in: Dating & Relationships

Why Saying Yes to Love is Saying Yes to Pain

Annie Lalla

Sometimes, our pain serves to crack our hearts open so they grow big enough to love bigger.


For those of you who want deep love, but are afraid of risking disappointment and pain, here’s something I’ve been learning: to say yes to love is to say yes to pain.

There’s pleasure in romance, of course—in my opinion it’s the highest form available to human beings.

But every love story has a price and usually, it’s the cost of opening your heart fully. Naked and raw, an undefended heart can break at the tiniest gesture…an un-returned text, an averted gaze or a absent smile.

I’ve finally managed to find my soul mate at 38 years young; we fell in love, got married and now have a baby girl. We do our best to understand each others pain (failing only when our symmetrical wounding impedes co-empathy).

Yet still, my heart breaks daily in myriad microscopic ways.

Sometimes, my husband’s tone has just enough impatience to send me into rejection; his sudden need for ‘alone time’ can, on occasion, feel like a dagger in my heart.

If I reach for his hand and he misses my bid for affection, I might be crushed.

A walk through the bathroom in new panties without his noticing can take down my esteem.

Micro heart breaks lurk everywhere when you’re inside a relationship.

Bigger heart breaks court you as well, especially if you’re in love. At times, it feels as if your romance was custom built by reality to see how far your heart can stretch to hold more terror, sadness, fear and ecstasy.

Strangely enough, the more in love we are, the deeper the heart breaks—no matter how sensitive and loving a relationship, disappointment and pain are just part of the game.

Over time, my disappointment became the realization that I have unexpressed expectations of my partner that he’s not privy to. My pain is often funded by some ancient I’m-not-good-enough story that lives in my head looking for evidence in his behaviour, rather than a failure of love on his part.

I’ve noticed the more I breathe into and stay with the actual surfacing of ‘pain’ in my body—the somatic sensations—and not get waylaid by the story about my feelings in my mind (mental explanation and justifications), the less the pain lingers and haunts me.

What if every heartbreak was some form of misunderstanding?

My experiential research continually supports this idea—that romantic pain often arises from an incorrect assumption about our partner, an unverified story being held as true.

Once their missing perspective is added and understood, the wince of pain and disappointment gives way to new levels of intimacy.

C.S.Lewis says it well:

“There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your protection. But in that casket—safe, dark, motionless, airless—it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.”

If heartbreak is a fundamental facet of true love, can we bring more courage, power and faith to the broken moments?

And if we did that, do you think we would feel more alive?

When you go to the gym and rip your muscle tissue by lifting weights, it grows back bigger and stronger; the heart is a muscle, too.

Every heartbreak increases its size, strength and capacity to hold more love.

In the end, heartbreak is the primary access to epic romance—so milk every inch of that pain for your own learning and development.

Someday, if you keep the faith, you will feel in your bones the unmistakable truth…that what you get from being in love is not only worth ALL the heartbreak, it’s because of it.

 

This article was publish on AnnieLalla.com; republished with the kindest permission. 

[image: via shutterstock]

 

About the Author:

Annie Lalla Annie Lalla

As a Relationship Coach, Annie maps out the complexities of feeling & expressing emotions. Specializing in love, sex & conflict resolution, Annie has created a suite of practical tools that help clients resolve unloving patterns, develop romantic esteem, diffuse conflict, assuage shame/blame and cultivate deep, resilient relationships that last a lifetime. To learn more about the amazing work Annie does, visit her website, AnnieLalla.com.

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