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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

What Do We Love When We Love?


Have you ever given it any thought? What, in fact, do we love, when we love?
  • Do we love the feeling of being loved (as opposed to not feeling loved before)?
  • The feeling of being adored (as opposed to not feeling adored before)?
  • The feeling of being doted on (as opposed to not feeling doted on before)?
  • The feeling of being important to someone (as opposed to not feeling important before)?
  • Do we love feeling fulfilled (as opposed to how unfulfilled we felt before)?
  • Do we love feeling secure (as opposed to how insecure we felt before)?
  • Do we love feeling needed (as opposed to not feeling needed before)?
  • Do we love how good we feel when we are with the other (as opposed to not feeling nearly as good without the other)?
  • Do we love knowing we are not alone (as opposed to how we feel when we are alone)?
  • Do we love how the other gazes into our eyes (as opposed to how we feel when no one gazes into our eyes)?
  • Do we love the fact that the other appears to only have eyes for us?
  • Do we love the feeling of being excluded from the world?
  • Do we love how the other shows us how much we are loved?
You might say to me, but of course, all of that is normal when you are in love, and I would not disagree with you in the least. But how much of that has to do with you? I mean: how much of that has to do with how this being in love makes you feel? What have you said - or thought - about the other, with the exception of how the other makes you feel? Have you examined where the other is in all of this? Don't worry - I'm not implying that you are being selfish.

I'm actually asking you to consider that perhaps a part of this whole business of what we love when we love has much more to do with satisfying a deep longing inside ourself that we are not capable of taking care of - or so we think, or have been taught to believe - on our own. And so we need, so to speak, the other to take care of it for us. The other fulfills us, being with other makes us feel secure, needed, important, valuable, etc.

What is this longing? Why does the fulfilling of it by the other make us feel so good? (At least until the relationship palls or goes sour). The longing is for our self-love. We are not taught - generally - to love ourselves, and so we need to fulfill that need with another. And so we seek to do so through our love relationships. And that is precisely why so many of them go sour. If we could learn to fulfill our own needs in the self-love department, the weight of responsiblity in the relationship for making us feel good about ourselves would no longer rest on the hapless shoulders of our partner. We would assume responsibility for it ourselves. And our love relationships would be lighter (by not being burdened by such a load), and yet more profound (because two individuals who come together, already having learned to fulfill their own needs, already having assumed responsibility for their own inner well-being, will reach depths of love that people involved in the other kind of relationship can only dream of).


For much more about self-love, relationships, love, and inner well-being, see my book: Rewiring the Soul: Finding the Possible Self. (Available via Amazon in most countries as a paperback and e-book for Kindle and all Kindle applications).

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