This weekend somehow evolved around relationships, love, and dating – with lots of interesting conversations paired with own reflections and readings. As people often say – we all want love. It may not be that obvious as it comes in different forms, definitions, and meanings – love is a big word anyway and who has the ultimate definition? Can we even grasp love with our mind and eyes?
If you see a mother tenderly holding her baby, you know it is love. If you support your partner in best and worst times, for them, it is love. If your friends forgive your worst mistakes, it is a form of love. If you decide to not beat yourself up again, you may not know this is love, too.
For some, love means romantic love – and even within romantic love, love can have multiple facets (s. “The 5 Love Languages” (words of affirmation, quality time, giving gifts, acts of service, physical touch)). For some, love is clearly visible in our families, but for some, it hasn`t been – be it because our parents have showed their love we have not understood (generationally / culturally) or because they have not communicated love at all. Media, movies, and music songs all suggest their own understanding of love, esp. of how love should look like. If you go into deeper spiritual realms (which I resonate with, but which definitely needs a proper discussion for a deeper understanding), you may also hear that love is all (that exists), love is life, love is you.
Whatever love is – it is up on us to experience and define love (which is the exciting part – we create love rather than seeking love) – I think we can all agree that love (and also the lack of love) is a force that transforms.
We may have heard of stories where a newly born baby needs their mother`s love for their survival. We may have heard that on 9/11, the phone calls that were taken by the passengers on the affected airplanes were to call their loved ones, to say they loved them. We may have also heard that we think we know who our ideal partner should be, until love proves us otherwise. Love surprises. Love is beyond measure. Love is purely magical. And I am not here to define love (because who can?), but to share my experience on how I am finding my own personal love (probably not what are you now thinking ;)).
Today`s quote is a reference on my last heartbreak, which was painful, surprising, and took quite a while for me to heal from and let go of. Luckily I somehow early decided to not judge myself for still dealing with this (while he might not) as it happened a long time ago –
I eventually learned that we all have our own personal pace and process, and this is absolutely ok (and necessary).
The story was that I met someone I really liked, which caught me by surprise, as it came totally unexpected and, in hindsight, the guy actually was not the type I was looking for. But here I was – sort of in love, not knowing what was going on with me, and about to enter a rollercoaster. We would soon face so many frictions, disappointments, and miscommunication – from what has been said/done to what has not been said/done, but what has been expected to be said/done. Probably there were different preferences and reciprocity levels (was I the only one who was in love?) and different understandings of love and/or love languages (a human relationship always involves two). Although I have reflected a lot and still cannot make up my mind about it (as things can be, we haven`t had a real closure),
I had only two options – either to continue carrying this baggage from the past or to let it go to free up space for something new.
Believe me – I did a lot to end this chapter as fast as possible, at the end, being heart-broken also meant lot of tears, self-doubts, and feeling lonely! I tried different forgiveness techniques (ho’oponopono, loving kindness meditation), I wrote a letter and burnt it, I met new people, I read soothing quotes and stories, I would immersed in work, and I would talk this through with my friends over and over hoping this would ease my pain (sorry for my friends who had to hear this again and again!). (I even sent a hand-written card to him, but, of course, without response (probably this was too much ;)).)
Although I am sure that all of this did play their roles in my healing process, I realized I just needed to be gentle with myself in this process. As with life, there is no right and wrong, no golden path, just your personal experience. While the following approaches and tools have helped me with my own pain, I encourage you to also find those that suit you best.
One major shift was the question “What was the purpose of meeting this person?”
This question changes your perspective by seeing the value of any encounter you have. In this case, meeting him was to learn from the experience of falling too fast for a guy, who has not earned my trust yet. It was about admitting the previous cues and signs that your fundamental values did not match (note: actions speak way louder than words!). It was about communicating your needs and setting boundaries (you won`t believe what I have tolerated just because I liked him!). A greater purpose of this encounter was the fact that I found my way to personal development and, by this, my life purpose. I learned so much about myself and my passions, and now I am doing what I love because I embarked on my journey triggered by this painful experience.
Another major shift to let the past go was spiritual philosophies. Rüdiger Dahlke teaches about
projections, i.e. what we see in others, is also reflected in us, esp. if it is something that triggers us
(more in his books knowing that quoting him is quite courageous). Byron Katie also suggests that something that triggers us may be eithersomething we do not do ourselves enough, we do to other people, or we do to ourselves (more in “Loving What Is”). If it triggers or resonates with us, it is something that matters to us. This frankly means that if I am upset about him treating me like this, then it would mean that I actually treated myself this way (e.g. by allowing him to act like this). I know this approach can be more complex, esp. when applied to more challenging, unacceptable situations, so I would highly recommend Byron Katie`s book for deeper assessment.
The last major shift relates to more humanity and a saying that “hurt people hurt people”.
When people hurt you, it does not say much about you, but more about them. We don`t know what they have been going through, what beliefs they have (un)consciously built, what holds them back to choose more kindness and compassion (or maybe this is their own definition) – at the end, we all often act as best as we can. They may have been hurt themselves and have not transformed their pain yet. The “Loving Kindness” meditation is a really nice experience to send your love and compassion to not only yourself, your loved ones, and your fellows, but also to those whom you have a difficult relationship with.
I know this is not about finding an excuse or tolerating any hurtful or even discriminatory behaviour, but about giving you the choice to free yourself and creating your life without the past holding you back. When you let go of the past, it is not about them, it is about you – to give back your life, step by step.
How have you dealt with heartbreaks? What does love mean to you? Let me know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org – I would be very keen to hear your views! :) PS: Subscribe to my Newsletter to stay in touch for any upcoming posts and news :)
This week`s ...
Inspiration: Gary Chapman – The Five Love Languages
Reflection: Who are the people you have met for – a reason, a season, or a lifetime?
Intention: Genuinely send compassion and health to those who have hurt, annoyed, or upset you whenever they occupy your mind – and observe how this feels and what may shift. Treat yourself with loving kindness during this process. <3