It’s been a long while since I felt butterflies. I last used the word “love” to describe a relationship from 2002. The word “smitten” would be the most I can muster for a brief entanglement in April 2007. Since then, the fluttering has been absent and I have suffered not from its truancy.
Rationally, I know that these quiverings are merely a reaction to chemicals being released and has nothing to do with real Love, with a capital “L”. Yet, at the first sign of butterflies, I am a changed woman. I feel buoyant and sexy walking down the street. The warm sun shines on me even though it’s dark and cold outside. I can’t concentrate. I giggle and laugh to myself thinking back over things said or remembering his touch. I want to buy new lingerie, attend that “Butt Blasters” class, and lose 10 pounds.
It must be that the chemicals that make us feel “in love” also make us forget. Why is it so difficult to remember that we’ve felt this way before – many, many times before? Why must we lose our heads when, soon enough, Reality makes his appearance on the scene? I was reading one of my old journals a few weeks ago. On it’s pages, I had captured the metamorphosis from bright new Love through struggling with difficulties to sadness and finally heartbreak. There was my samskara in ink on paper – and spanning less than a year.
Do we forget this pattern because, should we remember completely how quickly the butterflies turn to heartbreak, we would avoid falling in love again? Can the butterflies ever bring me something other than heartache?
I think it’s a bit like child-bearing (not that I’ve ever done that). Women would never have more than one child if they remembered the pain of child-birth. Something in our brain prevents us from having a memory of pain. I suppose it’s not a stretch to imagine that we can forget how emotional pain feels too…especially when in the throws of “butterflies”.