Wait and your boat will come
We are bound to live through all the events of our life. We may not like it but we have to anyway.
Psychotherapists don’t even try to consult patients who are in love. This condition is classified as a special form of psychotic disorder and due to this fact it can not be cured. Psychologists say that one just have to go through it. It means there are no psychotherapeutic approaches, techniques, remedies that may help to solve this problem.
The following story happened with my friend’s parents. When he was 11 or 12, his father started visiting his female neighbor to ‘repair a tap’. The tap leaked far too often, it was very whimsical, you know. Nearly every day the man was fixing it for two-three hours. In about two months he came home and said to his wife, ‘Irene, I’m leaving you.’ ‘Where are you going?’ ‘I’ll live with Lyuba.’ So she let him go.
What does it mean ‘to let go’? It means to let go psychologically, economically – at all levels. I asked her, ‘Irene, how did you manage to do that?’ She said, ‘I was happy with this man for 15 years. I’m satisfied with it. If now it’s important for him to be happy his way, let be so. I’ll be grateful to him till my last days for what he has already given me.’
I believe that sometimes love is about to let your partner go, i.e. not to interfere with his life, not to manipulate him/her. True love is when you can let a person go. Sometimes girls say, ‘Look, I’m sick and tired of your love. Let me go, please.’ So your love also may be shown in your ability to leave the person alone. The Apostle Paul said that love seeks not its own. Therefore, let him/her go.
If the image of that person haunts you and feelings cloud your mind, then you should thank him again and …let him go. You just say to yourself, ‘Thank you ever so much for having been in my life. I let you go.’ You should also thank God for this situation. Gratitude has a strong healing power.
If a person has left you and you are still wondering, ‘Will he be back or not?’, ‘How can I get him back?’, ‘What if I try to speak to him again?’ that means that you love your feelings for that person, not the person himself. This is ‘being in love with love’ - a disease not only of a soul, but of a spirit as well.
I consulted a man whose girlfriend left him. He was on the verge of a very serious psychological crisis and even put the blame on God. Learning how to let a person go took him quite a long time. Once I told him a story. One writer caught a wild coyote and chained him. For a long time the coyote strained after the woods, tried to break the chain by running at full force, and the collar made cuts on his neck. It was natural for him not to agree with captivity. The writer understood - if you love someone you should set him free. If the coyote is really yours, then he’ll come back to you. If not he’ll never be happy with you.
If you got ‘stuck’ on the pain and tragedy of the separation, if it is an obsession, the first thing you should do is to pray to God with all your heart. By praying, you turn away from those problems stepping into life of ‘here and now’, get out of the state of being stuck. The most dangerous thing in this situation is to search for another object upon which you can switch over your feelings. When the ‘love nerve’ is inflamed, don’t rush to look for another love. Rest, calm down and restore your normal condition. If the image of your loved one is still in your heart, the new love will be an attempt to transfer your feelings from him/her to another person, to compensate for a loss through a new passion. There are many stories about such things; say, under the impulse of passion a man might call one woman by a name of another girl he was madly in love with. When we behave like that we are being dishonest to our new partner.
There are some non-constructive motives for getting married. One of them is a critical age cause. A person assumes, ‘I’m already over 30. I must at least try to get married.’ It’s like going to a railway station and taking the first train you happened to see there ‘cause ‘you need to go somewhere anyway.’ But what if you need to move in the opposite direction?
It’s vitally important to speak to God about the candidate of your future partner, about what is going on with you and what He thinks about this marriage. You may just think aloud, ‘My Lord, you know the situation. You know the person. You know what is going on in my heart. I know you desire good for me. I would like to hear what you want to tell me. I want to know your will for this situation.’
No one else would listen and understand us better than Him. No one else would give us a better answer and reasonable advice than Jesus Christ. We can unbosom our heart’s wishes to Him. We can complain to Him when we are in trouble and ask to give us back those whom we hold dear. However, each Christian knows that it’s better to say in the end ‘Thy will be done.’ Trust in God means confidence in the Lord accomplishing His will.
If you’re sure that God is not malicious, is not out to forbid everything, if you have understood with all your heart that He is Love, then you trust to Him all the circumstances, situations and people in your life. For many people God is synonymous with ‘It’s forbidden!’ But our God is a loving Father and you may say, ‘Father, open up the truth, show it to me! I desire to know Your will! I’m ready to trust you and be taught by You in this situation.’ If we trust in God, then when He takes away our favorite toy we don’t close our fingers into a fist ‘cause we understand our Father knows our needs better than we do.
At the same time, we understand that only God may heal our wounds. He can knock on the door of our souls, give some hints and deprive us of something that has become our idol. However, the Lord cannot make us do something for He created us with a free will.
