Daily Zen

How To Handle Unrequited Love

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We’ve all been there. You fall in love with someone and it turns out they don’t feel the same way about you. Unrequited love can sting like nothing else. Sometimes the emotional pain is so deep, it can last a lifetime for some people, and even beyond.

Why did the person reject you? Real love is deep, vulnerable, and sensitive. Opening up to real love involves a serious risk of being deeply hurt. For that reason, many people are afraid of intimacy, so they find all kinds of reasons to reject someone they really love. Perhaps they felt rejected by you first. Other times, it just isn’t a good match. There’s no real connection. A mismatch isn’t fun for anyone. It may have seemed like there was a connection, but relationships involve plenty of illusions, for better or for worse.

What’s the solution when you’ve been rejected and deeply hurt? Awareness. Awareness is the solution to pretty much everything. If you could look realistically at the person of your affection, you would see that they really aren’t as fabulous as you imagined. No human is that fabulous. That’s just the fantasy eyes doing the talking. When the romance illusion wears off, reality kicks in and their issues you thought were so adorable become rather annoying, or a major disappointment. Or… maybe that person is always shutting you out. Who really wants that?

You don’t need to be single to experience rejection. It happens all the time in relationships too.

Most couples sacrifice their soul in order to maintain a relationship. Those relationships can last for many long years. Those persons might even appear to be in love. But there is no soul. There’s no glimmer in their eyes. If you could read their energy, there’s nothing there to be jealous of, except a really good act. If you’re especially aware, you may never want to be in a human relationship ever again.

“Better to sit all night than to go to bed with a dragon.” 

     — Zen proverb

Now what? You could vow to never fall in love again, but deeply fulfilling soul connections are a fundamental aspect of human existence, on multiple levels.

Real love is an aspect of your true self, and therefore a very natural experience.

Real love requires both rejection and non-rejection: Rejection of false love which is just an act, and non-rejection of that which is true.

Non-rejection has to begin within. It has to start with your very own soul. You can’t experience a genuine connection with someone else unless you’re genuinely connected with your own genuine self. You can’t REALLY fall in love with another until you’ve also fallen in love with your REAL self and your own life, just as it is.

“All beings are the truth just as they are.” 

     — Zen proverb

Experiencing real love with another requires an authentic self-connection, for all parties involved.

After you’ve established a living connection with your own soul, you can feel that same love toward pretty much anyone, whether they reciprocate that love or not. You’re always going above your daily love quota because you’re in love with your job, your home, the clothes you wear, the foods you eat, the music you listen to, your friends, your mentors, and possibly any human or creature that crosses your path. Your heart is fully open, in a non-rejecting kind of way – which also naturally ‘rejects’ what isn’t just right for you.

One day, you might encounter another open soul to experience the adventures of life together in an intimate way. That can be a beautiful, special experience. And yet… whether that person is with you or not doesn’t make too much of a difference. First of all, soul connections are infinite. They last beyond the limitations of the material realm.

Secondly, when you’re in love with life, EVERYTHING is a beautiful, special experience. It’s possible to feel that deep, genuine, “I’m in love” connection any time, any place, with anything, and with anyone. Even right now. Open your heart, then take a look around you.