Opening our hearts to love another is what life is all about.
“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.” – Louise Erdrich
When we chose to enter into a relationship we do one of the bravest things we can do, we put our heart on the line, we open up our soul and we take a leap of faith.
As unpredictable as humans are, and as unsure as we are of even ourselves, we take the plunge, falling head over heals in love with another and this is exactly what we should do. This is exactly why we are here.
Falling in love is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves but with it often comes a lot of pain, emotions and healing.
Research has shown that love is not an adjective but it is infact a verb. Love requires our involvement and active participation. True love can be measured not through words and feelings but through actions. Love requires us to sacrifice, to listen, to empathise and appreciate one another. Love brings us together and allows all of us to form a common bond.
When we are in love the brain is triggered to release three neurotransmitters- dopamine, norepinephrine and phenylethylaine. These brain chemicals make us feel elated, pleasured, energized and increase our immunity. Oxytocin is also released and gives us that warm, cuddly feeling helping us to reduce stress levels and improve cardiac health.
Just the same however, break ups and the absence of love can have an adverse effect on the body causing depression, lowered immunity and heart problems.
Yes, you can actually die from a broken heart.
Known as Broken Heart Syndrome doctors first discovered the condition in the 1990’s. While it is found to be quite rare the syndrome involves a surge of hormones triggered by emotional distress which lowers the hearts ability to pump blood. The result is a heart attack however, most do survive.
While we could spend our lives trying to protect our hearts from trauma we would never reach true fulfilment or growth.
When it comes to choosing our partners we have free choice however, popular relationship author Harville Hendrix once stated, “our choice of a mate is, in the end, a product of our unconscious, which has an agenda of its own. And what the unconscious wants is to become whole and to heal the wounds of childhood.”
Love can teach us so many things but its not until we have gone through all the excitement, romance and pain that we realize what the lesson is.
Love is inspiring, beautiful, soul-crushing and awakening. No matter what it means to you, love is our greatest teacher.