Love isn’t love when it hurts. Love doesn’t hurt. Deep down, you know what love feels like. Acceptance. Peace. Joy. Exhilaration. Not pain and suffering.
If you’re in pain, you’re not in love.
If it’s annoying you, you’re not loving it.
If it outrages you, you’re not loving it.
If you’re not loving it, you’re not loving it.
Newsflash: That’s okay.
There’s no one saying you have to look at things you don’t like and force yourself to love them. You can’t, and if you try, it will make you batshit crazy.
But can you love yourself for not loving it? For not loving whatever person, situation, job, moment in which you find yourself? If you’re ticked off at your boss, can you, once you find yourself in a place that is less loving than you wish to be, find something about yourself, or the situation, or the other person to focus on, just for a few minutes, that is more loving that the state in which you currently find yourself?
Let me try a different example. Most of us have been in at least one relationship in our life. For the sake of expediency, let’s say it’s a romantic relationship, and my partner walks in after work and immediately snaps at me. If I had been bopping along, not paying much attention to how I’ve been feeling for a while, and this happened, most of us, myself especially, would probably give some type of retort, and things would spiral downhill from there. Until…
… we go to sleep.
… one of us decides to ‘be the bigger person’ and stuff down our own hurt, and give the point to our partner.
… one of us realizes that we have gotten out of alignment with our Higher Self, and makes a conscious decision to Be More Loving.
Personally, I prefer the last option. Does this mean I never get upset or angry? No. What it does mean, though, is that I am quicker to offer the benefit of the doubt before I snap back, these days. Or that I am quicker to offer an apology on the days that I do snap back.
I’m no longer constantly bent out of shape. I’m more resilient. When I collide with unloving energy, I’m no longer brittle- it’s no longer break or be broken. I’m finding it easier to be softer, more yielding; to find my way back to that state of love and acceptance.
When I collide with unloving energy, I’m no longer brittle- it’s no longer break or be broken.
The place where it doesn’t hurt. The place where I no longer identify with ‘the woman whose pride is injured when her spouse isn’t at their very best toward me‘, and begin to identify more and more often with ‘the woman who loves more‘.
In turn, my relationship has deepened. My partner is more loving toward me. I rarely point out to him when he’s being mean or hurtful, because I realized that if I stay in balance, he’s begun catching himself because I’ve stopped mirroring his emotional state.
Is it any wonder that we often have so much difficulty in telling the difference between our own emotions and someone else’s? We’re all just running around, mirroring and projecting our little hearts out, and then become surprised when we can’t discern who ‘started it’.
If you walk in from a hard day at work, still stuck in your ‘work energy’, and reply to your spouse (who is in ‘home energy’), and they aren’t expecting ‘work energy’ with that much intensity, it can knock them off-kilter, and they snap back, and we’re immediately involved in a snapping match. But, when you walk in to a ‘home energy’ that is unperturbed by the sudden shift in energy, a home energy that is more stable takes a lot more bluster to knock off course.
The more I stabilize my own energy in pure love, the less I get sucked toward the energy ‘levels’ of those around me, the more they recognize the difference between our energies. People are more helpful. They’re slower to anger and quicker to apologize. They’re more sincere, they’re less irritated in our presence, because we are steady. Reliable. Stable.
If you’re hurting, then you’re looking at something outside of love. Love doesn’t hurt. This isn’t a judgement against your state of being, it’s just a fact. There’s nothing wrong with hurting. There’s nothing wrong with being angry, or jealous, or grief-stricken. It’s important that we fully sit with and experience these feelings. But we must understand that the emotions we experience are there to show us the places we lack love in abundance.
No one is ‘doing’ anything to us. Even when someone deliberately sets out to spite us, when we are in a state of unconditional love, the entire experience will have seemed to have been for our own benefit before it’s through. Outside of that unconditional love, even the most lavish of gifts can cause offense, if ill-timed, so how much more so an angry outburst or waspish comment?
This post about what love isn’t is not meant to make you feel like anything outside of love is inappropriate. On the contrary, once you really begin to get the hang of this, you will get just as much enjoyment out of a conversation with an angry person as you do from a happy person, because you will understand fully that the feeling you get from an interaction has nothing to do with the interaction itself, but rather the thoughts you are having about the person or situation or thing.
There’s no ‘taboo’ emotion, as long as you realize that the purpose of your emotions are to point you toward the presence of unloving thoughts within yourself. Once you realize that your pain at the callous disregard of your feelings by another comes from your perspective on the circumstances, rather than the circumstances themselves, you quickly figure out that it’s much less painful to assume the best of people than to assume the worst. You can be sour and grumpy and full of resentment, practically seething with rage at this injustice or that one, or you can turn your eyes away from the problem, and toward the solution. Because the solutions aren’t found where the problems are.
