Love is tricky. It is a beautiful ting on the one hand and yet can cause oh so much pain. It is like water. One cannot literally live without it. On the other hand, one can die by drowning in 2 inches of it. Emotionally, it is life-giving and a soul-lifter. And if things go south, we feel too as though we might crumble up and die.
When we think of love, we often think of a memory that is happy or a scene from a movie we connect with. Movies are great at creating scenes that leave us with a myriad of emotions – especially love.
Life sometimes has an odd way of delivering a twisted fate. While love on the one hand is a life force, a source of joy and strength – when it is misplaced, can have catastrophic results. Consider falling in love with the one person they can never be with. A deep longing develops that will never be met – which means there will be a perpetual pain for as long as the love lasts.
This type of love is different from the others. It creates an insatiable hunger – one that sometimes consumes the lover whole – with or without them even knowing.
The only solace for this person is to grieve the loss of something that was never born. How does one do this? It’s even trickier than love itself. Time, in fact, does not heal all wounds.
And so, this not the happiest of messages in that love does not always have a happy ending. Unfortunately, just because one loves another does not mean they will spend the rest of their lives together, fused forever.
It’s as if the heart and head are having a conversation. The head says to the heart, “Look, it’s impossible. You can’t be with them – ever. You need to move on.” And the heart replies, “I hear you – but I don’t want to hear you. I feel what I feel and I’ve never felt this way for anyone. I’m hurting because I cannot be with the one I love.”
And so the head and heart are in tension. Both realize the relationship is impossible. One of two things happen. The head eventually gives up and stops speaking. The person is left only hearing the heart and remains in pain, longing for the one they love. Or – the heart is shut down and the mind prevails. “Heart, I cannot live with you in pain all the time. I’m tired of your whining – I’m not listening to you anymore.” And so the heart is cut off and rational thinking prevails.
In either case, the person suffers. A heart shut down leaves a person cold or half-alive. A mind shut down leaves the person vulnerable to all sorts of bad things that will just ruin the person for life.
So what is to be done?
If the situation continues, a decision needs to be made (for sanity’s sake).
But how does one maintain the balance between keeping the heart open so it can feel and do what it does best AND keep the mind going so that rational decisions are made?
There are a number of alternatives. Please hear me out – this is a very difficult situation. What we are discussing here is emotional/mental surgery. We know how well trained surgeons are – especially brain surgeons. Now imagine doing brain surgery and heart surgery at the same time! Much care is required.
Go to a place each day that is a place of peace. Perhaps it is a bench outside or in a comfy chair by the fire.
Draw a line vertically in your journal. On one side, write “heart” and on the other write “mind. You want to “dialogue” each day – what each side is saying. This doesn’t just pertain to the loveless situation, but to all situations. After all, we are not compartmentalized robots. When part of us hurts, chances are high that other areas are affected too.
It may take months or longer, but the dialoguing is something that will open a door for heart and mind to come together and heal. Be free to remove expectations regarding a timeline. If this were literal heart or brain surgery, would you want the surgeon team to be in a rush? Probably not. So don’t rush yourself.
The agony of loving the one you cannot be with is flat out awful. What’s worse is not being able to get out or get “over” the situation. And so what do we do?
We don’t get out.
We don’t get over.
We go through.
Persevering (or helping someone else do this) is one of the most important learning moments of your life. Not only will you know yourself better but you will always be able to help someone around you.
Chances are that if you love someone that cannot be with you – that is much different than one who chooses to not be with you. That being said, they, loving you as much as you love them, would want you to be happy, to be whole and to live life to it’s fullest.
Remember, love is not just an emotion. It’s a choice, a life-force, a life-changer and a provider of hope.
Love is a language the heart is fluent in – the mind always stands there flabbergasted. “I don’t get it,” it says with its arms crossed and shaking its head. The mind is there to guard you from doing stupid things.
Heart surgery requires skill and time. The heart has a timeline all its own. Do yourself a favor and don’t shut it down.
The key is to get the heart and mind talking – and talking equally. Taking a few minutes (or hours if necessary) to get in touch with both sides and capture their “arguments” is helpful. It helps to get it out, get it on paper – and if needed, share with someone you trust. Sometimes externally processing by speaking out loud helps you come to a conclusion about what you are feeling. Finding someone who can ask you questions rather than just wallow with you – which might not help you at all in the long run – is a good idea.
While I would never wish the situation on anyone, chances are that you might meet someone who is going through this and needs a helping hand. You are smart enough to know who is really in a pickle versus one who just continues to make bad choices.
This sort of thing really only happens once or maybe twice in a person’s life – max. If more often, there is a larger issue. Just saying.
So whatever the reason – there is actually hope amidst a situation that feels anything but.
The bottom line is that your heart is worth it. Your mind is doing it’s job. You are worth it and need to find a balance so you can carefully step through what is happening inside.