Here's the deal: I'll make you special if you make me special.
This is the quid pro quo i have with my garden. If i make it a special garden, then it will make me a special gardener. People will (and do) come to stroll around my garden, and then they think well of me. "Wow. What a great gardener Cheryl is."
We also have this deal with our best beloved people. "I'll make you special, if you make me special." Marriage partners, family and close friends--we make each other special in return for them making us special. When this unspoken deal fails--for instance, during infidelity or talking behind someone's back--a LOT of suffering, heartache, and stress results.
Sometimes the deal fails in small ways: someone we care about and want to spend time with doesn't want to spend time with us. If the heart doesn't exactly break, it does at least crack.
This is the price of attachment. This is the cost of something that looks like love, but actually has small clinging tendrils wrapping themselves around our hearts. This deal-making opens the heart to some dear ones, but closes it off to others.
What we are aiming for in our spiritual practice is an experience of the naturally open heart. Once upon a time, our hearts were as big as the world. They still are.