I had a personal revelation the other day, and I would like to share it with you all, if I may. (And since it’s my blog, of course I may! lol)
All my life, I always wondered why, if everybody liked me, I never seemed to have any friends? For thirty-six years this plagued me. I was confounded. I was nice. I said the right things. I helped everyone I possibly could every time I possibly could… but no one seemed to want to ‘connect’. I couldn’t figure it out, until I figured out all this mirroring stuff, and projecting, and really asked myself why I seemed to be struggling so hard. Recently, I was finally at a place where I was able to genuinely, honestly, openly ask a friend what the problem was (rather, I described what I believed the problem to be, and asked her honest opinion). She hesitated, asked for reassurance that I wanted complete honesty, then said I’d nailed it. In my mad, desperate dash for friendship, I go out, looking to ‘help’ people (because everyone likes help), so people like me, they think I’m nice, and when they need help or to make sure something gets done, they know I’m the one to call. I’m dependable. (Of course I was, I was desperate, remember? )
Why didn’t anyone like me, though? Why didn’t anyone ever call to say they missed my presence in their life? What is the secret no one has let me in on?
I finally figured it out:
I’d spent all my time ‘helping’ people, instead of ‘loving’ people.
In order to ‘help’ someone, I needed to have a fault-finding mindset. I had to look for something to ‘fix’. And I’m really good at fixing things. So the more time people spent with me, the more time I had to ‘fix’ things for them, in an effort to get them to like me. Inevitably, this leads to people feeling vaguely uncomfortable around me, and most of them not knowing why. Some might think I’m a know-it-all. My insatiable need to help leads me to constantly try to make everything ‘better’, including people, eventually giving the impression that I find something wrong with that person. And it was. I was completely guilty of every uncomfortable moment I had caused them… but there was no malice in my heart, so everyone likes me for the most part, but there’re a few big chunks of me they’re not fans of. I can’t say as I blame them, honestly. I wouldn’t like me very much, either.
Now that I’m able to love myself no matter what, to accept my faults and flaws as inevitable- lovable, even- I can clearly see where and how and why I distance myself from others. How my defense mechanisms are causing friction with those close to me. I can see the pathway to a more loving relationships with those around me. It’s becoming easier to let go of old hurts, and receiving new wounds is nowhere near as painful as it used to be, and they’re quickly forgotten.
My responses to their questions and comments have changed slightly. I have been making a concerted effort to keep my replies loving. I’m more patient, more understanding, and trying to be much less critical. It seems to be paying off, on my end at least, as I have been feeling a lot less angst over some things going on right now than I usually would. I haven’t been ‘testing’ this long enough to show anything close to what I would take as definitive proof, but there have been enough small changes to make me a believer.
There’s no ‘taboo’ emotion, as long as you realize that the purpose of your emotions are to point you toward the presence of unloving thoughts within yourself.
All of my feelings are okay. There’s nothing wrong with any of my emotions. The problem comes when I forget that my own thoughts are creating those emotions, not the goings-on around me. The same goes for you. All of your feelings are legitimate and valid, but if they aren’t coming from a place of love- real, true, unconditional, completely accepting love – then they’re for your benefit only. Our emotions are pointing out our own lack of love, not others’.
This was mind-blowing to me. The coldness, the distance… I was so confused. I just couldn’t understand what I’d been doing wrong. I’d been looking at my friends through the lense of criticism, in an effort to get love from them.
Seems so silly when I write it like that.
And my dad? The ‘hyper – critical’, ‘grumpy’, ‘distant’ father I always thought I had? He was another construct of my own making. I’m not upset with myself (or him) over it. I suppose it’s the natural way of things. I don’t know if he can ever cross the divide between us. I’ve done my fair share of damage to his already damaged soul. All I can do is love him, exactly as he is, instead of complaining about how he never accepted me the way that I am. Love him the way I want him to love me, instead of loving him how he loves me.
I used to get upset if my friends didn’t ‘repay’ my help. My need of their friendship put strings and obligations on it, and I believe they could feel the weight of them. I think my decision to Be More Loving will allow the connection I’ve been looking for my whole life to begin to grow. I’ll no longer be hacking back the tentative tendrils of friendship, terrified of getting hurt. Now that I know the hurt comes from me, I no longer have to be afraid of them.
Love doesn’t hurt.