Home > abandonment > When You’ve Loved and Lost – What to do with all the Love?

When You’ve Loved and Lost – What to do with all the Love?

Someone writing into my website asked a penetrating, thoughtful question:

“Dear Susan, In your chapter on Transcending, we learn about the `Higher Purpose of Love.’ “Is the Higher Purpose of Love, in general, that which is more than just wanting to be loved by someone special?”

The answer, of course, is Yes, but what is implicit in the question is: How on earth do you DO that? How do you take love so intense that it burns a hole in your heart – love for a person who wants no part of you – and convert this yearning, burning love into the “higher purpose” kind?

Surviving a Mortal Wound
The answer to the question may be “Yes” but giving that answer automatically breaks empathy with the person going through heartbreak because it becomes one of those easier said than done aphorisms. When you’re aching for someone who’s abandoned you, hearing a simplistic prescription makes you feel even more helpless and isolated. You’re struggling to survive what feels like a mortal wound, certainly not feeling emotionally prepared to snap your fingers and become an enlightened swami.

Back up. Wait a minute. Simplistic, extreme, radical, outlandish, yes. But when you take a moment to stop protesting the awful reality of being left, you get in touch with a strength you didn’t know you had – a strength that allows you, at least for a moment, to ‘face life on life’s terms.’

Protesting is a Universal Stage of Grief
Protesting is a universal stage of grief. It’s something we all go through and some of us are feistier and more stubborn about it than others. The truth is that protesting a loss doesn’t change its reality and only perpetuates the pain.

Trying to Change the Unchangeable?
When you catch yourself railing against the reality of your situation – digging in your heels to ward off having to accept what’s happened – and realize how futile your efforts are, you get in touch with your ability to calmly face facts and ask yourself what choice you really have. You can either continue gnashing your teeth and wringing your hands or you can use the same energy to Rise To The Occasion. What occasion? The occasion of taking the love that is bursting out of your heart for someone you have lost– love that has no place else to go – and convert it into the kind of love you can give to yourself and the world around you. This love is a transforming kind of love – a generalized, self-empowering kind of love that isn’t for one special person, that just IS.

This is love that you will first give to yourself as you would an oxygen mask on an airplane, and then bestow its life-saving sustenance on your loved ones.

How to Begin the Process
Converting love for an ex into love for oneself becomes possible only when you begin facing (and stop protesting) the simple, but painful reality that you no longer have that person to focus your love on. Who else but yourself to make the object of your love? This self-love thing is probably long overdue for you, anyway. You’re handy, that’s for sure – and most likely have nothing better to do emotionally. When you get the self-love thing going, it gives you a new beginning. As your self-love gains momentum, it automatically spreads to others.

To Be Continued…tune in tomorrow.

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