Thank You for Helping to Break my Heart.

rough day quote

I am sorry I loved you so badly.

Everyone wanted you, without knowing you. I was one of many.

When I was young, one of the most beautiful women I have ever known was an acquaintance of mine. We had a real, good, powerful connection—sometimes. We argued beautifully. We had some fun. But mostly we didn’t know each other.

I asked her out, she said yes, then maybe. I met her when I was so broke, tired and stressed from rebuilding elephant (which had been a magazine) online, that I paid for our brunch with change.

She was, and is, externally beautiful. Not just “hot”—but beautiful.

I’ve known many truly beautiful women, and she was one of them. Most of them have been dear friends, but with her…she was a party animal, she was impossible to pin down even for a coffee. I had no idea how to relate to her. I had no idea how to be friends with her, though I tried. So I asked and didn’t receive replies and asked again and got frustrated. I’m not a chaser, but she was a pro at being chased. I don’t like playing games, and I’m not good at them, but I found myself playing, and losing.

Finally, I broke it off. There was very little “it” to break off. We had never been romantic. We had never been friends. But, still, she had served as one of those life teachers who challenge us, humble us, frustrate us—she showed me just how immature I was.

Recently, I asked to reconnect, and we did so, if only so very slightly. And it reminded me of those days, and of how far I’ve come, and of how rude my projection of affection was on her, and yet how simple and sweet it was. I still feel something sweet with her, and I still have no idea how to be friends with her. But, for this life, she will be the most frustrating woman I’ll ever have known. And for that, I owe her a debt of gratitude.

This morning, I woke thinking of her, and that “love” I held for her. As Pema Chodron said, if we can free our love of an object, our broken sweet heart can be a force for compassion and peace instead of clinging and klesha. She helped break my heart, as have so many others.

May our relationships teach us. May we improve, instead of merely defending our confusion. May our intention be to be of benefit, and not merely to “get what we want.”

Life is hard, sometimes. Sometimes it’s rich and dear. If we want to take it easy, we should instead wish to be stronger, and more vulnerable.

May our love life be as full of grace as our spiritual path, our right livelihood, and our friendships and family relationships.

True love is defined by correct intention.


Yours in the Vision of an Enlightened Society,

waylon signature


Relephant Read:

Love is Selfish.

You must be logged in to post a comment. Create an account.

Promit Adnan Aug 11, 2015 1:41am

Waylon, love your work and your continued effort towards an enlightened society. I too have fallen pray to women who, though are veautiful, play the game too hard (sometimes at their expense) of being 'too hard to get'. And also sometimes it is simply the case the two of you were never to go beyond a certain threshold. Whatever the elusive unknowable truth of the matter, I found your words consoulling to a part of my heart that felt undernourished deeply, if not broken. That happened while I was a teenager 😛 So to you I say thank for Elephant and making it online, for folks in Bangladesh to read it. Would love to interview you someday for a local daily here. If you ever are up for reaching out to an asian audience, please hit me up at [email protected]. And continue the compassionate & necessary work of elephant (consider toning down the numerology and starsigns a bit in some of the other articles 😛 kinda turns off a slightly more scientifically oriented crowd like koreans, and folks like me who find it hard to relate to) But love your work man. keep it coming. – Promit Adnan, content scientist, http://www.22digitals.com (interpersonal neurobiology, research major, University of Edinburgh)

zenguitarguy May 14, 2015 8:06am

Psychologically the process of pursuit and flight, of one sided love, is a really important aspect of individuation. Carl Jung described love as "an unreasonable mania". There is that ineffable shempa like quality that happens sometimes when we meet someone who calls us like that. Trungpa said that, in that situation, the pursuer can become like a demon to the person being pursued.Our projections of passion and intimacy and connection are so intense in that moment.

There have been a number of heart breaking situations in my life and relationships where the balance was not right, but the need to pursue was overwhelming. There was something important in the encounter that my soul required, even though I knew intuitively that it was not reasonable to pursue. The karmic lesson I have taken away is the accuracy of impermanence, the beneficial understanding that impermanence is my ally. As I have gotten older these situations have less hold on me. I can recall and hold present my experience of the impermanent nature of those intense longings and needs and allow the feeling to pass over and through me.

Thomas Moore wrote so eloquently about this process. Aligning it with the Greek myth of Daphne and apollo. <a href="http://(http://www.shmoop.com/apollo-daphne/myth-text.html)” target=”_blank”>(http://www.shmoop.com/apollo-daphne/myth-text.html) "Thomas Moore, who analyzes the psychology of "soul mates," wonders why Daphne flees from Apollo and turns into a tree. The myth of Daphne and Apollo, he concludes, is about the theme of detachment in relationships. "This flight of the young nymphlike woman away from the great Apollo," Moore says, "is the key image in the story, and may help us gain insight into dreams of flight and those times in our lives when we find ourselves anxiously running away from attachment." Moore mentions a number of artists who have rendered "this wondrous image, the girl becoming a tree," ; ( from the article http://www.jungiantherapy.com/transfem.shtml ) In his book Moore talks about this recurring process of pursuit and flight and the importance to the Soul that this process has. He points out that both parties are effected. That the loss and grief transforms and humbles Apollo and the agony of pursuit also transforms Daphne as she becomes a Tree, rooted in the earth and powerfully connected to nature by honoring her true needs.
I really appreciate that you wrote this heartfelt perspective of your experience as a man, as often we, as men, are expected to hide and contain these feelings of loss and disappointment and transformation.

Crystal Davis Mar 28, 2015 7:27pm

Being on the receiving end in a single relationship has given me more creative juice than being on the other side in several. I love this, thanks Waylon!

Read The Best Articles of March
You voted with your hearts, comments, views, and shares.

Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of Elephant Journal & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat.” Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword’s Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by “Greatist”, Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: “the mindful life” beyond the choir & to all those who didn’t know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, touches on modern relationships from a Buddhist point of view. His dream of 9 years, the Elephant “Ecosystem” will find a way to pay 1,000s of writers a month, helping reverse the tide of low-quality, unpaid writing & reading for free online.