Fall in Love, Stay There: Loving From Your Heart in the Face of Perceived Rejection
For some, falling in love is easy. It may take time to realize we love someone, but it can be one of the best feelings in the world. The hard part is staying in that sacred space of pure love that comes from the heart and not from a desire to change the other person. When we love another, it is only natural to wish the other will love us in return, the same way we love them. When things do not go as we wish, it is also easy to get into a state of bitterness, feeling that nothing in our lives will ever work out, or feeling anger toward the other person. However, it does not have to be this way.
When something does not go as desired, we do not have to be sad, take it personally, or feel like it is wrong. We have been conditioned to feel and think these ways, and I hope to help you find your way out of this conditioning with this article. If you feel jilted in love, this one is for you.
Detachment is not to be mistaken for apathy. Detachment comes from a true state of unconditional love. It does not mean we do not care what happens in life, but when we can be lovingly detached from a person, a thing, or an outcome, we do not experience utter self-destruction when something does not go as we would like. Detachment means the ability to be content, no matter what happens. So the underlying lesson here is that we must learn to find our contentment within ourselves and not hinge it on external circumstances.
You can learn much more about detachment by studying Buddhism, the Baha'i faith, and Taoism, or you can read Codependent No More by Melody Beattie.
When your contentment is based upon something going a certain way, you are attached to the idea of that outcome. Let's say you have it in your mind to go out to dinner with a friend, so you call them up, and they give you an uncertain answer: "Maybe I can go out later, but I am on call and may need to go into work." You tell your friend that's okay, but you clear your schedule for the evening anyway and base the rest of your decisions for that day on the idea that you will be going out with your friend later. Later, they call you and say they have to work, and your hopes and night are dashed. This is a mild example of attachment to an outcome.
Detachment becomes more difficult than canceled plans when you are attached to something because you believe having it will bring you feelings of happiness and self-worth. Many of us become stuck in beliefs that it will be impossible to be happy until we have the right job, relationship, or possessions. The key to becoming un-stuck is simple awareness.
"Detachment is not detaching from the person whom we care about, but from the agony of involvement." - Melody Beattie, Codependent No More.
Involvement, then, can be thought of as obsessing about the other person's feelings or wishing to influence them in some way. When you fully realize you cannot control how others feel about you, then you can relax and let go.
A Heart-Centered Approach
Love for another person - and that love feeling rejected - can quickly create a snarl of complicated feelings inside a person. We may respond with feelings of denial and a sense that, if only we were somehow better, this person would not have rejected us. This applies to all types of love, not just romantic, but I will focus on romantic love since it is a problematic area for many.
Many of us have felt the sting of revealing our feelings for someone only for them to tell us, whether with words or actions, that they did not feel the same way. We wonder why, where we went wrong, if we should have waited to tell them, if we should have done this or that, if we aren't good enough. The analytical mind will throw the most agonizing questions to keep us tossing and turning in the middle of the night, all for naught, since evidently we cannot change the other person's mind about us. But true love does not come from the mind; it comes from the heart.
Recent scientific evidence has suggested that the heart generates the body's most powerful electromagnetic field, which is sixty times stronger than that produced by the brain. When we are truly coming from our heart, we do not feel this same sense of stress and analysis that we encounter from a mind-based approach. One way to know whether or not you are truly coming from your heart is how much peace you feel. The heart does not try to "figure things out," and it most certainly will not tell you that you are not worthy, no matter how many people appear to reject you (when the truth is they may not be rejecting you, but only the idea of a romantic relationship with you).
Once again, you cannot control how another feels about you. You cannot possibly know all of their experience, the events and feelings of their lives that came before you. Life becomes more peaceful when you can stop taking the decisions of others personally and focus on what makes you happy that is not dependent upon other people.
If you are someone who gets a sense of self-worth and contentment mainly from relationships and how others feel about you, recognize that. Forgive yourself for anything you may or may not have done, and realize it is not up to you to "get" anyone's love. Love will flow to you naturally when you are following the path of your highest good, which you can only do when you understand yourself and your desires with clarity. I cannot tell you how to do this in one article, perhaps not even five, but there are wonderful resources everywhere, some of which I will link below.
Once you have forgiven yourself, ask yourself what you can do to create more good in your life. Give yourself things to look forward to or enjoy that are not dependent on anyone else's feelings or actions toward you. (If you feel paralyzed by feelings of worthlessness, it may be good to seek healing first.) Please realize that this is a gradual process, and do not be hard on yourself if you cannot do these things immediately. Realize that you can get into a state where you create good with ease, and be willing to go through the time it takes to get there.
Examples of things you can do to create good are practically endless. I found that it helped me to make my work environment a space of greater joy - I changed the lighting to be softer and more pleasant, added mementos that remind me of joy, and played music more often. So you see, the things you do don't need to be groundbreaking, but often they can shift the energy for the better so much that they feel that way! Give yourself things to look forward to. Go to concerts or look up events in your area that seem interesting.
The funny thing in life is that, when you are following your greatest joy, people will gravitate to you naturally. You will feel more loved than ever before when you stop seeking love. However, you cannot do things just because you think people will love you more. Examine your intentions to make sure you are following desires because they will make you happy, no matter what anyone else thinks.
It is never wrong to love someone despite their response to it, or else this article would not be titled after a Rumi quote. If the relationship cannot be what you want, accept that without feeling the need to make anyone wrong. Human relationships are complex, and though many of us live in monogamy, we carry around feelings for others outside our relationship even if we do not act on this. It is not always possible to be around those we love, even those we maintain good relationships with - family, friends, teachers, healers, soulmates. There are many people that I would love to see on a daily basis, but time, money, and circumstances prevent this. That does not make our relationship any less valid. Keep your mind open to possibilities with a focus on the positive ones, and do what you can to instill a greater sense of faith in a loving God, life, and yourself.
© 2018 Holley Hyler