I don't think I've ever had a relationship that ended with a handshake. I'm not the type. I've heard of people who just fall out of love and walk away. Like Tipper and Al Gore. That's not me. At least, to date it hasn't been. My break-ups are decidedly of the Whitney Houston/Bobby Brown genre. Maybe not that bad.
I love with all of my heart. ALL of it. My love is large. I also have a habit of picking the same guy again and again - the wrong one. Avoidant, emotionally unavailable. They think they want me because I'm big and the light and the thing that they are not. They don't look ahead to what big looks like on bad days. I think I want them because if I could only turn that around, it would mean a lot about my worth. I don't look ahead to what avoidant looks like on my bad days. And the bad days cometh, and the relationship endeth. With a big messy bang.
While my relationships tend to end in verbal vomit, anger, and gratuitous drama, the thing about me is this: I'm a lover, not a fighter. Those awful things that drive the stake through the heart of the relationship, that smash it into a thousand little pieces, tend to fade very quickly into the background, and what tends to remain is a whole lot of love that doesn't have anywhere to go.
We tend to remember the good about our past lovers. Not the bad. We dwell on the good. "I'll never love someone like that again" or "I'll never find someone that made me feel that way," and those thoughts are almost always accompanied by a swelling of the heart. Until we move on, or until enough time passes, we can have a bit of unrequited love.
I found myself in this position recently as I said goodbye to another archetype. In my usual Holly fashion, I set it on fire with a blowtorch and then danced on the ashes. And then quite unfortunately, got over the anger quicker than ever. Fucking spirituality. So while the relationship has gone away...massive, intense, loving feelings remain.
I had to ponder this question very seriously, because it was and is still very seriously affecting me: What do you do when your heart beats and explodes for someone, and you can't deliver it to them? What do you do with unrequited love?
Here's what I came up with, and so far, it's working wonders.
First and foremost, I realized this simple fact: It's MY love. Not HIS love. That's right. That love I feel for that boy, it's not his love. He didn't create it in me. He didn't jump into my heart and crank the love generator. I created that love. That huge amount of feeling for another human being came from inside of me. HUGE. It's about ME and my capacity to love. Not HIM.
Second, I came to understand I am not stuck with that love. Since he didn't create it and I did, it translates that it's not just for him. I can use that love however I please. I can shine it out to anyone and everyone. It's generic. It's not specific.
Third, I knew I needed to do something productive with it. I came to think of it like a pint of ice cream sitting in my stomach - that love in my heart is REAL, it's ENERGY, and it needs to be USED UP. If I sit around and hold onto it - hold it for someone who doesn't want it - it becomes extremely painful. Like the fat ice cream becomes on our belly, the unused love in our heart becomes scar tissue. Stabbing, life-force-sucking scar tissue. It needs to be turned out. Burned up. It's literally a calorie. A love calorie.
As soon as I got clear on these three things and put them into practice, it made the pain of this breakup not only bearable, but enjoyable. Sounds weird, but it's true. Every time I think of that cute avoidant mother fucker and his cute little face and way, my heart swells and grows full of love energy. But instead of crying over it, giving him credit for it, missing him, falling onto the floor and screaming, etc., I am instead simply in awe of my capacity to love.
So I shoot those beams of love energy out into the ether. To my mom, to my friends, to myself, to my work, to everyone and everything that needs it and will receive it. Even a little to that cute avoidant mother fucker. I burn that shit and get on with my day.