HEARTBREAK, UNREQUITED LOVE AND THE ROAD AHEAD
I have been wondering all this week what to share with you. Things around haven’t been exactly bright and sunny, and the mood has rubbed on to me. But I don’t want to write about it. One, I’m not as well read and would rather leave it to the experts and two, because I’m not up to a discussion that might follow. So, I am choosing to talk about the matters o’ the heart. not exactly a happy topic but a universal one nonetheless- unrequited love and heartbreak.
Artists and poets the world over have talked about it. They may be guilty of exaggeration but those who’ve gone through a heartbreak will tell you that the heart ACTUALLY breaks. It may sound romantic but it definitely does not feel like one. There’s no such thing more exquisitely painful than love that is not reciprocated.
The terms, ‘heartache’ and ‘wounded heart’ do have a basis. It is like a searing pain that pierces the heart. Somewhat like the breaking of bones, not one but a lot of them and all of them at once. It feels like falling in a deep abyss, a bottomless pit from where there is no way out. The worst aspect is the hit that our self-esteem takes and how we tend to blame ourselves.
This is the time we need to be kind to ourselves. The pain and hurt requires nurturing. It’s a bumpy path to recovery but the good news is that we survive and get past it… Past it NOT over it. We eat, we breathe, life goes on and we teach ourselves to live all over again.
Those who have loved and lost and lived to tell the tale will vouch for it that despite and in spite of the outcome, love changes us in ways nothing else can. There is always that tender spot like an Achille’s heel that reminds us of its presence.
“…unrequited love does not die; it’s only beaten down to a secret place where it hides, curled and wounded.”
-Elle Newmark, The Book of Unholy Mischief
Love, even if unrequited, doesn’t leave the room before teaching us a few things. It brings us face to face with rejection and we learn to deal with it albeit the hard way. It makes us aware of what we want and also what we don’t. The journey towards recovery is also a journey into within. It leads to self-discovery and like any other adversity it tells us who really care for us. Once we are past our grief, we are self-reliant and much more confident. And someone who has loved once will surely find love again. (Don’t question it, trust it)
A word of caution though. Ensure that this rejection is not a pattern. Is falling in love and getting rejected a cycle you have been through before? Honest introspection is required. If it is an oft repeated event, it is probably an indicator of the pain of childhood rejections or abandonments. And every rejection just reinforces our low opinion about ourselves. This spell needs to be broken before it damages a person’s ability to form healthy relationship.
And then there is our eternal quest for a logical closure. What’s worse than knowing you want something, and you can, and then never have it? The toughest aspect of unrequited love is accepting that there may be no closure. For all the pain and hurt and the pointlessness of unrequited love, as I have confessed here earlier too, Alfred Lord Tennyson’s words are the gospel of truth for me- ‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.’
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