When I saw Spring Awakening and heard the song, “The Word of Your Body,” I sat in the audience and cried. I had never heard truer words.
“Oh, I’m gonna be wounded;
Oh, I’m gonna be your wound;
Oh, I’m gonna bruise you;
Oh, you’re gonna be my bruise.”
It doesn’t matter what relationship you are in, it could be a marriage, a first love, a friendship, siblings, or even a parent and their child, it is true for all. When you tell someone you love them, you open yourself up to being wounded. It’s only a matter of time, it happens in every relationship, it even happens within yourself. You know when you make those promises to yourself that you are going to do things differently and then you slip up and in doing so, you feel you’ve let yourself down? We hurt ourselves, we hurt others, without intention, without malice, but the wound is still there.
In relationships where there are two people and two perspectives, it is inevitable that they will hurt each other at one time or another. It comes with the territory. We fail ourselves at times and we fail each other. That doesn’t mean we can’t care for the wound and, perhaps, even make the relationship better. The one exception is abuse, whether physical or emotional, abuse should never be tolerated, accepted, or even forgiven. But aside from abuse, we all make mistakes. The most important thing is to learn from them and not continue to repeat the same ones.
Imagine that you meet someone and fall in love. Perhaps you even marry. Perhaps you even raise a family. But there are no guarantees. People change and life changes and we don’t always change together in the same direction. But when you are starting out, you aren’t thinking about that. I don’t mean that it should stop you from loving and committing to a relationship, I only mean you should expect the bumps and even prepare for them. Keep the communication open, even when you are raising those kids and your lives barely connect anymore.
For the young people who are falling in love for the first time, remember,loving someone leaves you vulnerable to them. If the relationship ends, bitterness can cause people to treat each other terribly. So if you are a teenager and in love for the first time, don’t give them ammunition to hurt you someday. Don’t send those photos and text messages that can compromise your integrity and reputation long after the relationship ends. Because some bruises are worse then others, some destroy your self-esteem.
Fall in love, love your family and your friends, you will have to trust them and you should. But strengthen who you are and keep your self-worth. Love yourself and heal your own wounds. Then when the wounds come, and they will, you will survive and grow and come to a point where you can look back without regret. And, if you are careful to nurture that love along the way, you may even find that it lasts in spite of the bruises and can grow to be stronger than you ever thought possible.
http://www.theresadodaro.com Author of The Tin Box Trilogy