I would like to encourage those who were once turned down. You see, your partner may leave you but your destiny won’t do such thing. If a person has left you it means he/she was not your destiny. The one meant for you would never leave, your boat is still to come.
Surviving a break-up is a valuable experience.
It think if someone had experienced only bright, joyous sides of love or infatuation but never got through some tragic elements, a rejection or a deep disappointment in the world, then such person hadn’t learned all aspects of life. This is like a set of paints without black color, there is no contrast and clear contours without it! A picture seems unfinished and dull without any black in it. Therefore, if a person had experienced misfortune or a defeat in love it is a valuable experience.
Each tragic, wrong, painful situation is in fact a call of God for us to learn something new. Reflecting on the situation, we come to the right conclusions, feel relief and calm. Though pain remains, we understand why we had to live through all that.
If being in love you fall ill with ‘Koschey disease’ (when the meaning of your life lies not within yourself or God but is all about other person), then your self-esteem decreases to ‘below zero’ in case you got abandoned. What can you learn in this situation? Perhaps it may teach you that the meaning of your life as well as of who you are should be only in God. When you realize you are His beloved child and have some private relations with Him, when you know He’ll never reject you and He is the source of light for the Universe, then you are light also because you was born of Him. God is the source of our strength, joy and inspiration. You may as well give your love to the others, shine on them and bless those who have left you.
Most of my acquaintances have gone through the death of their parents. When a person stands near the coffin of his own mother or father, he goes through a variety of very deep and important feelings, for instance, gratitude for the life and education your parent had given you. Now, when your parent is dead you become closer to this fatal line. A part of ourselves leaves this world when mother or father dies. Who can fill in this empty space? Who can cure and make you whole again? No human being can but only Jesus Christ if we invite Him into our life in a time of grief.
A heart is the place where a person meets God. You may imagine it as a throne-room. Ask yourself who is on the throne today? Who is the most valuable in your life? If you heart lives according to the Christian faith, then only God may reign on that throne. However, the throne of the one who is in love is taken by his/her beloved person.
Therefore, your God is the one occupying your heart’s throne.
If it is a human being, he/she is certainly an idol.
If the hierarchy of values has been turned upside down, if our work, hobby or some person means too much for us, God takes it away. He does it in order to remind us about Himself. ‘I’m the Lord thy God, I’m a jealous God’, ‘I want to lead you through life, I would like to occupy the most important place in your life’.
This is one of the lessons that a believer may learn from these situations. Do your relations with God change when you fall in love? If they are changed or destroyed, if your mission and your service to God are destroyed it means something has gone wrong. That is crucial.
The Orthodox wedding ceremony acts as a tremendous revelation. The priest symbolizes the Father. A bridegroom and a bride are Christ and the Church respectively. They stand shoulder to shoulder throughout the ceremony. The wedding starts in the vestibule and finishes near the ambo. And, shoulder to shoulder all the time they face East – the prototype of the Sun of Truth. If they turn face to face, they might admire each other so strongly they won’t be able to go forward together. However, human beauty is finite. A person won’t be disappointed in his/her partner but instead will be a loyal helpmate only if life is taken as a mutual journey towards God.
Now, if matrimony is a mutual spiritual journey towards eternity, then one must deeply think over if he/she can be a loyal helpmate. Are you going along the same road? Do you have the same reference point, is your God the same? Is He the supreme authority and the highest court for you? Is He your most underlying value and most precious pearl?
Believers often ask priests questions such as, ‘He does not believe in God but I love him. What should I do?’ Some short-term relationship is one thing and a lifetime together is something very different. It is very important for you to be able to speak about the most important things with a person you love. If deep inside people are different by nature, if they cannot share with each other their relationship with God, it means that sooner or later one of the spouses will look for a person who can listen and understand him/her better.
The second point is to discuss your life plans together. Very often the state of being in love does not allow people to keep their heads cool. When I consult young couples I ask to write down his or her vital aims for the next 10 years. Then I say, ‘Now you compare what you have written.’ Once I consulted two young people. The girl ‘planned’ three children after the wedding. The boy ‘did not plan’ any. I asked him why. He answered, ‘Why, they cry all the time’...
I think that surviving the loss of a beloved person when he/she is alive but not with you anymore is a very important experience. There are no words for it, it’s just a reality and it’s painful. And yet, it’s very valuable.
Eumeny (Peristy), Abbot
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Like Lot leaving the burning city, don’t look back (Psychologist Irina Rakhimova)
How to go through a break up from a loved one (Dmitry Semenik)
God’s love can compensate for the lack of any other love (Archpriest Igor Gagarin)
Understand and accept yourself (Psychologist Irene Karpenko)