Annoying Questions

Paul’s Random, Annoying Question of the Moment

Which is the better teacher?  Love or Loss?

Or perhaps, one might want to think of it as “love or emotional dependency”?

I’m not fond of the notion that love is an actual cause of suffering.  I know there is a sense in which love can “set us up” to suffer — I do recognize that much.  But I do not think of its set ups as truly intrinsic to love’s nature.

Instead, I think we too often confuse love with emotional dependency, calling them the same thing.  We do that so often, it almost seems human nature to confuse the two.  Yet, to my mind, the difference between emotional dependency and love is as sharp as the difference between smoke and fire.

Dependency might be to some extent unavoidable when there’s love for someone. I think there might be some smoke wherever there is some fire.  But smoke and fire are very different things, are they not?

Here’s my take: When we say  “I loved and was hurt because I loved”, we are almost always speaking of emotional dependency, rather than love.  Emotional dependency  is exceedingly generous in the pain and suffering it gives us.  Exceedingly generous.

To me, Loss tends to teach negatives.  “Don’t trust strangers.”  “Guard your heart.”  “Women are bitches.”  “Men are animals.”

Love tends to teach positives.  “Life is worth affirming.”  “Love is just as much or more a way of seeing as it is a way of feeling.”  “He not busy being born is busy dying.”

Loss tends to teach us what to avoid.  Love tends to teach us what to embrace.  Both can teach us something useful.

Which is the better teacher?  Love or Loss?


This moment’s question inspired by a poem I found on Poet of  the Light’s blog.

20 thoughts on “Paul’s Random, Annoying Question of the Moment”

  1. I have a different view on the matter, Paul. Both are good teachers.

    First, let’s talk about romantic love. To love, is to open oneself to being vulnerable. Does that make me dependent? No, I don’t think so. Love does not have to be reciprocated to exist. The person being ‘loved’ may not even know they are loved by me. And no, Paul, not fantasised about. Just loved. Maybe even a genderless, non-romantic love, more akin to agape. Because there is a deep connection that cannot be explained in anything but what sounds like a weird delusion!

    Then there are so many other kinds of love – more than fifty shades, that have nothing to do with romantic intimacy. Love is a deep feeling emerging from the soul. An emotional and/or spiritual connection that goes beyond words to the very core of being. It can nurture and nourish – without looking for or even needing anything in return.

    As for loss? Again, I do not believe it is a negative. To lose a loved someone , whether it be through the end of a relationship or death, is deeply painful. It teaches us much about ourselves, others, how to grieve, how to let go, how to heal, how to be open and vulnerable to forming new connections.

    These two are the yin and the yang of deep emotions. Both have much to offer us if we are brave enough to allow. Vulnerable enough and open to experience, learn, grow.

    That’s just my quick take on your random, annoying question 🤣🤣

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pretty darn thoughtful for a “quick take”, Riali! Thank you so much for it.

      I completely agree with you about “50 shades of love”. English needs so many more words than it has for love.

      Very stimulating thoughts there.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Anything can be learned through, so I’d not put one above the other, per se.

    And. When we love without expectations for a particular response, we are less likely to experience a sense of loss. Feelings of loss come from the sense of having had something in the first place, or of not getting something we want.

    So…if you want to experience more love than loss, love with a loose grip, free of expectations. This is easier said than done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Amanda! Thank you so much for your comments. I count them pretty insightful.

      Keeping my expectations as low as possible is one way I try to tame emotional dependency. It seems to take flight on the wings of expectations.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is deep! … I believe both are good teachers, you learn different things and have different experiences from both so it’s hard to compare them… My thoughts will probably change many times though depending on the situations I’m going through…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. There’s no better teacher, there’s always a tougher lesson…what kind of love and what kind of loss…and how much we are open to learn and improve not to blame and nag…
    Unrequited love or mutual love? Loss of a lover or a mother?
    We are constant learners and we should never stop until we discover the peace of mind and discover what real love is, that loss is not the end and pain is inevitable but suffering is a choice
    This is really a mind triggering post and I hope I answered your question in a way 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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