When Is Love Not Love?

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.

Period.

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.

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11 thoughts on “When Is Love Not Love?

  1. Parts of this remind me of the ‘love languages’ book. Parts of it remind me I also need to love more. Other parts of it make me think about parenting. When I had to punish, with boundaries, my boys. I did not like doing that and it was horrible. But, I did it from and in love. Although, the boys may not have believed that!!!! (especially when I read the book I took away from the eldest for not getting his homework done….) Good words, my girl. Good words.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What is the Love Languages book? Who wrote it? Sounds like I would enjoy it!

      And thank you very much! (though I just consider myself a ‘transcriber’ most of the time, lol)

      Like

      1. It is a book written by a Christian marriage counselor who created a way to figure out how a person loves and how to respond to that love. (although, he might now be dead….) Anyway, good thoughts on how people can love someone else. Google love languages-

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting to say the least.. I relate to that article on a very deep level… About loving your dad the way he is capable of loving you instead of expecting him to love you the way you would want him to do so… I think that’s the cornerstone of most relationships with people. We expect a performance from them meaning we expect them to love us in a certain way… We forget people are going to love us the way they’ve learned how to love themselves… So if they never learned to love themselves, they will never truly know how to love other people. We can only experience life through the eyes of self… Therefore, If the experience we have within is poison we are most likely to poison everyone we come in contact with….

    Being conscious of our old childhood paradigms is key to betterment and reprogramming the self the way we want the self to be. It’s all just a question of belief and thoughtful reality. However, to some people, to most people I would say, people like our parents, their belief system is really deepen in negative thoughts and beliefs. They believe they can`t change and bla bla bla… Thoughts create reality but many people are unaware of that. They play victim. They are not conscious that life is something they create. They believe it is something that happens to them. Unfortunately we can’t wake someone who is not ready to shift paradigm… The shift has to come from within. But hey… you know, we were all asleep at some point… And it’s unfortunate to say but some people will never wake up. They will die sick and disturbed not understanding how they got there… They don’t understand how we literally think ourselves into trouble, sickness, mental illness etc… I realized with time, being more “awakened” or “self-aware” puts us at a position where we can better understand. To me that’s the meaning of being enlightened… To be capable of connecting with others on a whole different level… It’s supposed to bring us closer to people since we are becoming closer to ourselves.

    With that being said, I like your take on your situation seriously. Loving people the way they can love us is freeing. It allows others to express their love in their own way. We often push people away because of that… Because they don’t love us like we think they should. I have come to the simple realization that my mother would never actually appreciate and accept the core of me. But I have decided after all those years I would no longer hide my personality so that she feels comfortable around me…

    I wish I was not feeling half-brain at the moment loll. I would leave something more profound. It’s super late at night or super early in the morning should I say? Well, anyway your article is deep. Enjoyed it 😉

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Sleep wasn’t too bad, thanks. Hope you slept good as well?

        You know, for someone like me opened articles like yours leave a lot to ponder and talk about. I like rawness. Honesty is the best recipe, especially self-honesty. It’s the basis of freeing our mind. I can see you’ve come a long way since the article you wrote in which you were saying “the souls who hurt us the most love us the most” to “love does not hurt.” I think I saw that somewhere but I can’t remember the name of the post?

        Anyway, to go back to this current article right here, you’ve touched a lot of elements… You spoke about desperation which is deep. Most people don’t want to admit most of the decisions they take in life come out of desperation. They feel desperate so they end up in desperate relationships with people they don’t really like. They also try to make it work, out of the same desperation that got them there in the first place.

        They also end up keeping jobs that suck the living-life out of them because they are desperate. Their friends are also desperate choices… Desperation makes us take bad decisions. They are fear based. They never come out of love and clarity. And anything out of love is out of alignment with who we are. Anything out of love is a prison for the mind. We don’t realize we often keep ourselves enslaved with our own belief system.

        Freedom comes when we are willing to look at our demons and admit to ourselves we created those demons and it’s nobody’s responsibility to make them go away and yes even if some of those demons were given to us by our upbringings… Fear is a real demonic bitch… Fear of the unknown… fear of being alone… fear of change… etc. Fear imprisons more inmates than Alcatraz… The mind is the greatest slave master 😉

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  3. “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.” Goosebumps. This is such a brilliant post – and It’s funny I did not see this until today, because it was exactly the thing I needed to deepen into. Specifically the anecdote with your spouse. Thank you! Your experience with wanting others to like you and seeming to still not have any friends is something I have also gone through in the past. I came to that same realization – because I wanted to help, be liked, I tried to fix and it made them uncomfortable – a few years ago and it’s been a total game changer. Loving instead of fixing. The shifts that have taken place since then is astounding. Thank you thank you thank you. I’ve been so busy I haven’t had the chance to keep up with your posts but I’m so glad I had the opportunity today. 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you had an opportunity, too, because whether you know it or not, the Universe used your words to really soothe my tattered feelings this evening… I’m in the middle of the whole ‘relearning how to people properly’ phase. It’s easier in theory, LOL

      But thank you for your words, they also came at just the right time for ME 🙂

      I am looking forward to the shifts you speak of in my own future.

      Liked by 1 person

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