Did you ever wake up one day and find yourself “out of love” with someone? This can happen not only with our spouses, but also with co-workers, friends and other relationships.
What is it that destroys love and connection? Over the past forty plus years of working with others to help them find the keys to restoring relationships and building deeply loving ones, I’ve made an important discovery – We kill the love through a subtle cycle you may not even be aware you are creating. It goes something like this:
An event happens causing you pain and injury or it hurts your heart. Typically, it involves a loss of something or someone – or the threat of losing something or something important leaving.
Scenario 1 – Killing the Love
For example, let’s say you failed your driving test. At the time you felt pain and embarrassment, but you didn’t recognize the underlying loss of pride and self respect, and so you suppressed your feelings. Then you got angry at the DMV officer for being unfair. You firmly believed you were right and she was wrong. You tried to speak to her about this, but your anger and blame distorted the way you spoke to her and blinded you from really hearing her point of view. You were so angry that you wanted to get even. And so you got someone to throw eggs on her car. You felt fully justified in your act of aggression.
I realize this is a dramatic example. Maybe you don’t throw eggs at her car, but you “throw eggs at her heart” (so to speak) by being confrontational and calling her names, threatening to speak to her manager and gossiping behind her back.
Or maybe you don’t even outwardly show anger towards her, but you go home and take it out on another loved one…
That’s one way of handling disappointment. Here’s another:
Scenario 2 – Bringing the Love
You recognized loss and the pain when you failed the driving test, and you identified your underlying needs for pride and self-respect. You allowed yourself to grieve and eventually accept the loss. You faced your fears about failure and what might happen as a result. You reached out to God to help you with your need for self-respect and you felt God’s qualities flowing into your heart. You became willing to acknowledge your shortcomings in this incident. You began to see the DMV officer as a human just like you and you were able to forgive her. You spoke to her and really listened to her point of view. Together the two of you found a solution that you both agreed upon. It was a good experience for both of you.
You left feeling free of anger and had hope for the future.
Now imagine if ALL of your relationships and interactions with people were like this? What would your world look like?
Nura Laird, UOS Faculty
Learn with Nura in Freedom to Love – Family Edition telecourse. Starts November 8. Click here to learn more.