Have you heard the expression
It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
Although this can be a great way to think about past relationships — appreciating love in all its forms — it can also make us feel melancholy, miss “the good old days” or regret things we did.
I recently stumbled on a new musical artist, Leif Vollebekk. In his song When the Subway Comes Above the Ground he twists that well-known homily like this:
“It is better to have left and laughed than never to have left at all.”
– Leif Vollebekk, When the Subway Comes Above the Ground
For some of us, this is all too true! It is better to have left unhappy or abusive relationships and learned to laugh again. It is better that we found our inner, hidden strength, that we learned to respect and love ourselves… It is so much better to be alone and happy than attached to someone who hates himself so much, he is intent on making you miserable. He probably does love you, but he is so unhealthy he doesn’t know how to treat you with love and respect. Let him be the one one saying “it is better to have loved and lost…” Many people who love each other can’t live together peacefully, and that’s just the way it is.
It has been over twelve years since I left and laughed. If you are on the threshold of doing the same, considering leaving an unkind mate, let me tell you there is life after an ugly relationship, there is laughter after leaving.
“Leaving” could apply to other things, too. Maybe for you, it’s about leaving a job that isn’t good for you, or maybe you are thinking about leaving the place you are living. If you really can’t find a way to laugh — enjoy yourself, be happy — then maybe it is time to move. Sometimes we outgrow a place (or job), and the only solution is to leave and accept our “bigger good” somewhere else. Just keep in mind that if you are trying to run from your problems, they have an uncanny way of following you!
But sometimes, you just have to leave that drab apartment for a nicer place. Have you ever ridden a subway that came above ground? It is an interesting experience, and Leif Vollebekk’s song captures it beautifully (video below).
Thanks to CBC Radio, Q with Jian Ghomeshi for introducing me to this great music.