(Note: I am reposting some blog posts that are included in my newest book, Everything Is Included. More info and links to purchase the book are here.)
Q: How can I detach from the love I feel for this person who has no interest in my loving him or in how I feel? I feel this beautiful feeling and, yet, so contracted that I have a heavy knot in my chest and abdominal area all the time along with a sense of extreme sadness. How can I liberate this love from this binding attachment? I feel like a compass that always points to the North Pole: my awareness always holds the thoughts of this one person and the feelings for him. Is there any way out?
A: Rather than detaching, I would invite you to attach more firmly to the source of your attachment. All attachments we have are only attached at one end: in our own heart. We never successfully attach to something or someone else. And so all of the intense and beautiful feelings you are having are coming from inside of you, not from the other person.
In a sense, the only problem with your compass is that you have been following the wrong arrow or pointer. The desire you feel points to the other person, but what about the other pointer on the other end of the compass needle? Where is that other arrow pointing? What if you follow your desire back to its source instead of out to its object? Then you don’t need to detach or liberate or change anything about how you feel. All of the love and connection and intimacy you are seeking in someone else are already in the source of the intense desires you are feeling. You don’t need to love him less; in fact, you can love him one hundred or one thousand times as much as you already do. Let yourself be overwhelmed by this love. Find out how much you can truly love by letting it flow completely.
In this process, you will be filled with immense love, and that is what your desire is really all about. We all have a deep innate drive to experience more love. The mistake we make is that we seek it outside ourselves. The source is and always has been inside of you. You don’t really need a way out of loving him, just a way further into your own heart and the limitless love you find there.
Be gentle with yourself. Often the reason we don’t allow ourselves to feel the complete depths of love is because, at first, moving towards the source of our love increases the sense of heartbreak and sadness. The relief from these overwhelming and painful feelings comes when we go even further into their source, but that can feel like leaping into the fire. The good news is that at the center of the fire, there are only flames and no more pain or heartbreak. So give yourself some compassion and tenderness along the way. But the final result is always worth it. There is never too much love, and so the only true antidote to your sadness is to love even more.