Of Unrequited Love and Emotional Independence


“It was all love on my side, and all good comradeship and friendship on hers. When we parted she was a free woman, but I could never again be a free man.”
-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, “The Adventure of the Abbey Grange”

Dealing with unrequited love has never been easy. The heart-burning, soul-searing love may not be reciprocated in exactly the same way you wished it to be and that is understandably hard to accept. So how do you deal with it? Do you convince or try to talk that person into it? Or go all dramatic and push him away forever? Do you give yourself false hopes and wait for reciprocation? Or do you simply cut yourself aloof? Whatever be the path, none of it turns out to be a Bed of Roses.

When a heart breaks, the healing process is as natural as that of a physical injury. The first and foremost step to healing is “Acceptance”. The sooner you accept the reality, the faster you move on. I remember, when my grandfather passed away, I sat beside him praying for a miracle that might bring him back but soon reality dawned in that he was never coming back. Unrequited love is quite similar. Most of us live with a hope that the other person might change his/her mind and give in to the love. Honestly, that is purely living in denial and false hopes. Of all the things in the universe, love cannot and should not be forced. Hence the best way to nurse the broken heart is to accept the reality that the other person is never going to feel the same way. It is human tendency to re-read old text messages, analyse every verbal and physical action of the beloved, trying to find signs of hidden love. Do not do that. Rather, muster up courage and delete all the messages, every single one of them,  the ones which felt like love and the ones which didn’t.

Do not be too hard on yourself. Give yourself time to grieve, to mourn. Cry your heart out till you are left with no energy. You may end up blaming yourself, finding faults in yourself. Do not. Just because someone you loved could not love you back, it never meant you’re not good enough. Rather channel all the energy that you spent unconditionally loving that person into loving yourself. Distract your mind by pampering yourself, improving yourself. Start working out, practice yoga, get a haircut, learn a new language, make art – whatever that nourishes your soul. Love is a beautiful feeling and if you have been blessed enough to feel the passionate fire of love, consider yourself to be really lucky. As they say, it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. Wrap the feelings that you hold for your beloved  in a box along with all the beautiful memories and tuck it in a special corner of your heart.

Time is a beauty. It really is. And when you heal, you’ll be visibly stronger, emotionally independent, confident and more beautiful than you have ever been. Very soon, without shedding a tear, rather with a smile, you’ll find yourself listening to the song that he dedicated to you, walking on that road where he once walked beside you, reminiscing the good times spent together. The bitterness, anger, hurt would all be gone.

And once in a while, when you find his fragrance in the air, take a deep breath, take it all in, dwell in that smell for sometime and move on.

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