“Love is never wasted, for its value does not rest upon reciprocity.” — C.S. Lewis
Great love involves great risk. To love anyone, whether that be a romantic partner, family member, a friend, or even a project, cause, or object, calls for us to be vulnerable and willing to open our hearts. That’s why real love requires courage and faith.
Over our lifetimes, we throw the dice of love, hoping for a favorable outcome. Sometimes we get lucky, and the object of our affections returns our love. But we won’t always be that fortunate. We find ourselves alone for several reasons — a breakup or a divorce, an unrequited or one-sided love, the passing of a loved one, or the dissolution of a friendship.
One of the worst feelings in the world is loving someone who doesn’t love you back or can’t express their emotions. The 17th century English poet, Abraham Crowley, captured this sentiment when he wrote:
“A mighty pain to love it is,
And ‘t is a pain that pain to miss;
But of all pains, the greatest pain
It is to love, but love in vain.”
I’ve experienced this pain at a visceral level. The agony of the pangs of longing and desire can leave a gaping hole in one’s chest, where love once moved freely. In the throes of love, we truly believe a connection is fated, making the heartbreak that much worse. The pain makes our heart chakra shut down, preventing love from flowing again.
Coping by distraction and avoidance is not a solution or resolution. It will only stop abundance from flowing into our lives. Loving others is fundamental to being human. The experience of being in love allows us to explore deeper dimensions of life and makes us come alive. It elevates our consciousness so that we can see the world through the lens of humanity.
What most people don’t realize is that falling in love is not the problem. It’s how we love. Most of us don’t know how to love because of our mindsets. Society has conditioned us to believe that for love to be worthwhile, it has to follow a fairytale narrative and have a happy ending. It needs to be reciprocated by the other party in equal measure for it to count. If it doesn’t, it’s a waste.
Relationships aren’t that straightforward. They don’t follow clear, linear, predictable trajectories; instead, they’re messy and full of ups and downs. We’ve even come up with a new word to describe such scenarios: situationships. Situationships are essentially relationships that haven’t been defined. Conditional love (where we expect reciprocity), has everything to do with the ego. It confuses love with emotional dependency. What makes love hurt is our attachment to a specific outcome that we think will fill a void or need.
Transformative love, on the other hand, occurs at a soul level. We rid ourselves of the burden of expectation. Others may not love us back in the way we want them to. Loving ourselves makes loving others from the soul level easier. We don’t expect others to complete us because we already feel whole within. We won’t fall prey to the fickle and unpredictable nature of our affections as we have gained mastery over our hearts.
Unselfish, pure, and genuine love once given, is never wasted because it transforms us. We can look back to our past connections with a sense of gratitude because of the opportunity it provided to express our generosity in our own unique way. It’s the same outpour of admiration we feel when we marvel at nature. We don’t expect the stars, the sun, or the ocean to tell us they love us back. Basking in the warmth of our feelings is enough.
Loving from our souls is never wasted. The Sufi mystic Rumi echoed this truth when he said, “I love you neither with my heart nor with my mind. My heart might stop, my mind can forget. I love you with my soul because my soul never stops or forgets.”
Here are four reasons why your love is never wasted:
1. You become stronger and more resilient: Love, whether reciprocated or not, makes us stronger. When it’s mutual, it nourishes and supports our growth. When it’s unrequited, we have an opportunity to develop resilience to get through the sadness and disappointment. The pain associated with the loss of a relationship destroys any trace of false foundations based on ego and fear. It requires us to look within ourselves and rebuild everything from a genuine place.
2. You learn more about yourself: All relationships are mirrors of our inner state. When we like someone, it’s because they have qualities we find appealing and attractive. The fact that we value those traits gives insight into our own character. Relationships bring out sides of us that are seldom expressed in other parts of our lives. Some are pleasant, like kindness and generosity, while others are less so, such as irritability and the need to control. When in love, our insecurities surface, as well as the inner wounds that haven’t been healed and attended to.
3. Love makes you feel good and raises your vibration: Love is a powerful drug. When we’re in a state of love, our body releases feel-good hormones like oxytocin that produce a range of health benefits. When the initial rush of excitement, passion, and romance fades away, it’s replaced by the security and comfort that a healthy committed relationship brings. In this loving vibration, our energy resonates at higher frequencies that lift us to elevated states of consciousness. There we can access joy, respect, and compassion. In this high-vibe state, we attract abundance and positivity in the form of opportunities and people who can lift us up.
4. It makes you generous and compassionate: People who are rude, mean, or commit acts of violence do it because they lack love both for themselves and others. Love is the balm that will soothe our pain and make us want to do the same for others. Feeling love from within makes us more giving and kind. It empowers us to express compassion, tolerance, forgiveness, and generosity and align our actions with those feelings and values.
Perhaps the greatest gift of loving someone is that it instills a sense of optimism and hope. The Disney character Cinderella continued to believe that “a dream is a wish your heart makes,” despite the abuse she endured in her own house. She held onto her wishes because she held onto grace and hope. If we follow in her footsteps and keep love in our hearts, no matter what happens along the way, the doorway to our dreams will eventually open.
All my best on your journey,
Question for you: What do you like most about being in a state of love? How does being in this space impact you and your perspective in life?
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