Friday, February 22, 2008

Love Unrequited

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 ☺ .

photo © geezer dude


Sue said...

Ahhh, longing and love. Well, for me at the moment, I'm trying to turn OFF that stream :) I use being in love with unobtainable people as a way to stop myself creating. Sad but true (my inner block artist will try anything to stop me creating, but she is losing her power lately :)

I don't tend to agree that God was lonely and therefore created man - how could God have anything missing outside of his/herself? I tend to think these days that God created man to share his love, not because he needed to get more from us but anyway, I digress (I just couldn't help inserting that little soapboxing, which has nothing at all to do with what you're talking about, really, but there you go, my mind is a bit scattered :)

When I read about your dream, my first thought was wondering whether the truck driver was God or Jesus or whatever. I love dreams - suddenly you're on the top of a semi, and there's nothing weird about that :) Ahhh, the fluidity of dreams :)

Anonymous said...

lucy, this is a lovely and thoughtful post. My first response was to the dream as well and I also wondered if the truck driver was perhaps a God figure. If it were my dream I would ask where I put boundaries on the love that God offers to me so tenderly. Funny how when we dream of being attracted to another (other than our beloved) our ego self is quick to say, oh I would never do that. And yet the dream operates on such a different level, and is for me into greater intimacy with myself, God, and others as you say. In the others I would include friends and lovers, as well as those on the margins, and also the created world.

When I teach my spirituality classes I tell students that one way to tell whether they are having an "authentic" experience of God is whether the experience expands their capacity for love.

For myself, I will add that the unconditional love of my husband went such a long way early in our marriage to healing the wounds I had from an unloving father. I experience God's love most concretely in that relationship.

Love to you dear friend!

Country Parson said...

I'm not sure what requited love might be. The word itself implies an exchange of some kind; I love you but I expect and believe you owe me the return of similar love for me. I suspect that for human love to be requited the root meaning of the word has got to change to include a generous dose of mutual forgiveness, in all the depth of its meaning, and the sublimation of other desires to the sheer joy of mutual giving and receiving of each other. The requited love of which we speak is complicated, and no doubt involves unrequited episodes of love with family and friends of our youth, but I think we intend it to mean enduring romantic love between adults. Paul, in his stumbling way, had something profound to say when he wrote to the Corinthians that the man is not the ruler of his own self, he shares that with his wife, and the woman is not the ruler of her own self, she shares that with her husband. Paul was not married himself and admitted it was pretty much a mystery to him, but I think he got the core of the thing right.

Anonymous said...

"the pearl mills around the irritant while it is being formed."

This just speaks to me so much of how God helps us to grow in love and sanctity, how we are formed by the day-to-day struggles - that the irritants have a purpose, to teach us more and more about love.

brianinorlando said...

dang--just left a comment and somehow it didn't go through. Oh well, marvelous words to ponder, Lucy. The short of it: I'm rather caught in the truth of the bind that you speak of. Am probably leaning most on the relationship with God, though, at present, no doubt due to exp's in the other two realms. Is that weakness or strength?:)... Hope you are enjoying wherever in the world you happen to be having your musings right now.

Kayce aka lucy said...

Sue--"God created man to share his love"...that speaks to me of desire for relationship which is where i think our deepest longings are.

Sue & Christine--thanks for your perspective on the dream. my "father" was a truck driver...seems fitting that God would show up in this way.

CP--i hear the paradox of how do two become one and still be individual? also God being fully God and fully man in the person of Christ. the trinity... all so paradoxical :-)

gabrielle--nice to "hear" your voice. i battle often with the idea of "purpose" in those irritants. i know it is true and i wish it did not always have to be so (that we the irritants are so fully with us!)

brian--hi! i know that for myself personally i move around between the choice of three...i guess it's good to know we have more than one option. (when in reality, i think they all originate from the same source, but it still can feel like we have options :)

K. said...

Thank you for this. ~K.

Kayce aka lucy said...

k. you are welcome. i would be most interested to hear your thoughts on this if you are willing to share :)

Anonymous said...


I must admit that i've been lurking around your blog since your adoring husband turned me on to it following our recent NYC rendezvous. You are correct...he DOES adore you. And i can very clearly see why.

Your blogging is exhilarating in its openness and its free-flowing energy. I find these to be rare qualities to be found in the written word in this day and age. But you nail them squarely and consistently.

Unrequited love was one of my fav past-times in my earlier days. A strange form of confused masochism methinks.

Now i try to live from the place where LOVE is what I AM and not something that i can "do" or that can ever be "done." Perhaps this can be claimed from the transitive property of being seeing that I am an expression of God and God is love ergo I AM love?

So for me...loving me is something that I must do and no one else. Its MY job. And that is sweetly and tightly wrapped in the loving presence of God that is my essence. No separation!! Does that make any sense? I could wax on this endlessly but don't get me started.

Here's one of my favorite aspirational quotes when it comes to unrequited love: "Everyone I meet is in love with me. I just don't expect them to realize it yet." It's a wonderful game.

Big Hugs to you Lucy,


Kayce aka lucy said...

brettram--well, after all that "lurking" i am glad you finally decided to show up and say hello :)

thank you for your kind words about my writing. it's kind of like breathing for me, i just have to keep doing it. so, it is an added benefit to know that someone else might find enjoyment in it.

i like your words "LOVE is what I AM and not something that i can "do" or that can ever be "done." AND your quote is marvelous!!! i have a similar little game i play with myself, but i think this may be my motto as i venture off to paris.

hope you will stop by again. i would love to hear more of what you have to say!