I go to great pains to differentiate between love and ego. Love being defined as stillness, a mindless experience. Expectations being the mark of the ego, which includes all your thoughts, experiences, beliefs and desires. These expectations become hard to question because they are the teachings of very important institutions. We empower institutional religions because it is hard to be original; it is hard to think for ourselves. Very often priests will claim they have the knowledge that is passed down from God. This is a really confusing thing as everybody has a different teaching, and therefore a different God. Really, the love of God, creator, was born in every heart, and the ego twists it into laws and rules.
A broken heart cannot exist unless you are withholding love. This can be confusing because how can you love someone who hurt you, broke your trust? But you need to see these as two separate things. One is love, what is hurting you, holding you back. The other is your pain, which is caused by the assault on your expectations.
There is a big difference between pain and suffering. Pain is when you cut your hand. You don't worry about your hand if you know it will get better. Suffering is when you're not sure that it will heal, and you worry about what is going to happen. If you block the love, then there is suffering. If you deal with the assault on your expectations then there is pain, and with the right treatment, you know it will get better. That is the difference. The suffering person is holding back love. The person in pain is not holding back love but is dealing with an injury to their ego.
Now this is of vital importance if you are truly wanting to fall in love again. The person who is holding back love for one person in the past cannot fully release it to another because they are afraid of that suffering. So they remain broken hearted but try to get on with their lives. This just doesn't work.
What you judge, you breed in a child, attract in a partner or become. So the past haunts us, as we have said before. If you can't love the past, then you are simply running away from a person while carrying all the baggage.
So, there are two issues. One is to love the person who hurt you. You loved them before, so you can love them now. And the second issue is to deal with the pain or shattered expectation (emotions). So, emotionally at least, we must learn how to heal wounds and become innocent, to surrender all the fears, ambitions, paranoia and phobias that we have accumulated in order to truly become present and fall in love again.
Whatever your situation in life, love must feature in the formation of your world. This love should be as fresh, free, and as far-reaching as the morning breeze. It must be warmed by the sunshine so that your life can be warmed by the celebration of love.
The person who hurt you most is no doubt the person you love most, thus the greatest suffering and the greatest pain are often in that one circumstance. Your ego will explain a thousand reasons why you shouldn't love them. But you do. Admit that, cry, fall, surrender to it. There is no need to act; love is not an action, it is a lack of action, love is the void, there is just sunshine. You felt it before and you can feel it now. There is no need to possess the object of your love. In fact, to love is to let go. Truly, the end result of true love is to wish that person happiness, whether you are there or not.
Finally, you must know the sunshine that is love does not come to you. This is not about winning a lover back. No, you are the sun. The sunshine of love comes from you. This is the final confusion. We wait to find love, to share love, to celebrate love, to be in love. But we are screwed because love does not come to you, it comes from you. You cannot be loved. You can only love. So, when you are in suffering you have stopped loving, and their love has nothing to do with it.
Only your ego is stopping you. Yes, the one who hurt you is the one you must love in order to rise above that ego, because the most hurt is where your ego is most constructed. Shatter it. I dare you. Shatter your ego and see how much love you have. There is the sunshine, there is your life.
Chris is an international change agent and keynote speaker on self leadership and personal change. He runs treks to the Nepal Himalayas each year leading groups and entrepreneurs on self-discovery journeys to the two highest trekking peaks in the world. Chris lives in Sydney Australia where you'll find him practising natural meditation techniques in Sydney Harbour on his racing ski or sea kayak. Chris Walker has also worked with the Indigenous communities in Canada.