Last night I dreamed that I was traveling. No surprise there, huh? I was trying to get back home and somehow I ended up on top of a semi-truck. I lowered myself from the top down into the cab where I encountered an amazingly kind driver. He promptly fell in love with me and while I was attracted to him, I kept my boundaries. We politely exchanged phone numbers and then he disappeared. In the dream, my heart continued to long for him. It was his kindness, I think, and the fact that he thought I was really special.
Upon awaking, I thought of this dream and a recent reader request came to mind where I was asked to consider the topic of “unrequited love.” I wondered if this longing was what my reader spoke of. The fairy tales of life. Beauty and the Beast. The story of Ragnelle. Cinderella…this list goes on. The longing for moments when we are truly known and seen through the eyes of another. Often there are no words spoken, it is just a heart “knowing.”
Can love ever be “requited”? What does that even mean? The dictionary defines requite as “making appropriate return for.” Clarity of love, denouement if you will, seems so fleeting. We can all point to times in a movie or story where the hero and heroine look into each others eyes and we see that they are in love, but it usually lasts so briefly. Such is the case with real life, too. I wonder...can we learn to carry those glimpses love with us inside to meet ourselves at our deepest need? Do we need another person in our life to feel that we are being met? While I believe that we are made for relationship, I see also that we often forget there are three principal kinds of relationship: 1) with others, 2) with God and 3) with self.
Relying solely on others only brings heartbreak, because being human brings failure along with it. God can satisfy if we allow ourselves to be open, but some would say even God was lonely and therefore created man. And then man was lonely, so woman was created. Then woman was lonely…A never ending cycle? Is it our curse to always be lonely? That is the paradox for in some regard, I am always alone AND if I believe in God, I am never alone.
Still, my dream showed me the longing. Even as I have strong self-esteem, a great connection with God, friends who love and support me as well as a husband who adores me, there is still the longing. Will love therefore always be “unrequited”? Or can we (must we, perhaps) choose to acknowledge those little moments of love with self, God, others and trust them to be enough? (Realizing that we may always long for more.)
Those moments of trust are strung together like pearls to form a necklace of love around our hearts. Individually they are precious, while hard to see at times. If we allow ourselves to string together the moments, we can see that we have been known. That we are known. Maybe your love is a single pearl ring. Or possibly still even in the oyster. A pearl starts with an irritant (usually a grain of sand) inside the oyster and just like a caterpillar must bump up against the cocoon to form strong wings, so the pearl mills around the irritant while it is being formed. In both cases (the pearl and the butterfly), it is from the struggle that beauty is born. It is my experience that nature does not lie. Is it in the struggle that love is requited?
Maybe I’m still dreaming or living in a fairy tale or out of my mind. Who knows? I would love to know your thoughts on longing and love—be it requited or not ☺ .
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