Have you ever wanted to find love again and yet were afraid of the very opportunity you desired?
Did you know that the chemicals released in our body for fear and excitement are only distinguished by the thought patterns we have about them when they are released?
We actually make the chemical feeling mean something (emotion), and we pull this meaning from our memory, from our associations/experiences – good or bad.
So when it comes to love, we often both desire and fear it. We move towards it and then run back to safety.
Sending these mixed signals often leaves us with a relationship we have mixed feelings about or alone…
The subject of love is like space – it can be explored seemingly for forever and yet it’s discovery has no end.
Today, I want to talk to you about the love you lost – about the last time you were really in love and how even though that person walked out of your world, they never left your heart.
People often think that it is a particular person with whom they were able to generate the loving feeling they experienced and are now without. And this leads them to the conclusion that they need to be with that person to have that feeling again (or someone even “better”), which creates confusion when it comes to getting their need for love met.
This way of looking at how love is formed between two people is a BS BS (bulls*t belief system) that will really mess with your mind and heart.
That feeling of love you felt when you’re were with that special someone – did not come from them. It did not pass from their heart into yours and fill you up with love.
It came from you, from inside of your own heart.
You see, what you believe becomes a rule of how life works for you and around you. It also becomes the perception from which (the eyes through which) you view life.
Therefore, if you are finding yourself stuck, loving someone who left you, this can be a very painful place because with the perception that they generated the strong love you felt, unless they come back (or someone better comes along), you cannot experience it again.
And even though the thought of loving someone else may bring some measure of hope, people sometimes don’t know how to recover enough to get there, leading even to fantasizing about an even more magical person who will rescue their heart from its suffering.
What a cruel set up it would be if that was how love worked.
Although it is not how love works, it can be someone’s experience with love, especially if they have this BS BS in full blown operation.
Shall we try on a new perspective?
Okay, but first a little history…
I used to work as an eye technician (one who runs eye tests and assists the eye doctor). I learned a lot about the eyes, naturally. I also learned about the environment-eye-brain connection and how each part is necessary to see correctly.
Some very simple examples would be:
Environmentally speaking, you need light to see clearly.
Anatomically, you need a functioning, healthy, unobstructed eye.
And of course, the brain-eye connection must have proper communication for the image to read/form correctly.
It is not your eye that “sees.”
Light passes through the lens, cells receive the signals and send them to the brain which reads, sorts and utilizes the data to create the picture of what you see.
Your perceptions, however, guide how your brain will organize this information and what you will do with it.
In other words, we read into what we see, and we make what we see mean something, especially and most often about us.
Of course, this all happens so fast and silently that when we are not attuned and aware, these thoughts will slip by us…but will leave us with a feeling.
And we carry this feeling around in our body, which can feel like the feeling is dragging us around if it’s heavy or painful, or it can feel as though it “lifts our spirits,” if it is inspiring and hopeful.
Back to my experience working for an eye doctor…
When parents didn’t grow up with issues seeing and have decent vision, they don’t often understand the experience of the child with visual difficulties. They understand it cognitively, but not experientially. And that is a major distinction – we will come back to that.
Have you ever been to the eye doctor and after having a visual exam, s/he asked if a particular lens setting made seeing “better or worse”?
Well one day, the doctor I worked for did something that I will never forget.
Her patient was a child with extremely poor vision, but the parents didn’t know this because they were not seeing with her eyes (luckily they did bring her in for an exam). The doctor made a pair of glasses with an exact lens prescription so that the parent could SEE the world way the child has been seeing it her whole life.
And their eyes were opened.
Much like that example, people go through their whole life seeing a certain way – their perceptions of life, themselves, God, others, LOVE – and have no idea that they are seeing the world differently than others, maybe even skewed.
The more clear your vision (perception), the more clearly you can understand your world.
When you have no one to explain to you that the reason you keep bumping into things is because you need visual correction, you will keep bumping into things…you will keep getting hurt.
