My husband and I had a conversation two weeks ago. We haven’t spoken since. He said something more hurtful than anything he’s said in our 27 years of marriage. Memory of the first 18-years of our relationship, which had led to discussions about divorce, surged forward.
I’m angry and having trouble loving him unconditionally at the moment.
Three days after what he said sunk in, I thought about separating from him. But I couldn’t hold that thought long: we’re raising Meena, our granddaughter. I became angrier. It’s the kind of anger that brews inside without escape up and out. It seems the hurt-anger kept getting thicker. Thoughts, too.
Five days after his revelation, I developed acute pain in my shoulder blade. I can’t bend my head forward. Shooting pain radiates up my neck and all the way down my arm into my fingers. I’m having trouble picking Meena up. But I can’t ignore her pleas, “Uppy, uppy.”
Bhagavad Gita says anger pollutes the entire body. Anger is a type of stress. Stress kills. Anger will do it quicker. Studied in clinical settings, negative emotions have been shown to create disorder and imbalance in the autonomic nervous system, which interacts with our digestive, cardiovascular, immune, and hormonal systems.
Loving others authentically without expectation is a benefit to our physical health. Loving unconditionally holds within it all positive qualities: patience, compassion, forgiveness, humility, etc.—thus peacefulness—which act like healing medicine within the body.
Beside physical health, I have another self-interest to look after. I can only take so much emotional hurt. I learned years ago that I can’t ignore genuine needs and I must care for myself.
Applying unconditional love is a very complex matter. Every situation is unique. So what does unconditional love look like, which establishes boundaries for me and enables love without expectations for my husband? I’ll tell you where I am at the moment in my dilemma.
I’ve spent time with my heart on three occasions since the conversation with my husband. The first time I came to neutral emotions. I didn’t feel love. In fact, though I tried to remember past positive memories or emotions to counteract the negative emotions I couldn’t.
In my second heart session I was able to conjure memories of happy times and anger subsided. Then I recognized my desire to make my husband feel my pain—to get even. I was able to release that when I recognized my ill motivations. I didn’t feel a need for revenge; rather, I need to figure out how to feel safe with him. This second round I made progress.
The third time I asked for heart intelligence, I made more progress. I breathed into my heart area and remembered other times I felt happy. When I fully felt an earlier joyful time, I asked my heart for guidance. I immediately had an idea to send love to my husband. I visualized my husband, who’s a good man (just severely emotionally challenged/handicapped), and remembered all that he does to help in our partnership. I recalled positive interactions we’ve had in our marriage and focused on several of his good qualities. Then I pictured warm feelings of appreciation and tenderness reaching his heart from me. I genuinely wished him well with loving emotions.
I asked my heart how to care for myself. No further insights came and I ended my heart session.
I haven’t received a clear answer about how to feel safe with him yet. And I suspect I need to do more forgiving than I already have. Perhaps I need a few more heart sessions. Maybe I need some time to understand why I’m so hurt and what, if anything, needs to change in our relationship or my perspective of it. Sometimes we just need time.
But by sending love when I don’t feel I can do it in person, I give space for my own healing and I don’t nurture anger or resentment.
If you can’t arrive at an unconditional loving response right away do what you can to neutralize detrimental emotions. These negative emotions keep you from resolution and insight and can cause you physical harm.
How to Unblock the Flow from your Heart
- Sit or lie comfortably. Close your eyes.
- Place your hand over your heart. Breathe into your heart for a minute or two. Focus on your breath, bringing love into your heart area. Breath is a free gift, giving without judgment; a requisite for life. Therefore breath is a manifestation of unconditional love.
- Draw up a memory of positive emotions or an enjoyable time from the past. Choose an event, feeling, or person that has strong positive emotions associated with it/them. The stronger the emotion, the more possibility you will feel it in your body. It’s important for you to feel, as this is the language of the heart.
- Visualize yourself being showered with these positive emotions. Send yourself unconditional love and feel how full you are.
- Visualize the person you’re having difficulty with. If required, put them at a comfortable distance from you.
- Send that person love. It is important to make this is more than just intent or a wish, but an expression of your heart. Do this by drawing up the energy of positive emotions in the previous step. Feel it. Repeats steps 3 and 4 if necessary. Ask that similar positive feelings and love be sent to the person. You can picture the feelings being placed in a gift package or sent as energy into the heart of the other person. Or come up with your own creative way to send them whatever measure of unconditional love you can offer.
- End your heart communication with a prayer of thanks.
If you try the exercise, I’d love to hear what your experience of it is. All the best.