“Love’s Not What You Think It Is!”
The other day one of my friends said about a man who was emotionally mistreating her, “But I love him.” When I got a compassionate look on my face, she asked me if I’d heard anyone say that before. Yes, I replied, quite often. And here’s what I always say: That’s nice that you love him, but he doesn’t love you. So what’s in it for you? Why are you wasting your life?
I know why most women don’t let go of men who don’t really love them. I’ll get to that later in the article.
What I help my clients understand is that love is not enough to have a great relationship. You need to take care of yourself, and that means good boundaries. And an understanding of what love really is and what it takes to be a good partner.
I decided it was important to share what I believe love is and what it isn’t, so if you ever say or think, “but I love him,” you might decide to rethink your relationship.
What Love Isn’t:
1) Love isn’t controlling or possessive. A person telling you what to do and when to do it. Or asking where you’ve been and who you’ve been with. That isn’t love. That’s control.
2) Love isn’t unkind or mean behavior. People who are unkind don’t love you, they are angry people who use that behavior to manipulate you.
3) Love isn’t threatening or abusive – ever.
4) Love isn’t unconscious. A lack of awareness is lazy and unacceptable, and not about love. It’s about laziness.
5) Love isn’t fear based. Love is the opposite of fear and the two can’t operate at the same time. So someone who is afraid you’ll leave them doesn’t love you. They are afraid. That’s not love, it’s fear.
6) Love isn’t critical or judging. That’s an unhealthy mind trying to make you “perfect” in their eyes, so they can appear to be perfect. That’s about appearances, not about love
What Love Is:
1) Love is freedom and trusting. Of course there are times you will want to be with someone else like your friends, family, or even by yourself. People, who love you, trust that you will do what is right for you, and the Universe will take care of them and you. They don’t have to hold tightly to you.
2) Love is uplifting. When you love someone or they love you, you feel uplifted and so do they. The Corinthians verse from the Bible – “love is patient and kind” is perfect. Love and meanness don’t fit together
3) Love is caring and protective. Threats and abuse are not loving.
4) Love is understanding that we are all part of a divine Universe that loves all of us equally. Love is awareness, consciousness, of how our behavior impacts others. Love is seeing the world through gentle eyes.
5) Love isn’t fearful of anything. Fear is a concept that comes from the mind. Love is a feeling, a consciousness, that comes from the heart.
6) Love is respectful. Love understands that you have a different way of doing, saying and thinking than everyone else. You are a unique individual and your way is right for you, for what you’re learning.
7) Love is flexible. It isn’t rigid. It doesn’t go up and down based on external factors like whether someone cooks your dinner, or organizes the closet the way you like it, or calls you every night.
8) Love comes from the heart, not the mind. It’s a positive feeling and overcomes negativity by its energy, not by control.
9) True love is unconditional. A person who truly loves you, loves you for who you are, quirks and all. It’s what makes us interesting.
10) Love is taking good care of yourself! It’s about having boundaries for what you need and want and sticking to those boundaries.
Why Do People Stay in “Unloving” Relationships
These are just a few of the things love is and is not. So why, when someone is unhappy in a relationship and their partner is controlling, manipulative, abusive, unforgiving, judgmental or fearful, do they say they love them?
Can you see that a person, who behaves like that, doesn’t love you? That behavior isn’t loving. They don’t love you if they behave that way. So if you say, “but I love him,” what are you loving? A fantasy? The first three months of the relationship? The few times they’re nice?
The reason most women or men stay with these types of people is because they are afraid of being alone. They are afraid that if they don’t hold onto that person, there won’t be another person, or a new one won’t be any different.
I hear that all the time too – once someone gets real with themselves and then with me. And I understand that fear. But that’s not love. That’s fear.
At that point you want to deal with the fear. That’s honest.And you can move from that place. You can change the perspective that you can’t attract someone better for you.
You can stand up for yourself. You can draw your boundaries and see if the person responds. You can do all sorts of things for yourself from the place of honestly admitting your fear.
It’s OK. It’s human to be afraid. And here’s what I want to share with that part of your mind – this is a loving Universe.You are loved, protected and provided for by a loving, compassionate Source.
Your thoughts create your reality. So if you are feeling fearful, turn that fear over to God/Source. And change your perspective. After all, you have a choice of what to think. Fearful thinking – “I’m always going to be alone.” Or loving thinking – “I’m with the person of my dreams.”
It’s a choice. Your choice.
Imagine the possibilities….
© Carol Chanel
“THE PATH TO LOVE” BY Deepak Chopra is a beautiful book and one I know will help guide you to understand love.
In closing Deepak says: “Be kind to yourself and others. Come from love every moment you can. Speak of love with others. Remind each other of your spiritual purpose. Never give up hope. Know that you are loved.”
“The love you seek, is seeking you at this moment. Your longing, your deep fantasies about being loved are mere shadows of the melting sweetness that makes spirit want to love you. Be honest about your seeking, and be alert to the moments when love is showing itself to you. You are the only means that love has for conquering its opposition; therefore you are infinitely precious in the eyes of spirit. The message of love may not be clear to anyone else around you, even those most intimate to you. That doesn’t matter; they are meant for you and you alone.”
I teach people to overcome the obstacles that keep them stuck yet longing for romantic relationships, more self-confidence and inspiration to accomplish their dreams.
We sometimes forget what it feels like to live from our hearts and souls. We forget the thrill of taking the brakes off and flying. Life is dull if we just live from our minds.
Are you - or someone you know - settling, for less than exciting, either in relationships or a career?
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Certified Life Coach
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