I don’t think anyone wants to be a failure in love. No one wants to be wounded in love. I don’t think anyone really wants to be an asshole in love either. But somewhere between our ideal and our bruised experiences, we become one of those things. It hurts. It really does, especially when you know that your intentions are simply to love and be loved and always have been.
I was watching Moulin Rouge for the umpteenth time a couple of nights ago, hoping to heal my heart with a good look at Ewan Mcgregor’s dimples. The greatest thing is just to love and be loved in return. That was the line that stuck in the film. As much as I enjoy early 20th century bohemian revelry, I could not finish the film. Even though I knew the ending very well, I could not watch two lovers thwarted yet again by whatever forces exist on Earth that create separation. I’ve had enough of this separation myself.
These forces could be death. But they could also be jealousy, our own foolishness, trust shattered, promises broken, fear unconquered, our past wounds wounding the person with whom we share our love. And many more. (Spoiler alert below).
In the film, when Zidler tells Satine that she’s dying, she makes the decision not to run away with Christian. In form, it was her death that separated them, but the truth was that it was her fear that held her back from possibly conquering all the barriers from love with the man who was devoted to her. She might have died still, if they had run away together. She might also have lived because she would have gotten herself out of a spiritually suffocating life situation and allowed love and openness to take the lead. Who knows? It’s only a story anyway.
The point is, I wonder if we can just sit ourselves down and watch over our own chronological timelines and see where it is that we ourselves have thwarted love. Have we allowed ourselves to be victims of neglect or separation or unavailability? Or have we given in to fear over and over? Have we betrayed our loved one? Have we perhaps, failed to remain present, to see the beauty in our partner? I have loved, have thwarted and been thwarted. If we cared so much about love, can we make the decision never to thwart love again? Can we really cut that crap? I mean, is it humanly possible?
At this point, in the depths of discouragement, I am trying to visualize love as a shampooing process. You love. If you fail, you rinse. When you’re squeaky clean - and only then, you repeat. Simple, no? Oh boy.