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Monday, September 21, 2015

The Love You Seek in the Eyes of Others

You know that incredible feeling of joy you have when you see that another loves you? When you see the love they have for you in their eyes?

Why do you suppose it gives you such a feeling of joy?

Now let's briefly examine that earth-shattering feeling of devastation you have when you see that the other no longer loves you? When you see that the love they had for you is no longer in their eyes?

Why do you suppose it devastates you so much?

The easy answer is - to the first question - because I feel loved. And the easy answer to the second question is because I no longer feel loved.

But what lies beneath this conundrum that has shaken most of us to the very roots of our being at some point in our lives - both in the good way and the bad?

When we are not taught to love ourselves as children ... simply because our parents may believe it's not healthy, or because it's selfish (which might be due to religious precepts), or because they never learned how to do it themselves, or because those who were in charge of our psycho-emotional well-being did not think along these lines (and believe me, that is very generalized) ... so when we are not taught to love ourselves as children for the very benign reasons just mentioned, we simply have little notion of how it feels to love the self.

If, furthermore, the reason we were not taught how to love ourselves is based on a more negative childhood, during which we were, perhaps, neglected, not loved, or loved erratically, or rejected, or outright abused (on any level), not only were we not taught how to love ourselves, but we were taught - in some fashion - that we were not lovable, or not worthy of love, and acceptance, and respect, and admiration, and feeling good about ourselves, and all those wonderful things that come with loving the self.

So we become adults, we complete our studies, we have a career, and at some point along the line, we fall in love (or we fall in love several times). And now we experience that ecstatic feeling of joy we all know that we have when someone looks at us with love in their eyes. The real reason for our feeling of joy is because thanks to the love of the other for us, we are now able to - perhaps for the first time in our lives - experience love for ourselves. But of course we interpret it as feeling so good because we are in love with the other person. In some fashion - apart from potentially actually being in love with the other person - what is happening on another level, is that we are falling in love with ourselves for the first time. That which - in an ideal world - should have happened when we were children, happened now thanks to the person with whom we are in love, and thanks to what we see for ourselves reflected in their eyes.

Fast forward to the part where we feel devastated. We are no longer loved. We are shattered by the pain we feel. And of course we explain it to ourselves due to the fact that the person who used to love us, no longer does. And certainly, to a degree that is also true. But what lies beneath this apparent simple explanation for our pain is something much more profound. Due to the absence of the other person in our lives, or to the absence of the love they used to show us reflected in their eyes, we are no longer able to experience love for ourselves. We were only able to do it via the other's presence and the other's love for us in our lives. And since we generally don't understand this fundamental truth, we put it all down to having lost the love of our lives and seek another. And of course it is highly probably that at some point the same thing happens again.

So what is the solution? First, understand that the reason this whole thing happens as described, is because we didn't learn how to love ourselves in a healthy way as children. Hence we seek love in order to feel loved - but ideally, we should be able to supply such love for ourselves long before we seek love in another. And not only do we seek love, but - at least after that initial experience of the headiness and joy of being loved - we now need it. And anything that you need on a psycho-emotional or spiritual level and that you have not learned how to supply for yourself, may eventually cause you great pain and suffering.

Clearly, then, you will need to determine whether you are willing to put in the devotion to your own well-being to learn how to love yourself. It's not a hard process as much as it is a daily process that needs to become as though it were background music in your life every day, all day long. I wrote an entire book about it The Power of Your Heart: Loving the Self  (get an extract here) and there are many articles on all my blogs (this one, plus two that you can reach by clicking on the appropriate tabs at the top of this page) and one in German and another in Spanish, as well as on my website that are dedicated to this topic.

A final point about this business of loving yourself: once you have walked down that road, and once you do feel love for yourself thanks to yourself, no matter your outer circumstances, because you are the motor for this feeling of love, as opposed to it being another person, then when love walks into your life from the outside, it will be joyful, marvelous, and all those wonderful things that we associate with love, but you will be independent of it because you will not need it. You will love having it as part of your life, but that is very different from needing it. And healthier.

It's a choice and it's something you can start right now. It's not a time-consuming effort, but rather, a different way at viewing yourself, your relationships, and your life.


Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books. My latest book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is available globally on Amazon in print & Kindle. You can also obtain it (or any of my other books) via Barnes & Noble.

Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (English). Available globally in paperback or Kindle e-book versions

Bücher von Dr. Gabriella Kortsch (Deutsch) ... JETZT bei Amazon (Taschenbuch oder E-Book) erhaltbar 

Angefangen mit Rewiring the Soul - auf Deutsch: Deine Seele und Du, jetzt weltweit erhaltbar als Taschenbuch oder Kindle E-Book (Blog hier), werden auch meine anderen Bücher in Zukunft auf Deutsch bei Amazon erhaltbar sein.

Libros por Gabriella Kortsch (español) ... próximamente en Amazon en versión bolsillo y E-Libro para Kindle

Empezando con Rewiring the Soul - en español: Reconectar con el Alma (blog aquí), se podrán encontrar mis libros en español por todo el mundo próximamente en Amazon.

Note: If you are wondering why this blog is now only appearing on alternate days (excluding Sat/Sun), it is because I also post on my other blog on the others days. That other blog is The Tao of Spiritual Partnership, so named for another one of my books. Click here to visit the blog and/or to sign up for the feed. 

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