A few years ago, when I was nursing a vicious heartbreak, I stumbled upon a mother-daughter dialogue in a young adult novel. They were arguing about the daughter’s boyfriend. I couldn’t remember the title and the exact conversation, but it goes more or less like this:
Daughter: But he is my WHOLE world!
Mother: NEVER said that about anyone, ever! Not even me!
And something suddenly clicks.
I have lost people I love–either we grew apart, or we were ‘dimensionally’ parted when they passed away. What follows was a period of mourning a loss and a struggle to move on.
Losing the ‘Feelings’
I started to learn that often times, we’re not just losing ‘someone’. We’re losing the feeling of being with that someone. We’re losing the feeling we have attached to this individual. Thus, when we lost that someone, we were deprived of whatever feelings we have attached to that person.
When my mother passed away, I lost a best friend, a sense of security, a sense of direction… a support system. At other times, when ‘losing a boyfriend’, I lost the feeling of being loved and wanted, a dream… my confidence, joy, source of inspiration.
Now I know why the mother in the young adult novel said that you can’t make someone your WHOLE world. Because then we are making that person responsible for providing us all those feelings we want to feel. We make that person responsible for our WHOLE LIFE.
People go in and out of our lives. And when we put our whole life in the hand of one person, when that person is gone, we would lose our whole life as well. This is when it’s the hardest to move on, because we are grieving a massive kind of loss.
These past few years, I learned not to put my eggs in one basket. I tried to get the feelings I want to feel from different people in different places, by doing different things.
More importantly, I learned how to grow these feelings I want to feel internally.
We need to cultivate the feelings we want to feel ourselves; instead of waiting for someone to give them to us. This is how we nurture our heart: by creating those feelings and growing them back when we lost them along the way.