Being in love is not for the faint of heart. Loving has become a dangerous enterprise in Western Culture. Expressing love, no matter how up-front or innocent, is open to interpretations of manipulation, harassment and aggression.
Let’s start with our own love-wounds. If you have not been hurt through love, you have not loved, or allowed another to love you. Hurt is part of life: it gives joy its perspective. So if you are guarding your heart, sadly, you also have given up hope of ever trusting or loving at another time. The longer this continues the harder it will be for you to ever love, or be loved, again.
Some of those I’ve counseled have constructed such a protective shell about them that they can barely bring themselves to speak. Fear overtakes their lives and they retreat even deeper into their reclusive shell. Others shut down all and any emotion; no sadness, no elation, no joy, no sorrow. They become the living-dead.
If you are tired of feeling no pain, no joy, no love, try implementing one of these action plans.
- Find a friend. Anyone. They need to be someone with whom you feel safe, more at ease.
- Spend time in sunlight. No, seriously. Vitamin D works wonders on the soul. Take a walk while you’re at it. The exercise will rid your body of the toxins that accompany the pain.
- Talk with a counselor about any abuse. Remember, neglect is abuse too. Whether from a father, a sibling, or a bully, or a spouse, your scars run deep. Don’t let them fester and feed your dark side.
- Find an empowerment group. You’re not the only one who’s been hurt. Others have been through the same or even worse pain. Bond together with them for mutual building. [Not bitching.]
- Come along side someone who has been hurt. That’s right; in your misery reach out a caring hand to someone else. It may do more for you than it does for them.
- Cut back on sugar. Sugar is probably one of the most poisonous substances in our diet, causing everything from depression, to heart disease, to early dementia. Eat fruit. I am dead serious.
- If possible, confront the cause(s) of your pain. Not alone. Take an advocate or an arbiter; especially if the cause is an abuser. Actually, with an abuser, the best course of action may be a simple old snail-mail with no return address. If the cause is a former boyfriend/girlfriend…, well, they probably will not want to meet with you. There is always email, though. Be kind…, and truthful.
For future encounters, please keep in mind that love is always a risk, even more so in these early decades of the Twenty-first Century. It beckons you to put out a little, and then a little more. Reciprocation will tell you if you are on the right path. Do be careful. But do take the risk. Yes, you may be hurt again. But you will be wiser and stronger to handle it this time around.
On a personal note, I have been hurt by people so much in life that I have lost track. And that is a good thing. If I hung on for resolution of every painful experience in life, I would be a useless blot on the DNA scan of the Universe. So now I struggle to live without resolution, yes, but with great hope and trust in the God of my faith. He has always proven to be faithful, safe, and, for me, a little dangerous. It’s just hard sometime.
NEXT DISCUSSION: Learning to Love Again.
Healing from the hurt,