Unrequited Love

Is there anything, barring the death of a loved one, that hurts more than a breakup or divorce? Instantly, with just one period at the end of a sentence, your romantic relationship is over and your heart is broken. The finality is as hollow as death. Although it’s uncomfortable for the one initiating the break up, it’s nowhere near the pain experienced by the one being dumped!

Let’s face it, not having your deepest loyalty and affections reciprocated stings. This may be especially true when one’s love for you seems to have died after years of being together. Something as comfortable as your favorite pillow is suddenly gone, leaving you with significant tossing and turning at night with numerous attempts at readjusting with new pillows. Somehow, it is never quite the same.

Pain is especially weighty on the heart when you’re blindsided. As the protective numbing subsides, overwhelming, unbearable hurt tempts you to think that you have zero value or purpose.

Isn’t it amazing how the numbness acts as Novocain to allow you to stand the pain? Somehow your heart knows just how much you can take. The same heart that forewarns you of what is coming, before those awkward periods end the sentences that hurl you into tailspins. True story, when the split is not mutual, one person is always left feeling jilted, robbed, and cheated.

Those feelings are universal and understandable, but you can’t wallow there! I’m not lacking in empathy here; contrarily, I’m very familiar with those feelings, but beyond empathy, the love within me ignites my concern for you. I care. The danger of allowing numbness to segue to emotional paralysis is that your restoration becomes impossible. Depression can set in like thick, heavy fog upon a windshield causing you to not see your way. You then pull over in life and subsist.

Soon after my divorce I joined a support group through the DivorceCare® organization. I only wish I had heard of it before my divorce was finalized. I would’ve had the support that I lacked to get through 20 punishing months of undoing 26 years of life that I had built with my intended partner-for-life. I’m not sure the corners of my mouth will ever stop drooping when I discuss this subject. Grieving over a loss is a long, sometimes lifelong process. This too is universally okay.

Sadness over a loss doesn’t simply disappear because time has marched on. Your associated responses to an event are what map your experience of it. Although healing from the hurt will happen, memories of the assault to your heart are stored indefinitely, and not without direct correlation to the rest of your physical responses. Your challenge is not to let them control your emotional responses. It’s not what’s been done to you, it’s how you respond to it.

I know what it is to be stuck yet desperately wanting to be unstuck. Practically, you must immerse yourself in love. I’m not talking about superficial, rebound lust-love, or needy, smothering save-me love. I’m talking about the loving environment of people who both know and care about what you’re experiencing. Your tendency may be to isolate yourself in shame. Please don’t let this stage of grief linger.

Moreover, sleeping is often an initial response to the shock one’s system has sustained. Yes, go lie down, take a power nap. But don’t allow it to be habitual or you’ll prolong your healing process.

Deal with your now. The gift of loss is that you’re suddenly accorded the opportunity for substantial growth.

As trite as it sounds, Kelly Clarkson is right, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger . . . it doesn’t mean [you’re] over ‘cause [they’re] gone.” A breakup can be your “beginning in the end.” That final period at the end of that crucial sentence can become a comma if you don’t withdraw. For example, I wouldn’t be blogging right now if I had stayed married to my “wusband.” This is growth.

Spiritually, the inner you will need replenishment as well. Spirit is breath, life, and this is the place where you got stabbed. The angry sting, the twisting pinch, the torturous breathlessness, the life that seemingly got sucked out of you left a vacuous space that must be filled with love, faith, hope, and joy. This can only come from Spirit, from God who is ready, willing, and able to fill every crevice of that void.

Surrender to God-Love and be healed. Let God in, take God in, for “God is love” (1 John 4:8b). Nature may be your bent, or film; perhaps it is still art, written words or Scripture… Anything that leads you to open your heart to the life of Spirit to fill your spirit is what you must do. Your spiritual growth needs are met in this way.

What needs to happen inside you, to increase you in healing-love can be accomplished in these manners. Embrace the opportunity of the gift presented to you for change:

Change is Inevitable and Embracing Change Encourages Development

Because we repel change, we sometimes go through life without ever living up to our full potential [of] allowing ourselves to express who we really are. Change is an inevitable part of life and no matter how happy we are with how things are currently, life will always change.”*

Being equipped with the knowledge that nothing stays the same and that change can lead to growth will enhance your ability to move forward when life happens—because it will—over and over again!

Make Change While You Can, Before Change Makes You

It is better to initiate changes ourselves using free will than to let our life progress down a negative path until change affects us in a dramatic way. When you are consciously aware of change, it is much easier. Explore the world and the endless possibilities available to you. Find new opportunities, be brave and face fear. The world isn’t as scary as you might think and there are lots of things out there that are potentially life enhancing but you have to explore them.”*

We’ve all heard the expression that “life is a journey.” The journey is significant to you living affirmed, to having your Creator’s intended joy and satisfaction in your life here and now instead of waiting for the proverbial, sweet by and by.

Love yourself with reckless abandonment, borrowing from Kelly Clarkson’s intimation that self love never needs to be requited.

Don’t be shy! Share your thoughts below! I want to hear from you to dialog further, if welcomed. Someone else may need to hear your story! Be blessed!


3 thoughts on “Unrequited Love

    1. That is commendable! Remember that even taking baby steps is still making change happen. Embracing the opportunity to be temporarily selfish in focusing on personal growth, in the end, will benefit countless others, especially those who are closest to us and depend on us for direction. Arthur Burt said, “Nothing happens until the pain of remaining the same outweighs the pain of change.” This is a motto that is applicable to so many areas of life. It is the motto that helped me to shed 95 lbs of unhealthy weight, the concept that spurred me to get out of my house to go to the movies, to go out to eat exotic foods, to go to a dance club to see if I could ‘work the room’ confidently, to acquire my FIRST place of residence, and all without ANYONE with me. As Clarkson also sings, being alone doesn’t mean being lonely. I noted the growth that I was obtaining by keeping a journal, detailing every new adventure that I embarked upon. I spoke to my Father God all day every day as though he was right there with me. I talked to him about the guys that I began dating after my divorce. I laughed with him about the “losers” whom in hindsight were the subject of much of my personal laughing fits. I smiled as I walked into rooms, I held stranger’s babies, I hugged people who looked sad. I shared encouragement when I needed it the most… Yes change is hard, because the comfort of knowing trumps the possibility of being blindsided by life. But what I’ve learned is that some of those surprises are unexpected BLESSINGS, and all of those surprises have made me the fabulous person I am today! ;-D Absolutely everything passes giving way to the excitement of what’s next. Thank you for holding on, the world needs your unique gifts and talents to progress!

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