When Love Hurts

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by Nicholas E. Stratas

This time of the year much is written and spoken of pain and grief. Also much is written and spoken of love and joy. These are not opposite experiences. They are aspects of our panoply of feelings, all natural, neither good nor bad. They are part of a family of feelings. Feelings, the experience of the essence of life. Feelings, the experience of the energy fueling action and forward motion.

Much written is about how to manage and deal with pain and grief. As to love and joy much is about ways to enhance these feelings. Much about grief and pain focusses on how to minimize, moderate and/or to divert our attention to activities and worldly matters outside of ourselves. This can decrease or increase intensity of grief and pain. In our culture, there is an excessive reliance on diverting attention away from our inner feelings, making it worse and risking misstep. When we do this we risk getting disconnected from our very insides. We are at risk of mishap. At least we are at risk of being disconnected from our ability to manage what we feel and do.

So, feelings, “emotional” or “physical” are part of our instrument panel. “Physical”, those obviously connected with the body. “Emotions”, those not so obviously connected. All are feelings. All are experiences within attached to our thinking and doing. Feelings have intensity, quality and can appear to shift from one to the other. All feelings are always present. At any moment in time what we “feel” is variable, one or another may be most prominent with primacy in the present. We may experience more than one feeling at the same time. We are able to think, select and focus on specific feelings. We can focus on pain and grief and we can focus on love and joy and we can focus on the exhilaration of skiing down a slope or another exciting activity.

Feelings ignored or denied are like the pilot of an airplane ignoring the instrument panel. Attention to the surrounding environment may be useful yet the pilot can fly safely and successfully simply by attending to the instrument panel. We need to stay connected inside with our instrument panel, with our internal GPS providing guidance for living our life. For those wanting to stay whole, connected with inside, a potent, strengthening avenue is to focus our thoughts on love. Love is healing, love is evolving, and love is embracing the energy of pain and grief, and moving forward. Yes what the ancients knew thousands of years ago is still true.

When love hurts, it is important to know and practice the art of the healing power of love. Love heals. How do I do this? By being present with myself, connected within, focusing on the love I feel in any and every which way I can identify. I focus on my love for one who has moved on, no longer physically present if that is the pain and grief. I focus on others present in my life whom I love. I focus any way I can to call up and intensify my experience of love within. I immerse myself in my love.

This is a most significant mechanism regardless of how I believe. This, whether based on my knowledge of emotions, thoughts, actions, my use of energy, my belief in God or whatever words I choose to use. I focus on my love within (crying, is not only connected with pain but also to joy), staying with the love, returning to it when I interrupt the process.

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