Love is such a difficult, almost impossible thing to define.
Is it just something that some couples are lucky enough to have?
Glennon Doyle Melton comes to this question herself and defines it beautifully in her book Love Warrior: a Memoir
Is love, not a feeling, but a place between 2 present people? A sacred place created when 2 people decide it’s safe enough to let their real selves surface and touch each other. Is that why it’s called ‘in’ love.. because you have to visit there? And was I unable to grasp it because I was trying to understand it with my hovering mind and love can’t be known that way? Can the place ‘in love’ only be experienced and traveled to? Maybe the cost of being () someone that thinks about love and analyzes love and admires love from a distance is that I cannot be in love because I don’t go there. I stay removed. I have somehow decided that if I’m not truly present I can’t be hurt by people. But what if I can’t be loved by them either?
Early in life we can decide to ‘separate’ or dissociate from being present in our body because it’s not safe. Either because of physical or emotional abuse or because we’ve decided that who we are isn’t okay, good enough or loved. From that point we live ‘outside’ of ourselves or so deeply inside our minds that we can’t connect with another. We fear it’s not safe. We could be rejected or hurt like before.
Glennon in this powerful memoir distances from her true self finding solace in bulimia, alcohol and sex in order to ‘get’ the love she feels is missing.
Finally coming to realize that the only way to finally feel love is to ‘reunite’ with her body. Feel her feelings, make a truce and face the fears of being rejected.
The cost of not facing the fear and healing is losing her husband, children and any kind of happiness in life.
The benefits are opening the possibility of being loved and loving again.
A recommended read.
Take away Question: Where in your life do you close down and protect yourself from being hurt? What is the cost of not facing that fear?
Read more on relationships here. Successful relationships can be a Work in Progress or an Adventure.
Liz Coleman, RTC, is a Registered Therapeutic Counsellor based in Surrey, BC. She specializes in anxiety, anger, insecurity, and relationship problems. If you have any questions about this article or would like to schedule an appointment, please call Ms. Coleman at (604) 809-8947 or use the convenient form on her Contact page.