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Usually, when we talk about undesired emotions, we refer to emotions that are considered negative, such as hatred, jealousy, frustration, and depression.
Recently, I’ve learned that it is actually more common for people to suffer from undesired love than from any other emotion.
Love is considered to be the most beautiful and pure feeling. So why does it make us suffer? Why do so many of us love others unwillingly? Why don’t we have any control over whom we love?
When we talk about pure love, we refer to unconditional love—a spiritual love. Romantic love is not unconditional, on the contrary. If we love someone who doesn’t love us back, or even does not love us the way we want to be loved, we suffer. It is true that at the highest level of evolution, we give love without needing to receive love, but we need to be a Buddha for that. As long as we are human beings, we want to be loved back by the people we love.
There are many situations in which we might find ourselves loving someone we don’t really want to love. It might be that the other person does not show us love. Maybe we and/or the other person are committed to other relationships. These types of love are uncomfortable. Even though they might be exciting, most people would prefer to be able to choose not to love when their love can’t be fulfilled.
Astrological synastry charts show how two charts meet, connect, strengthen, and challenge each other. In most cases, if we check the synastry chart for us and the person we unwillingly love, we find a strong indication of love and attraction. When we understand that we love the other person because of the stars, the universe, our karma, and the other person’s karma, we can let go of any feelings of guilt or shame related to our love.
It is not your fault.
If we trust that the world is a kind world, that there is no joke involved, like Chögyam Trungpa describes one of the highest evolutionary stages in his book, The Lion’s Roar, we learn to trust our heart; our love is somehow a good thing. We might not get exactly what we want from it, but we might grow and evolve through it in ways we did not expect.
Many years ago, I was in love with a man. I believed he had feelings for me, but the expression of his feelings was so subtle, energetic, and unspoken that I could never be sure. My therapist at the time thought I was deluding myself. In retrospect, I realized that my therapist had made me feel stupid and disconnected. As a result, I not only learned that I needed to suppress my emotions, but I also learned not to trust my intuition. Only later in life, I found that this man did have feelings for me, but he was not willing to admit it to himself.
Never suppress your feelings; it is going to make you sick.
Never think that you are deluding yourself. Trust your intuition.
If you love someone, there is a good reason for it. Trust your heart. It is better to suffer due to unfulfilled love than to not trust your heart. If you trust your heart, it will eventually lead you to a love that is good and fulfilled. If you don’t, you’ll never get there.
Based on my personal experience and my work with my clients, I found two helpful methods for dealing with undesirable love.
One is Tonglen practice that I learned from Pema Chödrön’s book When Things Fall Apart. This practice has helped me get through all kinds of suffering. You breathe in the pain and breathe out healing to all other people who experience the same type of pain. The practice reminds us not to run away from pain but to accept and embrace it as an essential part of the human experience. Then, we connect with all other humans and see the bigger picture. It reminds us that we are interconnected; we are not alone in our suffering.
Another great practice is allowing space for our feelings. The main problem with loving unwillingly is that we keep thinking about the other person, longing for him or her, fantasizing situations in our mind, and having imaginary conversations. This is a problem. Instead of being present in our life, we deplete our energies while nothing good comes out of it.
In my opinion, trying not to think about it does not help. Not thinking about it means suppressing our feelings. It puts us in a constant war with ourselves, which is even more depleting than thinking about it. I suggest that we put some thought into the matter, get insights, decide on the right course of action. But when our mind becomes a broken record, repeating itself over and over again, stop for a moment and try to notice what you feel.
Is there a certain place in your body where you feel something? Is it expansion or contraction? Is it heavy or light? Is it warm or cold? Investigate the physical manifestation of your feelings. This is the best way to allow room for your emotions. The more you practice this, your feelings will subside. They will become a creative force in your life.
You can even go further and expand these two practices into a full, long meditation. There is nothing like a good meditation to quiet the mind and the heart.
Finally, I strongly suggest being in honest communication with whoever is involved. Honesty clears the path from obstacles and allows things to happen in a way that supports the higher good of everyone.