Monday, March 21, 2011

What does love look like to you?

What did love look like when it first came to you? Was it anxious? Was it cool and remote? Was it warm, protective and soothing? Was it chaotic? Was it overwhelming?

I have been pondering of late what happens to us as we grow up with our different models of love. Do we seek out the same? If the love that you received as a child was wrapped up in anxiety, do you recognize that in your adult love relationships? Is your present day love interest aloof – like your caretaker in your youth may have been? Sometimes we find ourselves in relationships in our adulthood that are “comfortable”. Sometimes we say we “click” with someone, it’s like an old glove, it fits, we “know” this. It’s often when that happens that we believe we found the “right” one. But what if it’s a function of comfort, of not having experienced something different in order to know that difference? Time and again people tell me that they keep finding themselves in similar, dissatisfying relationships. After some work, time and again, people realize that the relationship seems to echo something they knew as children.

So what might it be like to step out of our comfort zone? For those of us who grew up with chaotic love for example, what might it be like to experience a calm, centred love? My guess is that off the bat it would feel “boring”, like something is “missing”, not exciting enough. It would feel uncomfortable because we don’t “know” it yet, we don’t really trust it, can’t predict anything. Sometimes the devil we know ….

And what if we challenged ourselves when we met a new kind of love? What if we decided that I am going to try to see past my discomfort? I suppose the challenge is how to bring together the heart – which doesn’t recognize something different and the head which is saying something different could be good and healthy for me.

I wonder too if just the act of pondering what kind of love I grew up with, and what kind of love I have engaged in in my adulthood, might shake up my inner world enough to make room for change to happen. We all deserve a healthy and nurturing love.

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