When it comes to love, when we have a blurry perception of it, we will keep getting hurt, bumping into things – people who “hurt” us.
And without clearing up the blurry perception about love, we will develop another detrimental way of seeing:
People (men/women) are not safe (if they were safe, I wouldn’t keep getting hurt)
and that leads us to believe:
I, especially my heart, am/is not safe.
Our perceptions create our experience of the world in which we live – and we don’t even need to leave our house to experience hell because it is happening inside of our own body when we live separate from love and steeped in fear.
So the distinction between cognitive and experiential understanding affects us big time.
How much more painful is it to “know what you should do” relationally (i.e. let them go, walk away, just move on, blah blah blah)?
BTW, should won’t do you any good. <should is a naughty S word – don’t use it on yourself>
What we KNOW to be true is what we are experiencing in our body, heart and emotions and it feels more real than anything. And our experience is still being created by our perception.
So how do we walk through heartache, love lost, the desire to experience love, feeling apart from it, etc?
Love is the best feeling our body can experience and so of course we crave it chemically, energetically, emotionally, socially, physically, sexually and in every way!
Remember how I said that the love we felt with that person happened inside of US, that they didn’t put their love in us (no, not like that silly!), but that we generated that love?
Try this perception on:
The reason you experienced so much love with that person is because in that moment, in that space and time, you felt safe, known, accepted, wanted, loved, significant, etc., and that gave you the evidence you needed to believe you were finally safe, known, accepted, wanted, loved, significant, etc. – SO YOU OPENED YOUR HEART – and when you did, LOVE came spilling out.
Love bubbled up, overflowed and popped your cork 🙂 You got pretty drunk off it too – yes – the best feeling in the world (which is why you want to go back! Who wouldn’t?)
But the truth is YOU saw yourself differently and YOU felt differently.
The other person didn’t change who you were by seemingly validating you, your worth, your identity.
You allowed yourself in that moment.
You saw yourself through a different set of eyes.
So if you decided then that you were all those wonderful things (lovable, safe, desired, significant, worthy, etc.) then YOU can decide that at any point in time that you are.
Love happens when you open your heart (we know this and it scares the shit out of us!)
But we also know from experience that fearing the pain of being “not loved” or rejected is what keeps us from opening our hearts to love – and so we live without it – which we know is not really living at all.
The real problem in all of this is our self-perception.
A cycle forms something like this:
I am not lovable, desirable/wanted, good enough, etc. →
meet someone and think to self: maybe they will love me, want me, and think: I am good enough →
cast off reservation →
feel real good doing so→
start to open your heart →
get really close to LOVE!!! →
think: this is it! This feels amazing! →
then something happens (bone chilling music in the background)→
it reminds you of what you already believe deep down (i am not really loved, wanted, good enough, significant to someone) →
put back on reservations (i.e. armor) →
get suspicious, look for more clues→
build a moat around your heart with a drawbridge →
see more things that scare you about the other person →
add a dragon →
think: it’s too much, too scary, I may die! →
close your heart off again and tell yourself how you KNEW this would happen, how things ALWAYS end up like this →
try to give up on love because the process to finding it is too painful and scary →
feel the feelings of loneliness and a loveless life →
try to push them away, numb the pain, distract your mind →
try ANYTHING →
nothing works →
think that maybe there IS someone out there for you after all, who will love you, see your significance and beauty and never leave you →
and the cycle begins again…
Listen – your perceptions are DRIVING this cycle.
Remember the glasses example – when you can finally see clearly — EVERYTHING YOU SEE CHANGES.
And when what you see changes, it changes your response to it.
And changes leads to change (i.e. different results).
You are lovable, desirable, beautiful, significant, and everything you wish you were to someone – RIGHT NOW.
The problem is you haven’t allowed yourself to see it.
And until you SEE it (i.e. believe it about yourself) you won’t SEE it reflected back to you in another person…not for long anyway.
You are so precious.
You are perfect, if only you could see it.
Loved you are.