Beyond FearEven in mother/infant symbiosis, loving another means there will be pain. It happens when your beloved is suffering as well as when their behavior hurts you. To love another “unconditionally” you must learn to show up ready to listen, even when your ego is screaming “attack” or “run away.” As long as you possess the slightest bit of ego, you may be certain you will experience these moments. If your goal is to love well, then you are left with the responsibility of paying attention to the way you use your mind — changing what doesn’t work. That is reality!

No matter how powerful the initial attraction shared with a mate ­ resulting from sexual chemistry, shared values and things in common ­ eventually, you can be sure you’ll experience painful “moments in hell!” Even if there was no malicious intent from your significant other, in these moments your ego will begin to react defensively to protect you.

Should your buttons be pushed when you are even a little stressed or intoxicated, both the initial hurtful action of your relationship partner and the defensive reaction which erupts in you can become exaggerated.. At times like these, the mental filters that might have helped to defer such acting out, have been numbed or drugged to sleep.

Genuine love relationships – especially the “unconditional” kind – are always opportunities to work on our selves. So even moments in hell offer opportunities for positive growth. We need to recognize that:
• All our negative thinking and reactive behaviors are ignited when we do not feel safe in relationship to another.
• When we feel rejected, anticipate abandonment, feel disrespected, embarrassed or humiliated, our automatic ego defenses leap into action.
• The problem with that, is that it does not work! And, as long as we are defending ourselves, we never get to feel safe.

Fear in painful moments is natural. But the necessary choices in our thinking and behaviors during relationship conflict, are anything but. It requires awareness, courage and the ability to “STOP” and remain still in the midst of the emotional pain you are both suffering, to allow the FEAR to wash over you.

As challenging as that is ­ it is merely the first step. You will need to revisit the painful feelings more than once, because they are grist for the mill ­ the things you may learn and grow from.

When two people truly love one another, especially with unconditional commitment, this is not optional! As you both choose to step into the shared pain with loving compassion ­ neither attacking or running away — you create the opportunity to know the safety, belonging and emotional intimacy” that make up extraordinary love.

“To Love Is To Give!!”

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Jeff Levine

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