What does one do about unrequited love that seems to live on and on like a wound that never heals? How is it that I go on loving one woman year after year believing, in spite of the pain, that one day she will find a place for me in her heart? I think that I am a fool, and yet I continue to believe.
[Excerpted from: I Say Unto You]
A real lover never gets stuck anywhere. His offering is for love, not for persons. He loves beauty, not the rose flower, not the lotus flower. He loves beauty wherever it is; he does not get confused, he does not think that the container is the content.
You got confused. You are not a real lover. You have not really loved. In fact, you are avoiding love in the name of that woman. Now this is a beautiful trick to escape from love.
You loved a woman and she never responded to you, so what can you do? Now you can only go on playing with your wound. You are a masochist. I will not say that you are a fool, you are not. You are a masochist, a clever masochist, an intelligent masochist. You are arranging for your torture through the name of love, in the name of love You are playing the game of being a martyr. you are enjoying this crucifixion.
Playing with imagination
You loved a woman; there is no necessity for the woman to love you. The only condition that you have to fulfil is that you should really love. Even then, there is no need for the other to love you.
The other has freedom, the other is a living soul. If the other has to love you just because you love, then where is his freedom? Where is his soul or her soul? Then you don’t leave any freedom for the other.
The woman has not responded, but you are waiting. And you are thinking and hoping that because you love, she has to love you. Why? There is no must in it, there is no inevitability in it. Just the reverse will be the case. The more you chase her, the more you will make her afraid of you and the more she will escape from you. You are dangerous. And the paradox is, the more she will be going away from you the more you will fantasise about her.
When love is responded to, it is finished soon. When love remains unrequited, it can continue for your whole life, because there is no way for it to be finished. You can go on playing in your imagination – games, fantasies, dreams…
One man went to see the madhouse. In one room a man was beating his head, crying. Great tears were flowing down his cheeks and he was holding a small picture very lovingly on his chest.
The visitor asked the superintendent, “What has happened to this man?”
And the superintendent said, “You see the picture that he is holding? He holds it day and night. That is the woman he wanted, he had loved, but could not get. Hence, he went mad. He cries and sings songs to her, and goes on thinking of her. That is his whole life. The whole world has disappeared, only the woman… He talks, he talks from his side and the woman’s side, and the dialogue continues.”
Then they went to another room, and another man was beating his head and throwing himself against the wall. And the visitor asked, “What has happened to this man?”
And the superintendent said, “This is the man who got that woman. Since he got that woman he has gone mad.”
Plain water will do
You can go on living in your dreams, and you will think that you are a great lover – how much you are sacrificing! This can be done only by a masochist who wants to torture himself. This is pathological.
You offered yourself, the woman denied – it is finished! There are millions of women in the world. Why are you wasting your life? If you want to waste it that’s another thing, but then don’t befool yourself that it is because of love. Love is just an excuse, you really want to waste your life. You are afraid of love! You are depending on that woman. You don’t want to approach another woman. One woman does not mean anything. Neither does one man mean anything.
If you are hungry you will eat even if the food that you wanted to eat is not available. Or won’t you? If you are thirsty you will drink even if Coca-Cola is not available – plain water will do! If you are thirsty you will drink, you will not say, “I will die, but I will not drink because I only drink Coca-Cola.” No, you will drink, you are thirsty. You are hungry, you will eat. If you are really hungry for love, then what does it matter if one woman has refused you? There is no need to feel lost, because there are millions of women. But one woman has denied you… There are a few things involved in it.
Passion and compassion
First, your ego is hurt – as if you have some power over people. Just because you love, does somebody else have to love you? You can offer yourself, but the other has to decide. You took the initiative, but if the woman could not like you that does not mean that you are nobody, that simply means something was not fitting between the two of you. And it is good that the woman denied you. If out of politeness, or out of respect, or out of compassion, she had agreed to you, you would have been in far more trouble, because compassion can never become love, and politeness is hypocrisy. You would have been in far more anguish, because there would have never been that harmony that happens between two people who are in love with each other. She would always have been the compassionate one, the sympathiser; she would have felt for your misery.
That’s what people go on doing. When one woman has refused, or one man has refused, they go on crying, they go on making themselves miserable in the hope that misery will create compassion in the other. Misery can create compassion, and that is dangerous because compassion is never love. And you cannot be fulfilled by compassion, because the one who is showing compassion remains higher than you. You are a beggar. The woman can give to you, but there will be no passion in it. When compassion has come, passion disappears.
