Protecting Your Heart

If you’ve ever suffered through a broken heart, you know it’s not fun. In fact, it has been the cause of the singular greatest pain in my lifetime, especially when it ends early. When there are still so many what-ifs. Ending a relationship is rarely easy, for either party, but ending an unexplored relationship is the worst.

The greatest heartbreaks of my life came after relatively short relationships, both under a year. Whereas the breakup with my ex-finace, while not pleasant, was no where near as devastating. I think it’s because we tried for so long, and it was just obvious that we weren’t going to work. It wasn’t that we didn’t love each other. We did. We still do, actually. Still friends nearly 20 years later. But those unexplored relationships, full of so much potential, those are the hardest for me.

I would imagine that a marriage or long-term relationship ending because of a betrayal would be worse. The loss coupled with betrayal is always worse. I’ve seen people shattered over such a loss, so I’m not saying that long relationships aren’t hard, even devastating, but when they end naturally, rather than in betrayal and deception, it’s usually due to fading over a number of years.

Still. Not fun.

After the grief, it will once again be time to find love. Or, perhaps, love finds you, as is usually the case. When you’re not looking for it. After suffering through a devastating heartbreak, we might feel the need to protect ourselves from being so hurt again. It’s only natural after all, to avoid pain. Still, we must take care not to protect ourselves so much that we don’t allow love in at all.

This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes. It was said by fellow Blue Moose Press author and dear friend Robert Stikmanz:

“If you don’t leave room for the unexpected to express itself in your life, you close yourself off from the possibility of miracles.”

We must be somewhat cautious at the same time, however. You might meet someone new to whom you are greatly attracted. Unlike anything you’ve ever known, or at least, could remember. And with all those sexy, hot hormones raging in your brain, it could very well feel like love very quickly. But remember, you just met this person. You have no idea who s/he really is yet. Yes, they’re exciting and beautiful and seem very, very nice. In fact, they’re wonderful in every possible way…that you can see. It takes time to get to know someone and when hormones are running high, our reality is skewed. We’re more likely to overlook potential warning signs. So, we must force ourselves to slow down. Not stop. Not by any means, but to slow down.

For example, its very easy to sit and listen to love songs all day when you’ve got a new romance, fantasizing about the next time you’re going to see them again or remembering the last time you saw them. Imagining their lips on yours. Feeling their hands caressing you. Hearing their voice say your name. Dreaming of your future together and all the what-ifs that go along with that.

Well, don’t.

This done too early in a budding relationship can be very, very detrimental if it doesn’t work out. By doing this too much, you’re creating little maps in your brain that are extremely hard to break if things go badly. So, when you catch yourself daydreaming about your new lover. Stop. Enjoy the thought, then put them out of your mind and get back to work. Don’t worry. They’ll be back there before long anyway. Just try not to dwell on it and get lost in fantasies for too long. By doing this, you’re creating them in your head, rather than learning who they really are.

I’m not saying don’t think about them at all. Enjoy it! The feeling of falling in love is like no other! Listen to love songs. Daydream. Just…keep it manageable. At least until you get to know each other better. Make sure s/he’s kind and loving. Make sure they’re honest and trustworthy before giving yourself completely to them. And make sure you’re falling in love with a person, not your fantasy of the person.

But do, by all means, fall in love.

For, yes, there might be heartbreak, but that means there was love. And love is rarely a bad thing.

So, here I go again, too. Risking my heart, because love is worth it.

~ by omgrey on June 29, 2011.

4 Responses to “Protecting Your Heart”

  1. Very well said. I couldn’t agree more.

  2. Once again Grey, you’ve got it right. And I love the Stikmanz quote! Over-protection can be just as damaging as reckless love. Realistic love, healthy love is such a paradox sometimes. I am finding in my own experiences that nothing is wrong with my intensity to live & love IF I keep it well balanced between myself and my Significant Other(s). To say that another way, my love & intensity should be a bit self-serving; taking care of self & loving self, making sure my own identity, maturity is all evolving. I can be a bit eccentric in that but I’m okay if I can laugh at my own mistakes & misfortunes – which do happen! I also want to give the same to her, not in a controlling or suffocating way, but as ONE agent or facilitator of several or many in her life, attentitive to her evolution — and somehow doing all that in the paradoxical method of Oneness by Two-ness. HAH! Figure that one out! 😉

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