It’s hard to ignore, “the heart wants what the heart wants.” It’s hard to let go of “follow your heart.” Especially if your mind is telling you otherwise. Screaming, “Girl run the other direction.” There are no blueprints for the right direction. No maps or instructions telling you what choice to make. Nothing guiding you. You’re left to your own devices; yourself and your intuition at play. I imagine illustrations of the head and the heart are similar to an angel and devil sitting on opposite shoulders. Neither one of them telling you the same thing. Simultaneously, neither one is entirely wrong. Which one do you listen to?
What aids you in that choice? Is picking one over the other truly the best course of action? Can’t there be a way to combine them? Put them in a room together until they get along.
I recently watched a video about unrequited love. A quick one minute and thirty seconds that popped up on my FB feed. I almost scrolled right past it. Something inside me said, “Gabriella I think you need to watch this one.” To be honest I scroll past most videos people share. (Hello, there’s a lot of them) I’m glad I felt compelled to press play on this particular one. Unrequited love seems to be a reoccurring theme in my life. It pops up ALL the time. More than I’d care to admit. Just when I thought I’d heard it all, the speaker in this video said something that resonated strongly with me. “You can’t sit there and love someone in isolation. That’s not love.” There it was, the slap in the face I needed to hear. A thought that had never crossed my mind until that moment. A thought I sadly wish would have before. A thought I think would have saved me heartache.
It the spirit of honesty, the speaker is right. Loving someone is not sitting alone in your bedroom creeping on their social media hoping they will sense you staring at their Instagram profile for the tenth time that day. Loving someone is not analyzing every word of every tweet wondering if one of them might be about you. It is not hiding behind social media likes. That is not saying you care, that just proves you know how to click or double tap. Loving someone is not laying in bed an entire Saturday crying because you don’t know what to say to them. Loving someone is not waiting idly for an opportunity to slip back into their life after they break up with someone. It’s not keeping their sweatshirt folded in your closet hoping you will have a reason to wear it again.
Loving someone is communication. It’s showing up to their house with a cup of coffee, after crying for two days straight, and saying “hey let’s talk about this.” Loving someone is showing up, being present in their life. Loving someone is verbally telling them “I care about you” even if the possibility of their reaction scares you to death. As one of my favorite authors says, “Don’t let fear drive the car.” Love is illustrating to them you want to be a constant in their life. Them a constant in yours. It is making truth to the promises you made them. Not ifs, ands, or buts about it.
Unrequited love has this whimsical romantic notion. Where does that get us? It sounds beautiful, like a fairy tale. That is the connotation we’ve given it. Yet, it is one person seeking the affection of another who does not give a damn about them. I will admit I have always thought it oh so romantic. I am starting to change my tune. How long can a person go on “loving” someone without telling them? It breaks you down. It beats you up. It is like your own personal form of bullying. Let me tell you, it sucks. We all deserve the love that we so freely give to others. You may love them, but you must love yourself first. Not being honest with them or yourself is the opposite of that.
Listen to your heart, but don’t beat it up. Do not give it bruises that take an eternity to heal. It is difficult to be torn between letting them go and fighting for what you want. There is no black or white decision in that scenario. It is one extra large grey area. I usually love the color grey but not in this case.
Our minds spin in circles. What do you listen to, your heart, your head, your thoughts, your favorite romantic comedy, your emotions, your mom, your friends, a buzzfeed article, your coworkers, the lyrics to your favorite song? The possibilities are endless. I believe in time our souls know how to heal. The real challenge is silencing your mind.
A re-evaluation of this whole “unrequited love” thing needs to happen. Giving it control is an option we should no longer entertain. It might not happen overnight.
I hope one day we all find the courage to give unrequited love a swift kick in the ass. We all know it needs it.