When you lose in love, things are very confusing. The joke about being the last to know is based on truth. We see what we want to see, we ignore the rest. We project our feelings of love onto our beloved and we believe that they are experiencing the same thing. Of course they are not. We don’t see the end coming. And when it hits us we are not ready. When it hit me I had to understand.
I pulled out my agenda and reconstructed the play: Act 1, Act 2 and the devastating Act 3. I had to understand what happened and how it happened. In hindsight I revisited the conversations, the scenes and the places and I had to admit to myself that the signs were there, I just refused to see them. Eventually, I understood pretty much what happened and this allowed me to gain a modicum of peace of mind.
Anger remained and remains still a little, if I give it any thought, in my heart if not in my head. Strange how love can turn to anger. Over time, with the help of the philosophy of Anthony de Mello and others, I understood more. Until one day I read this quote from Spinoza.
To understand all is to forgive all.
This was a powerful insight for me. I saw that the only reason I still harboured anger and hatred was because of my incomplete understanding. I saw that even if I did not have the power to understand all yet, still forgiveness would be correct. I should not deprive myself of peace of mind and the liberation of forgiveness because of my incomplete understanding.
Do not weep; do not wax indignant. Understand.
Because when you understand you can accept, and you can forgive. Marcus Aurelius helped me further along this path of understanding:
Whatever man thou meetest with, immediately say to thyself:
What opinions has this man about good and bad? For if with respect to pleasure and pain and the causes of each, and with respect to fame and ignominy, death and life he has such and such opinions, it will seem nothing wonderful or strange to me, if he does such and such things; and I shall bear in mind that he is compelled to do so.
That I would lose my love was plain for others to see. I blinded myself to the possibilities. If I had been able to keep my wits about me as Marcus Aurelius suggests, I would have understood the situation as it was happening. As it was, I had to understand in hindsight, whilst sorting through my negative emotions.
Now keep looking at this unpleasant situation or person until you realize that it isn’t they that are causing the negative emotions. They are just going their way, being themselves, doing their thing whether right or wrong, good or bad. It is your computer that, thanks to your programming, insists on your reacting with negative emotions. Anthony de Mello
My love was compelled to act in the way she did. I was compelled to act in the way I did. That’s life.
To understand is to transform what is. Krishnamurti