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is love painful?
Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Who hasn't experienced the pain of love? Or is it the pain of rejection? The pain of self doubt? The pain of fear? It's important to distinguish between love and totally separate feelings.

When it comes to pain surrounding love, we're more likely referring to the “add-ons” of love. The love baggage, we might call it. For some reason, many people assume negative emotions are a part or element of love. But experientially we know this isn't true.

Love is not painful, it feels incredible. The pain and hurt we feel doesn’t come from love, it comes from our doubts, fears, anxiety, perceived rejections, broken trusts, anger, jealousy, envy, etc. So why do we as a culture lump all those other feelings in with love?

Perhaps its because we feel these uncomfortable emotions most often in association with our love relationships. Our primary relationships are important to us, so we assume these doubts and fears are all part of the loving experience. But is this really true?

When we are fearful, angry, anxious, unhappy, or jealous, are we truly experiencing a state of love? They sure feel different, don't they? Love feels warm, open, joyous and filled with a deep sense of appreciation. Pain steps into a love relationship when you switch it from a "wanted relationship," into a "needed relationship." You don't NEED any one relationship. Want? Yes. Need? No.

If you go into a relationship not feeling terribly good about yourself, you're more likely to become dependent on your partner to help you feel good about yourself. If we felt empty before they appeared in our lives, we fear the emptiness returning if they leave, so their staying with us becomes paramount. That dependency can create all kinds of fear and unhappiness when there's a perceived threat to you staying together

If we aren’t giving ourselves the acceptance we crave, we look to those around us to provide it for us. Again, none of this has a thing to do with the love you feel, but everything to do with the fear you feel.

If you really want to remove the love baggage of fear and unhappiness, the first step is to improve your self awareness and self acceptance.