February 21, 2012

{Why We Love}

[The following is an excerpt from chapter seven of my upcoming book, The End of the Fairy-Tale Bride.]

It seems Diana never lovingly embraced and healed her lost little girl inside; and men who are married to women who are wounded little girls can have a tough job ahead of them. They can never win if they try to be father and mother as well as mate to her because she usually rewards him with complaints and more lashing out. There is no pleasing anyone who has not found the pleasure in being themselves. 

We all respond differently when we do not feel loved,” David Deida advises women in It’s a Guy Thing: An Owner’s Manual for Women. “These responses are usually rooted in our childhood and early life experience.” Deida asks women: “Do [you] act like [you] don’t need love? Do [you] retaliate and withdraw [your] love from him? Do [you] act like [you] are not hurt, but then punish him in some subtle way? Do [you] collapse or do [you] become rigid?”

When you’re not feeling loved, all of these responses to men are ineffectual, Deida explains. Whether you’ve stayed in your feminine energy but closed down, “hiding in your shell and curling into your darkness” (like a child); or whether you’ve switched over to your sharper, more directive masculine energy where “you may learn to act tough” (like an opponent); neither response works. Deida reminds women that you especially “tend to shift from feminine openness to masculine toughness when you are hurt by your partner…and feel rejected by your man”; and when this occurs “the distance between you and your man grows.” But, Deida advises, if you do neither, withdraw nor lash out, and if you can indeed “remain open in love even when your heart is wounded,” miracles occur in that openness.

“It seems most ‘love relationships’ become love/hate relationships before long,” Eckhart Tolle observes in Practicing the Power of Now. “If in your relationships you experience both ‘love’ and the opposite of love—attack, emotional violence, and so on—then it is likely that you are confusing ego attachment and addictive clinging with love. You cannot love your partner one moment and attack him or her the next. True love has no opposite.”

We see this played out in Diana’s relationship with Charles. As so many of us do, we believe that our partner is the cause when old, addictive, painful feelings reappear. This is why, as Tolle explains, when the warmth of the initial romance fades, “there is so much unhappiness, so much pain in intimate relationships. They do not cause pain and unhappiness. They bring out the pain and unhappiness that is already in you.” (Ouch! That stings.)

Astrologer Steffan Vanel, in his study of the cosmic connections of the royal couple’s relationship, speaks to Diana’s deep sense of loss and how that colored so many of her actions. Her fear of losing those she loved perpetuated her loss of those she loved! “When the individual has learned to love without attachment, and to love genuinely from the heart, then it is more likely that the pattern of loss will cease,” Vanel explained in Charles and Diana: The Inside Story. Perhaps Diana was getting there toward the end of her life. Her biographers reveal accounts of her romantic relationships and how, with some of the men she became involved with, she was learning that she could indeed be loved. But Sally Bidell Smith explains that “involvement with Diana meant submitting to her overpowering possessiveness.” Vanel adds that when we have so many emotional and psychological buffers, blocking or distorting our reality, we are prevented from being able, like Diana, “to accept and fully embrace [our] truly positive and beautiful qualities….”

In her book, Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love, Helen Fisher, a prominent anthropologist in the United States, asked herself this question: “Was the brain circuitry for passionate romantic love somehow directly connected to the brain networks for what psychologists call hate/rage?” Then answers: “How ironic: as the adored one slips away, the very chemicals that contribute to feelings of romance grow even more potent, intensifying ardent passion, fear, anxiety, and impelling us to protest and try with all our strength to secure our reward: the departing one.”

Or as Vanel, using his astrological guides, explained about Diana’s “moon personality” in his biography: “‘…here is a nature that is constant only so long as the object of the affections is out of reach. When once the desired object is attained, then the heart wanders readily to other pastures.’”

The more manipulative and needy Diana became, the more distant Charles became. The more distant Charles became, the more Diana tried to hold on, even though she was not receiving the love her heart desired. (This is a clue that our ego is in charge and real love is not in the picture!) Diana had not developed an inner confidence to be able to deeply trust herself or others, to see beyond their own fears because hers were so glaring. When we come from fear and distrust, then that is what we tend to get. Fearing loss, we hold on so we won’t have to face ourselves, or being alone, or our fear of abandonment, or losing our dream; and the list of apprehensions and fears we might have to face goes on.

It may be easier to see why couples break apart than why they stay in love. Love, or what we think is love, seems to have so many mysteries wrapped around its hold on us. “We are told that people stay in love because of chemistry, or because they remain intrigued with each other, because of many kindnesses, because of luck. But part of it,” author Ellen Goodman wrote, “has got to be forgiveness and gratefulness.” And Diana seemed to be missing both when it came to her romantic relationships; using Eckhart Tolle’s words: her “ego attachment and addictive clinging” trumped her desire for “true love.”

In his ground-breaking book from 1989, The Seat of the Soul, Gary Zukov discussed how we were moving toward a new paradigm in relationships. He explained the commitment of a “spiritual partnership” for couples where…

…you learn to trust not only each other, but also your ability to grow together. You learn that you put your partnership most at risk by avoiding that which you are most afraid will destroy it. It is not easy to express what is inside you, especially that which makes you feel vulnerable or painful or angry or upset. These are the emotions that empower words that can do either damage or can do so much healing. You learn that sharing your concerns with consideration and the intention to heal and trust in the process is the only appropriate avenue. As you approach your needs with courage instead of fear you ignite a sense of trust.

Ahhh. And there’s the rub for the princess. Her fear strangled her being able to trust herself, and therefore her love for a partner. However, she may not have found the lasting pleasure of a romantic and spiritual partnership with a man, but she found deep pleasure in another kind of love.... ~

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