Reflections on Love and Broken Hearts

          What is a broken heart. What is love. If you've ever had the good fortune to feel deeply in love with another, then you know amazing nature of your mind and emotions. From the heights of ecstasy to the pit of despair. Giving your heart completely to another can result in the pain related to loss. Losses from death, or sometimes even worse, rejection to some degree. And just what are these painful feelings that can lead a person into sleepless nights, the lack of ability to function, and for me, the complete lack of hunger. We can point to this or that and say, "that is the cause,", but is it really?
          No one can make us feel what we feel. We feel what we feel on our own, which is why we each person can respond so differently to the same situation. We feel as a result of how we think and see the situation. When we are confused, we don't even know what we think. It's our understanding of ourselves that we are confused about. We may feel that the situation is complex to some degree, but it is our own self understanding and our ideas about what the future holds that drains our life from us. We create our feelings, no one else does. Sure, we feel our feelings in relation to our experience, but our feelings are a reflection of us more so than our environment. Our environment presents itself as it is. We present ourselves as we understand ourselves to be and then we feel.
          What is this feeling of love that so binds us to one another. The expression "chains of love," expresses the idea that love is a kind of connection or bonding to another person. Self approved bondage of the most wonderful kind. Self inflicted if we are feeling sorrow or pain as a result. Worth it? I'd say so. The painful at times forces us to see things in a new way. If we don't, we may decline in spirit and may even die, as so many do whose loved one has died after years of depending upon each other for those feelings of love and support.
          For me, love brings the sense of god into my direct experience. And when it turns sorrowful, I turn to that god presence even more. I'm here. I'm alive. I'm Duane. Duane can feel sad and sorry and decline in spirit, or Duane can wonder about what is really going on here. As I look inside, I find that there are issues that are inconsistent with my views on reality and life and god and love. I find that I don't really believe as much in the goodness of my path as I sometimes think that I do. I still get concerned that I may make a mistake and go down the wrong road. Like a student that's messed up on his test which will result in low marks.
         Life gives us the opportunity to change for our own betterment. Not necessarily someone else's betterment. I may want to change in ways that my lover may want, because the person my lover wants me to be is someone that I want to be. But I may like some of me as I am. Self understanding is a great step towards enabling us to express ourselves to our lover with the greatest possible clarity. It allows ourselves to be clear about our needs and why we want our needs met. That may lead us to see that our needs may not be needs for the reasons we may had previously thought. Our needs may be for little things that our partner doesn't see as being significant because that is not how they feel love. Those needs may have to be met in order for love to experienced. That makes even the seemlingly trivial needs, needs. And we are here partly to have our needs met.
          So two lovers may not feel that they are able to meet each others needs, while still, at times, feeling deep love for each other. If each lovers' needs, even seemingly trivial needs, relate to aspects of each lovers' personality, then real love would suggest that the differences are worth struggling to surmount. If, on the other hand, the needs of one lover cannot be met without challenging deeply held values and beliefs of the other lover, then to change ones ways may create a contradiction between one's values and one's actions. Eventually I can imagine resentment emerging and often without recognition of exactly why, and showing itself in perhaps little things that then seem trivial and yet are important. So one lover's hurt may not be completely understood by the partner and may even seem like an unnecessary request, want or need. Unless it's understood what's causing the frustration, stress tends to accumulate other areas begin to become more irritating until you have a mess of emotions and misunderstandings.

01.26.2002 Part 2
          But if you love a person, then it was suggested to me that you want to make them happy. So whatever their needs are, you will want to try to fill them. I thought about this and I realized that this makes sense. The difficulty arises when the needs of the one you love seem to deprive you of your own needs. If your partner truly loves you, then they will want to make you happy as well. When lovers' needs conflict with each other, that is when the greatest potential growth can occur. And if the love is really real, then I believe that there will arise a solution that brings happiness to both. But if the love is not that deep, then parting may be the best solution.
          If people really love one another, then they will each change for the better. Love will call us to want to make our lover happy. So what is love? We can find a new lover that meets our current criteria, but is that all that there is to love? Is it something more? Why committ yourself to love one person? I think that the reason may have a lot to do with the fact that shared honest, caring experience engenders love for one another. So the longer that you are together, the deeper love can go. But that kind of love can be between friends and family as well. When it comes to being in love, I believe that we are talking about the additional ingredient of physical intimacy. Deep emotional and physical intimacy and trust. Mutual love and trust are essential and that is why it hurts to see someone we love be with another person in a way that compromises that deep intimacy and trust.
          So a nice and juicy carrot exists for committing yourself to one relationship. More love. But as we can see, that kind of love that grows and grows requires us to grow together, not apart. We do that by changing together or never changing, if it's perfect the way it is. I'm destined to change and I want to change. I want to change with someone. It's how I feel the most love I know how to feel. It's not the only way, but I think it's a good way. To grow together, trusting one another, loving one another, and feeling home with one another. That is romantic to me. But is it really romantic? What is romantic is in the eyes of the one being romanced. Never forget that.
          I was once told at the time of my mother's death that understanding is what brings love about. The more we understand each other, the more we feel love for one another. It takes a willingness to listen to each other and a willingness to let go of our own ideas about the way we think that things have to be. After all, we've all experienced being wrong about things that we once strongly believed were true and have all changed throughout our lives. We will continue to change. That change can divide us from one another or unite us. All you need is love.

Close Page and return to Musings Main Page