Living Without Love In Your Life
“Living without love” is too often a misunderstood phrase. Just because you’re not in love with someone at any particular point in your life does not mean you should be “living without love” in your life.
In fact, the state of “living without love” is indeed a dreadful state of existence once we’ve appreciated the phrase’s true meaning. To live without love means there is no love of any kind in your life. That’s not good.
The absence of the “love of self” needed to live, as a healthy individual is the most dangerous love to lose. This kind of basic love falls under the category of how you feel about yourself. It’s about the relationship you have with yourself.
Plus, something I’ve learned over the years that rings true whenever I’m reminded is…if the love you should have for yourself is absent, that absence will negatively influence all the other kinds of love that are possible in this life. Notably, the love you could or should feel for people you care about, and the ultimate love involved in “being in love” with someone special.
Now why should the love we’re supposed to have for ourselves be so important when it comes to interpersonal forms of love and love in general? My clinical research has shown me over and over again that how you feel about yourself will become the “template” for how you experience love in your life. A simple example would be, if you hate yourself, you should expect that you’ll be either hating other people a lot and/or finding people to hate you.
The details of this kind of thing are subject of course to an individual’s creativity but the broad strokes will be dictated by the general feeling you have for you. Now the good news is an unhealthy feeling about your self is a “reparable” thing with the proper treatment and/or life experiences.
Often enough, we can carry around the “feelings” other people have toward us for their own personal reasons. Unfortunately for some, this kind of “burden” could last for a lifetime. If that’s not good enough and you’ve got the spunk required to work with these kinds of internal experiences, you’ll do some serious investigation into why you’re not taking exceptionally good care of yourself at the moment.
Put it this way, the relationship you should have with yourself in order to have a healthy and happy life would be “loving” to say the least. Loving means what it says, you love yourself, take care of yourself, keep yourself out of harm’s way, etc. etc. Nothing else works as well.
If you’ve been mistreated and abused, disrespected, abandoned, etc. during the course of early life, you’re going to have to become aware of the fact that this kind of experience is going to negatively affect the relationship you have with yourself. That’s inevitable. But, becoming aware of the problem is the first step toward fixing it.
Once over the shock of realization, and you’ve germinated a curiosity that leads to greater self-knowledge and tolerance, you can then move onto step two which is: identifying where the influences have come from and what you can do to work against them. This will usually involve a “practice.” A lifetime of looking for the “evidence” in your thoughts, feelings, and behavior that tells you that the unhealthy past is at work in your present experience.
When you can see it, you can disrupt it, and do something new and different. For example, if you see yourself being self-destructive, treating yourself badly, denying yourself a basic right, not being fair towards you, etc. Every time you challenge the automatic ways in which negative experience replicates itself, you get a precious moment of freedom and choice.
Add the moments up and eventually you’ll start feeling like a free person with a real shot at treating yourself better than life has treated you so far. Inevitably more love comes after that.
Comments? Welcome. Dr. T. Jordan