Looking around at life, love means an awful lot of things to an awful lot of people. I watch people and I see what is in my own life. As with so many things, the disparities are striking.

The greatest art, the most beautiful ballads, those incredibly moving moments that touch the heart and cause the soul to fly come from love, the best bits of the purest joy. There lies the magic of a baby’s belly laugh, a little girl’s infectious giggle, and the peals of laughter on a playground. Sadness also has its place: one spouse holding another in their final moments, crooning a last lingering good-bye, the tightness in one’s throat as tears catch us unawares at the notes of love song, and the unexpected pain of running into someone whom we thought we had forgotten ages ago, but in one instant every shared moment comes rushing back.

There are those effervescent moments of sheer bliss, lying in the arms of the one you love– sweaty, disheveled, and for one perfect instant- utterly content. The heart never empties. One does not dole out love like welfare rations. Love is continuous and replenishing. Loving more people does not that mean we love anyone else less. I always say in running, the more you push, the more you can push. Likewise, the more you love, the more you can love.

The bonds of family can sustain, empower, and lift us up in the ways unimaginable. In love we find our most essential selves, those versions of us that become everything we ever wanted to be. In our lover’s eyes, in our Eros found confidence we create an avatar of ourselves as the best of us emerges. One hopes that when we find a perfect match we evolve into a better, kinder, and smarter kind of self.

One hopes.

But love has another side. Like the comedy and tragedy in theater, love comes with pain. For most of us, the pain associated with devotion is simply that of love lost, whether to another, perhaps to distance, or even to death. For the majority of souls, the pain of love is that of separation from the object of our desires. For others, the pain is an expression of love. In a hundred twisted ways love and pain become entwined, often with results of quiet desperation, other times with rants of broken rage.

In this scenario, if I take the trouble to hurt you it’s because I care, otherwise you wouldn’t be worth my time. If you let me hurt you, if you let me cut you asunder, reducing you to ribbons then you’ve proved your love for me. It’s the old negative, even poisoned, attention is better than being ignored. There are hideous degrees. parents withholding approval until the child hits an imaginary, arbitrary set of objectives. There’s the twisted desire for justice, that somehow you deserve this pain. You deserve to be punished.

Oh, I’ve heard the arguments, that the pain inflicted in sex acts brings a greater intimacy, a shared trust. Whatever, it’s not my thing. All I know is that love doesn’t hurt. It shouldn’t hurt and I don’t deserve to be hurt. It’s not in my particular mental makeup. Not that I am shallow or smug enough to speak for anyone working out their emotions. I would say that for me martyrdom, sadism, masochism, and passive aggressive crap– these are not love. They may very well stem from deep-seated emotions, but love got lost somewhere upon the emotional landscape. You deserve better, friends, you bloody well deserve better.

This week’s song is a favorite from a workout point of view. It has a great beat and gets me moving faster, but it’s truly troubling from the view point of a lover. Love and pain linked, and not in a good way. I cannot save you. No one can. A friend can offer a temporary refuge, succor, but genuine change comes from within. It’s a crappy cliché, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true. You want love to stop hurting? Walk in the sunlight, the moonlight, or the starlight, whatever, but walk in the light. Find your joy. Leave the darkness, the monsters behind. It starts with you, no one else can save the drowning one, not really.


And honestly, when all else breaks down? Thank God for Iron Maiden, and running, but mostly Iron Maiden. those guys can fix anything.


“Every You Every Me”

Sucker love is heaven sent.
You pucker up, our passion’s spent.
My hearts a tart, your body’s rent.
My body’s broken, yours is bent.Carve your name into my arm.
Instead of stressed, I lie here charmed.
Cuz there’s nothing else to do,
Every me and every you.Sucker love, a box I choose.
No other box I choose to use.
Another love I would abuse,
No circumstances could excuse.In the shape of things to come.
Too much poison come undone.
Cuz there’s nothing else to do,
Every me and every you.
Every me and every you,
Every Me…heSucker love is known to swing.
Prone to cling and waste these things.
Pucker up for heavens sake.
There’s never been so much at stake.I serve my head up on a plate.
It’s only comfort, calling late.
Cuz there’s nothing else to do,
Every me and every you.
Every me and every you,
Every Me…heEvery me and every you,
Every Me…he

Like the naked leads the blind.
I know I’m selfish, I’m unkind.
Sucker love I always find,
Someone to bruise and leave behind.

All alone in space and time.
There’s nothing here but what here’s mine.
Something borrowed, something blue.
Every me and every you.
Every me and every you,
Every Me…he

Every me and every you,
Every Me…he [x4]

Erika Gardner

Erika Gardner

This post was written by Erika Gardner.  If you enjoyed it, please sign up to receive updates on this blog.  Or you can follow Erika on Twitter @Erika_Gardner or “Like” her Facebook page Erika Gardner- Writer and Storyteller. Check out her contributions to the BBB Blog.