Love and Pain Are Inseparable

With attention to rising divorce rates and the continuing societal anthem to do only what makes a person feel good, I spent some time in reflection. While contemplating the heartache one experiences when separated from the one they love, I came to a deeper understanding of a misunderstood reality: love and pain are inseparable.


ImageIt burns the heart with a holy passion when we miss someone. The heart longs and yearns; it is alive and it groans. Nothing, but the beloved, will truly fill the hole. This reality does not stop us from trying to stuff something, anything, into the longing, to make it stop, even for a few moments. Our attempts are futile. Love is so designed that no other can replace it’s fixation. Would we really want it any other way? Of course not! Love should only be satiated by the beloved. Otherwise our longing takes the form of desperation which will accept anything, good or otherwise. More often than not, the effect of such gluttonous feasting is a form of spiritual indigestion, namely, heart ache and confusion.

The lover must accept the pain of the absence of the beloved.

In this pain the love is fulfilled and strengthened. Care must be taken to ensure that the longing is not transformed into fantasy or other distractions from the true beloved. Like pornography in relation to sex, fantasies of our beloved are skewed and improper representations of the authentic person. A complex, beautiful, and meaningful person cannot be deduced into “characters” within our mind.

How in this moment as my own heart longs, I wish for some relief. However, if the cost of such relief would be to release any knowledge of the beloved, then it would be a fools errand. Every person is called to intimacy. Those who hide from the pain, also miss out on life’s greatest fulfillment. This fear affects everyone, and so we must strengthen one another to achieve a deeper and more fulfilling self-gift.

There are many mountains to climb as one matures in their ability to love.

Love gives space, when it is needed. It is an immense struggle of a loving heart to grant space to the beloved when every emotion and cell screams for closeness and intimacy. To give in to our desires for intimacy when the other needs space, is to smother the other in our own need.Of course, we must also reach out and allow ourselves to be loved, and here lies the greatest battle: the battle of discernment. The great internal warfare to uncover the source of our motivations, whether they be selfish or altruistic.

Beyond our internal struggle comes the even more enigmatic endeavour of learning to understand the beloved’s actions in truth, and not in wishful thinking. The skill of interpreting speech and body language within humility, or grounded understanding, is essential for intimacy and right ordered action.

Fear and timidity sap love dry till there’s nothing left but bones.

Courage and love go hand in hand; perfect love casts out fear. Every time. It is powerful and seductive, but not given to lust and self gratification. Perfect love prioritizes the need of the other and gives patience in the greatest measure possible. Some may say such incredible self gift is impossible, so lets settle for something more realistic. However, when one analyzes such a statement in-depth, they will see that a deep fear is lurking beneath its logic, a fear that will destroy true love. The beloved deserves more than defeatist rationalizations, they are worthy of our best and never ending efforts to achieve the greatest love possible. There is no substitute for authentic love!


  1. ….and authentic love of self is also included. Love your neighbor as yourself. We also need to give ourselves that same space and rest…as the other.

  2. Developing an inner observer helps….noticing when we are spinning around….allowing the strong feelings….which are not bad….simply feelings. These strong feelings can be a doorway to the Divine because of the inability to really do anything about them. True humility….???


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