Hooked on a Feeling. Why Toxic Love Can Be Hard to Let Go.
You cannot let go of this love that (sometimes) hurts you because you do not know (yet) what real Love is.
Starved of healthy food you gorge on petroleum-based imitations. Devoid of the essential nutrients found in fresh victuals, your meals leave you unsatisfied and queasy. Yet without a better alternative, you are enticed back again.
You tell yourself there are things about it you enjoy, like carefully crafted flavor. Or there were. Or there could be, if only. At least you are not starving.
Something is better than nothing, isn’t it?…
What if I told you, to eat at the counter of this shadow-diner you have turned your back on an orchard of ambrosia?
If within reach endures an infinity of tastes so extraordinarily intense your taste-buds excrete sensation until every body-cell tingles as you savor, can I compel you to turn and look? Does temperament allow possible the true realization of your heart’s desire? Or has it been invested too heavily in the old phantasm?
Because Love is not real. It is Real. It is in with the invisible-but-palpable.
You cannot fill up a bucket with Love, but when you yourself are brimming, you know it.
Tell me… what does a fresh, ripe peach just picked off the tree have over it’s harvested cousin in the grocery store? To the inert there is no difference. Food is food. A peach is a peach. (Finish what you’re doing and let’s go already.) Subsisting is enough.
To the activated there is an acute difference. Beyond texture, sweetness and smell is life force. It pulses, informs, and heals as our lives merge. It vibrates with intelligence. The ancients knew this. We had it temporarily erased.
This toxic identity you’ve called love is inhibiting the real thing.
You do not have to replace (or keep) your lover to find Love. It is not another person who will salve and bandage your aches and wounds; it is the relationship with Love herself that needs healing.
When the people you loved mistreated you, you learned to tolerate mistreatment in the name of love. Love never asked for such sacrifice.
When the world asked you to prove how you are loved with shiny new objects and trappings of privilege, you learned love was bought and sold. Love cannot be purchased.
When the media showed you what lovable people looked like, you strove to conform and be like them. Love never asked you to tailor yourself to some external ideal. She encourages each of us to bloom honestly.
When ‘they’ loved you more for certain behavior, you learned love was earned through approval. Love does not judge as they did. She is inclusive and patient. She knows in the end, the victory is always Hers.
Do you deserve Love?
The answer is yes, but it is a trick question. Because Love is freely available if you can allow yourself to deserve it right now, right here. It is a great gift to the world if you can.
Love cannot be measured but it can be felt. Love is not something we get it is something we do. Surprisingly, Love is about much more than other people.
It is time to stop blaming love for our shortcomings.
We are not powerless. We have choice. We can stumble around searching the earth for a perfecting romance we imagine is there (one day my prince will come) but which is likely to fail us or hurt eventually anyway. Alternatively, we can build ourselves into beacons of Love that magnetize warm-hearted people towards us from all directions. (I found my Love by Loving.)
We can continue to do what is clearly not working, or try something radically new but deeply familiar.
If you choose to be a beacon of Love, the search for love is over. The practice of Loving has begun.