t be happier about it. Elena, on the other hand, has had already had one or two tumultuous love stories that haven’t ended very well for anyone involved. She has a chance to maybe pursue another such relationship, but she is hesitant. Once burned, twice shy, as the saying goes.
When Jo tells her this, she is speaking from an experienced perspective.
It’s something that, somehow, almost never occurs to young lovers: that things might end badly, with hearts broken. But it happens, and if it happens enough, one begins to question the merits of romance in the first place. Indeed, if one gets burned enough times, one may give up on love entirely.
Repeated failures have a way of discouraging further attempts at anything.
But the people who succeed are the ones who try again anyway, knowing and accepting the risks involved.
Not to say they have to try exactly the same thing in exactly the same way, of course. No, that’s just a refusal to learn (also known as “insanity”). The point of our mistakes is to learn from them, so we can do better next time.
Yet, it must be said, love can be entwined with very painful things, even in the best of cases, and that’s whether we’re talking romantic, friendly, or familial love.
But pain is not the end of love. Of course, it’s not always the proof of love, either, but that’s an entirely different conversation.
What I mean to say is that pain is a part of life, and some things we do risk much more pain than others. Loving someone else has to be an outstanding example of taking that risk, one that we must accept with our eyes open.
But what’s that old saying about risk and reward? 😉
It’s just a question of what it’s worth to us.
So, as we come up on another Valentine’s Day, I wish great joy and success on those who have hazarded that risk, or intend to. May you enjoy a most happy reward! 🙂