There will be no thrill in the woman’s heart, she will never feel ecstatic. She will always feel obliging. She will remain insensitive because her own heart will not open for you. She will pretend, she will do whatsoever is needed, she will fulfil the duty, but duty is not love.
Love is ecstasy, duty is dull. She will not dance because of you. She may become a good householder, she may take care of your children, she may look after you, she will be a good caretaker but these things don’t fulfil.
It is good that the woman didn’t show any compassion to you. And you are asking for compassion, that’s why you cannot allow the wound to heal. Once the wound is healed, then nobody will show compassion for you. You cannot get down from your cross! You have to hang there, and you have to go on shouting, “Look how much I am suffering! Come!” You are trying to create a situation in the woman’s heart so that she starts feeling guilty, that it is she who is responsible for all your suffering. That’s why you cannot allow the wound to heal. This is not love. This is ego – one.
Forgive and forget
And second – this is fear of love. You are afraid to knock at another door because you have been rejected once, so you are afraid you may be rejected again. You are hesitant, so you go on knocking on the same door, and your knocking on the same door will only create nausea in the woman. You will be a nuisance. She can’t love you, so you will become more and more of a nuisance.
Forget about her, and forgive her. This is your life – don’t waste it. And this life is precious – don’t let it go down the drain. Love can still flower. If it has not happened with A, it can happen with B, it can happen with C. The real thing is the flowering of love; with whom it happens is irrelevant!
People become too obsessed with small things. It should happen only with this woman who has black hair. What is wrong with blonde or brunette? It should happen only with this woman who has such a long nose. These are obsessions, foolish! You get too much involved in details, and you go on missing the real point. The real point is that love should happen!
Once it starts happening and your heart starts flowing, it is even possible that woman may become interested in you, because people only become interested in people who are happy, who are flowing, who are blooming. If you start blooming, there is a possibility…That woman may start thinking of you. She may start knocking on your door. But that is possible only when you are happy.
Don’t go on playing with your wound. This continuous fingering of the wound will not allow it to heal. I think the woman you were in love with has some sense. She will not look at you. Who wants to look at a wound? Be happy, become a flower: bloom. Let her feel jealous. Let her feel that she missed an opportunity of finding such a beautiful man. Let your song burst forth, then there is a possibility she may come.
Devotion to love
Whether she comes or not is not the point. You are not here only to love that woman. This is a vast world and with millions of beautiful people all around – why get so obsessed with one person? A real lover is never obsessed with persons; his devotion is towards love itself. He worships the god of love. Persons come and go, persons change; the god of love remains the same.
You ask: what does one do about unrequited love? One forgets about it, one forgives the person. One does not make much fuss about it.
What does one do about unrequited love that seems to live on and on like a wound that never heals?
You are not allowing it to heal. The only way for it to heal is to fall in love with somebody else, because only love heals, because only love is a healing energy. Love is therapy; fall in love, and it will be healed. But you have much investment in the wound; you don’t want it to heal, that’s why you won’t fall in love with somebody else.
You don’t love this woman at all, otherwise you won’t think of making her guilty. If you really love her, you would like her to be happy. You will simply disappear from her world you will help her to forget you. You will become non-existent – at least for her – so that she can live her life without any interference from you. But that will heal your wound, and you will no longer be a martyr, and you will not be such a great lover. You are not interested in love; you are interested in being a great lover – that is the ego trip.
Everything fits perfectly
What does one do about unrequited love that seems to live on and on like a wound that never heals?
It is simple. You like certain food, and you have not got that food today, but if you don’t eat anything else, naturally you will become ill. Tomorrow you will be more hungry; the day after tomorrow you will be starving. And you go on asking, “What is one to do? When one cannot get the food of one’s own choice, what is one to do?” Then take the second choice, then the third choice – whatsoever is available. And each person is carrying such divinity in him and in her, that one never knows…! If you fall in love with another woman, you may start thanking God, “It was good that the first woman had rejected me. If she had not rejected then I would not have been able to find this woman.” This is my observation of thousands of people.
