The Illusion of Love

     Life is like a never-ending card trick done by a magician-in-training. As you go through life, you pick cards then wait anxiously to see if the card you saw is the one the magician will show you. Sometimes, it’s not, and that is fine. They’re still learning, so they ask you to choose another card. You do, and you hold onto it, hoping the card they show you is yours. It seems to go on like this forever, but eventually, the magician in training shows you your card. It is exciting and fun, but filled with anxiety and waiting, and once they choose the right card, it is exhilarating. Well, until they say they need to practice more and then have you choose another card, starting the process all over again.

     “Pick a card, any card,” they say. Well, you chose your card and it didn’t exactly go as you planned. That’s okay, not everything in life goes just the way you want it to. Love seems to come at the most random times and in the most unsuspecting places. I am a firm believer in the fact that people enter your life just when you need them to. Love is amazing and terrifying all at the same time and if you open your heart up to someone, it could end amazingly or it doesn’t. Regardless, at that time, they were what you needed and everything happens for a reason. 

     “Okay, now, discard it back into the pile,” the magician instructs, so you do. I am not a pessimist; I do believe in love, but not everyone is lucky enough for their soulmate to be the first person they love. Heartbreak is a part of life and it is something lots of people have to go through. Sometimes, no matter how much you love someone, the best thing you can do is let them go, and that is fine. You cannot hold onto some people forever and if it is hurting more to hang on, it can be okay to let go. 

     “Would you like to shuffle the deck?” they ask as you stick your card back into the fanned deck in their hand. After a heartbreak, it is important to find what makes you happy, focusing on the good rather than the bad. Letting go was hard, but now you have to pull it together and learn to love yourself instead of pouring it on to someone else. Grieving is not good if done in excess, but it is perfectly normal to feel sad. In fact, some would argue it is necessary to let yourself feel those emotions, just don’t get lost in them. Shuffle the deck a bit. Hang out with friends, go to your favorite coffee shop, read a book. Do whatever it is that makes you feel joy and hold on to that, because after a heartbreak, those things are needed more than ever. 

     “Is this the card you memorized?” the magician asks as you look in awe as he pulls your card from the deck. Love is a consuming and powerful emotion. You will remember a love long after it is over, and that is what makes it great. Yes, it might be painful and raw, but overall, we learn so much from it. Compassion, empathy, joy. Those are all things that can be taken from love, but strength, empowerment, and self love are things that can be taken from heartbreak. If you take every heartbreak as something tragic and life-ending, you will never learn to move on. However, if you take it and use it to help yourself grow into a stronger person, it is okay to remember the good times and not dwell on the past. 

     Heartbreak is dark and dull, but it doesn’t have to be the end all, be all. The magician looks at you and asks if they can practice it another time. You can choose to stop, leaving the magician with nothing but sorrow and self-pity because it is over, or you can embrace it and say yes, going in for another round of self growth, and possibly the greatest love (or card trick in this case) of all time.