Beautiful and amazing post! You can feel the pain.
Tag Archives: pain
To other questioning Minds,
I have been taking a wonderful class through the Coursera.org website on irrational behavior. My professor is Dan Ariely, a leading researcher in Behavioral Economics. He began his career by examining patients perceptions of painful procedures. He had personally observed that all the nurses choose to complete the specific procedure as quickly as possible even if that meant more intense pain. He discovered that they believed they were correct that this way would be better than a longer, but less intensely painful procedure.
After doing many extensive tests, Ariely discovered two significant things. First, most people declared that they too would prefer the short/more intense procedure over the the longer/less intense one when given a hypothetical scenario. However, his second discovery clearly demonstrated that patients who had the shorter/more intense procedure indicated significantly more negativity than those who experience less intense pain over a longer time. He concluded that intensity is more of an indicator than duration in these case. So don’t rip that band-aid off to fast!
This had me wonder if there would be a similar occurrence between physical pain and emotional pain. Would longer periods of emotional pain that had less intensity of feeling perceived as preferable to short and intense bouts of high emotional pain?
Consider this as just food for thought: Would you prefer a fast, quick but extremely emotional break-up, or would you rather have your relationship die a slow death?
From my experience, the worst experience I had was the one that I had no warning about, which happened quickly and more completely uprooted my life. The other relationships had warning signs, and I was in prolonged contact with my ex as we sort of slowly extracted from each other in stages. I am NOT saying that this has any bearing on how much I loved each of these men. I am merely describing the break-up experience. In fact, the man with whom I had the worst break-up was probably the least well-matched to me…(or is that part of my perception of him now BECAUSE we had such a hard break-up?)
Another piece of this interesting study by Ariely was that people who went from high levels of pain to low levels had a more positive opinion of the procedure than those who ended on an intense pain level. This seems to support the idea that if it is all possible to “complete” your relationship (see my reblog of http://bit.ly/X4HmX4) on a high note!
This is a limited pool of data to draw from, but if any of you have opinions on this as a hypothetical or can draw on your own experience, I would be very interested in how you perceive your past break-ups! Perhaps, there is some irrational behavior going on when we try to go off our exes cold-turkey style!
Thanks for reading,
p.s. See more of Dan Ariely on his website: http://danariely.com/
I want to help you deal with this situation, but all my ideas don’t seem to help you, I want to take action, stand up for you. I feel like your big brother and I just want to go fight the problem, because I hate to see you hurting. I am not too good with just listening to you, letting you cry. I am trying though, and I hope you can tell.
So, here is what I understand about how you are feeling; let me prove to you I was paying attention this time:
We have already determined you are hurting over this break-up, but I also get this idea that you still love him. I think that is so weird. Can’t you just stop that? This would all be over then? Well, anyways, this love may be different than the love you had before, right? You are learning to transform the love you offered actively to love that you feel for all beings. I think that is what you said, I can understand that, I guess.
You must be struggling to do that though, because I know you want to be able to take him back. You want it, even though we both know that it wouldn’t be a good idea. I know our Self has been helping you understand that you were doing too much in that relationship for us all to be healthy. We want you to still love our Self too. I hope I have helped you understand that you are ready for a big Love and none of us here think that guy was ready for it himself.
I know you have a much shorter memory than I do, so I want to offer you my services whenever you need it, to remember how much you were hurting towards the end. How much you were trying to get him to notice you again, to love you back even a little. And remember too that you figured it out it was time to leave, you LEFT HIM! All of us are so proud of you for doing that, even though you hated doing it so much. We remember your pain then too!
You are such a wonderful Heart! You have so much love to give, and you were doing all you could for him, and he no longer wanted to accept it and give any back to you. That is HIS loss! I am barely holding back my own desire to march over there and DEMAND an explanation, but I know that wouldn’t make you feel better. This is hard for me too. I hate not understanding why this happened. I thought he loved you better than anyone before, and I really saw his potential to become your true partner, but he wasn’t ready for that.
When you wanted to go back to him, back to loving him, I understood that. You thought you had made a mistake and I know you were not the perfect lover in that relationship, so you told him how you felt, and you really wanted to believe he felt like returning to you. I am sorry that I encouraged you to believe him then. If I had my say in who you love, it would be someone that doesn’t confuse ME so much, but I know it is not fully up to me.
Your anger at him makes so much sense too, dear Heart. It was a shock when you returned from that trip to hear him being so cavalier about your feelings. Perhaps he showed his true colors to you then. Something I read recently made me think of you: I was reading Sharon Salzberg’s Lovingkindness and she said that passion and sentimentality can both be confused for real love. The way she described sentimentality made me think of how he treated you. Let me see if I have the quote…
“Sentimentality, the other mental state that masquerades as love, is really an ally of delusion. It is a facsimile of caring that limits itself only to experiences of pleasure.”
-Sharon Salzberg, Lovingkindness
Do you recall, how he did not want to deal with you when things got difficult or challenging? He would run away from problems and always said everything was OK, even when it wasn’t. He is not ready for LOVE if that is how he deals with you. Hopefully, you have helped him get a little closer to being able for that, Heart.
Just stay strong, and heal. We all know how to give you your space, and I hope you come to us for support if you need it. Remember to pay attention to yourself, perform the act of loving (which you do so well) for your own benefit.
I know you are hurting now. Your pain is justified and I understand that it must be. Your relationship was very valuable to you and many emotions were closely linked with your partner. I am proud of you for loving so deeply, so completely, because in all love and attachment their is the chance of loss, of pain.
Remember that it is not only OK to grieve, but it is necessary. You did not choose this end…you choose to keep loving him despite the risk of his pulling away. Your choice was brave, but now you have no choice. The facts are the facts, no matter how much your desire disagrees. He choose to close his heart to you, to know longer try to feel something he didn’t want. You took a chance, Heart, and you fell. Pain can be a learning experience, but regretting your choices will not bring him back. Go ahead and grieve, I will stay with you while you cry, but I will not pity you.
Heart, I will be the safety that you can rest in. I will not let myself be pulled down into your grief, so when you are ready, I can show you the way back. This life we are living is special, and we have the opportunity of experiencing it fully. Part of this gift is experiencing heartbreak. But I am so glad to have you in this life, because although the pain you can experience is very deep, so is the love that know how to cultivate so well. I am forever honored to have a heart like you that loves so much and so freely.
Take comfort that there is no judgment from me about how sad you are, or how hopeful. Feel free to develop new passions and new attachments. The roller coaster you take me on is exhilarating every time. Once you have grieved, I am sure you will go out into the sea of hearts and find another Love to love. Whoever he may be, he can not be as lucky as me, because I get to experience loving from the inside…I get to observe every palpitation you send through me, every act of compassion, every colorful feeling you have on your palette.
Thank you for your big emotions, and for being the betting kind! Here’s to high risk for high reward in love!