Once you look backwards you will be surprised, everything fits perfectly. The first woman denied you and the second woman accepted you. You can feel happy. If the first had accepted, the second would not have been possible. The second deserted you and the third became possible, and you are more happy. Why get so obsessed with personalities? Remain in love. And let your love be fluid. Don’t let your love become stale and solid and dead. Millions of flowers will bloom in your being; don’t go on weeping just for one flower that didn’t bloom.
The real celebration
How is it that a man can go on loving one woman year after year…?
If you don’t get, you can go on year after year, life after life, because then you are living in fiction, then you are living in fantasy, then you are living in your dreams. You go on creating the woman – who is not the real woman. The beauty that you give to the woman is given by you. That woman is just a fiction. You can go on living with your fiction. Real women are difficult, as real men are. You are alone, and it is your fiction, you can paint it the way you want.
Your woman will never become old, the real woman becomes old. She will never become ugly, you will become ugly! He will become old, ill, death will come, and she will always remain there fresh, like dewdrops in the morning, always fresh, always young, always beautiful.
Your woman will not ever stink, she will not perspire either and she will not throw her panties all around the bathroom. It is your woman, a fiction. She will not nag you, she will not fight you, she will not be jealous. You can do whatsoever you want, she will not hinder you. She will never come in your way, she will allow you all freedom Now, no real woman can do that, so one gets fed up with the real woman, one gets fed up with the real man. With the unreal, there is no problem.
You are in a non-problematic relationship. You can enjoy it forever. But this is not a relationship, this is neurosis. It is like a madman who is talking with somebody who is not there. You will go on talking with your woman and you will go on doing things for the woman, and you will go on hoping. And your life will be slipping by through your hands.
Be a little more alert. It is your life. You owe yourself a few joys, a few celebrations. And the real celebration is always in reality. It cannot be only in dreams.
How is it that a man can go on loving one woman year after year believing, in spite of the pain, that one day she will find a place for him in her heart?
You can believe. If you remain hungry and you don’t eat anything, you will have to believe that the food that you demand will descend from heaven, “One day it is going to happen, I am sacrificing so much. A little more, a little more – I will sacrifice myself completely, then it will happen. How can my sacrifice go in vain?” That is your logic. But you can go on starving – the food is not going to come from heaven.
If you want food you will have to accept the food that is available. Nourish yourself, start moving; then maybe the food that you want may become available to you. But starving, dying in a comer, no energy to move and just hoping that something will happen, is a deception. You are deceiving yourself.
Deceptions can be very beautiful and artistic and aesthetic, but still they are deceptions. Love the real. It is through reality that one grows. Beware of dreams and their power over you. They can destroy the whole opportunity…
Love creates beauty
I think that I am a fool and yet I continue to believe.
It is you who are creating the whole situation for yourself. You will need great courage to get out of it. You will need to jump out of it. It will not be gradual; you will just have to escape out of it. Fall into anybody’s arms just to get out of it! And every person is beautiful; you just have to love the person and the beauty starts flowing.
People ordinarily think that they have fallen in love because the person is beautiful. Just the contrary is the case: you see the person as beautiful because you have fallen in love. Love creates beauty.
Start falling in love again. And I don’t think that you are a fool. You are too clever, too wise. If you are a fool, then you will fall in love easily, because only fools fall in love. Wise people never do such things. You are wise – you tried once, and then you are finished for your whole life. Be a little more foolish. Try it once again. And I don’t see that one has to go on being a failure forever.
First succeed in love
Remember, if you succeed in love, only then will you be able to go beyond love. One has to go beyond love. But one can only go beyond when one has gone through it. You are struggling below love. It is far better to move into love and struggle there. One grows out of authentic, real experiences of love. One goes beyond.
Then a totally different kind of awareness arises. It is not that it is unloving, but it is no more a longing for love. It is a state of love: one shares one’s being. It is no more relationship then; it is your state. You are love, not loving.
So these are the three things: you are in the dark night of the soul, you are in a very unloving space. The second thing is: be in a loving space. And a loving space is anxiety-creating, it is conflict. It is struggle, because a real person enters into your life, and there is clash and an overlapping of the boundaries. All kinds of diplomacies and politics enter, and strategies to dominate, to possess. There is great war. Lovers are intimate enemies.
Only out of that experience does one grow to the third state: one becomes absolutely independent. Now there is no need for love. One can live alone, and one can live alone as happily as one can live in relationship. Now there is no difference. There is no hankering. Then a different quality of love arises in your being. You start sharing it.