Today, to a recently ex-lover, I wrote:
Some talk of heartbreak, and I was thinking this morning that for me, it's worse than heartbreak. I feel my soul has shattered. Is there such a term as 'soulbreak'? You're right, I shouldn't feel this way, I should feel totally secure and whole in myself and never need another person to mirror my wholeness to me. I shouldn't need, I shouldn't want. But I do. It's real and profound, not something I can decide not to feel. What do I do with that?
I realize that this is how I am: I fall deeply, quickly, madly in love. Then the separation crushes me. But isn't the crushing simply the natural other side of the coin from feeling such love, giving so much of myself? Then should I not feel the love so deeply in order that I not feel the pain? Is that the answer? Why? Why should I not feel this deep, deep love for another, such that I would give him my soul, my everything? Is it really bad to feel that way? Is that why I've met so few men willing to open to me deeply? Because they're so afraid of this pain? The message we get is we shouldn't feel this way. But I do feel this way, it's who I am. I am so utterly giving that I give everything - even the bad stuff, even the insecurity and the fear and the anger. I hold back nothing. And isn't that the essence of all this enlightenment stuff? That if we are to be totally accepting of everything, that means EVERYTHING. The love and the laughter and the breakfast in bed, AND the sadness and the and the rage. I always thought of myself as not very passionate. But what if I am, actually, VERY passionate? I give everything, can hold nothing back.
The people around me seem so dead, so closed down. You weren't like that when we first met, and that's why I was so smitten with you. You allowed me to see your soul. Being closed off from it now is excruciating. it's like someone shut the blinds in a room on a bright sunny day. I understand why, but I miss the sunlight on my skin.
In writing this, I realized something profoundly. That my gift - also, my curse - is that I give so deeply of myself that I open myself up to deep wounding. That I give so deeply of everything I possess, even when it's painful or dark, that I can hold nothing back. I simply can't. It's not in my nature. In my realization, I felt the deep, very faint stirrings of true acceptance and love of myself.
I always thought of myself as a bumbling idiot on the path of love, not very passionate, not well-schooled in the art of love, not giving enough or confident enough or sexy enough or manipulative enough to find and keep a partner, and as a mind-blind person with very little psychic ability, and as someone so self-obsessed that others tend not to respond to me, tend to not want to connect. I always figured I'd have to get used to being alone, though my deepest wish has always been to have a life partner, a partner on this path.
And yet there are always the few people who do respond to me, do seem to see me as a valuable being, who respond surprisingly and don't seem put off by my fear of closeness, my constant emotional turmoil, my sometimes distance. I've never understood what those people see in me. Maybe my emotional generosity is the answer. Maybe the part of me that I always thought of as overwrought, overly emotional, pathetic and childlike is what people respond to when they respond to me. And maybe the fact that the people I connect with are few and far between is actually because in our culture, deep emotions and deep honesty are frowned upon, seen as self-indulgent, too uncomfortable and too potentially painful. But maybe that's my role: to feel and express deep emotion, to give everything, even the dark stuff, to practice not holding back, even when all the messages I get in our culture is to hold back, to move on, to get over it, to be happy and peaceful, to seek contentment, enlightenment. Maybe my attempts to pretend everything is OK even when everything is decidedly not OK, because that's what I think people want, is actually the wrong instinct.
What if my ability to feel this deeply, to be wounded in the heart over and over and yet to continue to open, is a gift and not a curse?