Love life in the doldrums?Are you at breaking point? Let go of blame and find true love and happiness, says Caroline Postlethwaite
Love life in the doldrums? Are you at breaking point? Let go of blame and find true love and happiness, says Caroline Postlethwaite
Most of us have never experienced real love. By this I mean unconditional love withoutanything being expected in return
Many of us instead got conditional love as we were growing up,meaning that perhaps if we were ‘good’and doing what kept our parents happy we were loved, however we were not loved simply for being who we are. That left us feeling empty and alone. We then spend the rest of our lives chasing happiness and never really finding it.
More than ever marriages and relationships fall apart when the honeymoon phase wears off. Most of us, me included, don’t have a clue how to create and sustain a happy marriage. We want to get love instead of give love. We get into a mess, blame each other and simply don’t know what to do. Perhaps we leave and then the whole cycle starts all over again. If there are children involved there is even more pain and hurt.This can affect our whole life, family, work, everything. Now I can say that I’ve learnt much better ways to communicate. I have a much more loving connection with my husband Jim, my children and others. I have become more in touch with who I am and what I need and what others need. I have recognised how controlling,ineffective and unloving I was and still sometimes am. I have owned up to and seen many of my mistakes. I see how much I crave and sometimes still need approval and appreciation. I see how empty I was inside. Being fully alive means being connected to others, being real, feeling loved and being loving. That’s the bottom line.
Jim and I started off happy and had two beautiful children, but gradually grew apart. I threw myself into the children and he threw himself into work. Seven years ago we moved to France to buy and sell houses, and things got worse. Eventually I becam every depressed, stressed and unhappy.I was often critical and had many angry outbursts (just like my mother!) and I hated myself for it, yet I didn’t know what else to do. I felt like I had nowhere to turn. Jim was very distant. Our sex life and intimacy were gone. We didn’t communicate about anything important. We just existed. We both felt lonely and unloved.
I spent two years reading every spiritual book I could get my hands on. Eventually I stumbled across Dr Greg Baer’s Real love in Marriage(£10.23, Gotham Books). One day after a desperate prayer for help I contacted Greg via his website. I didn’t expect a reply. However not only did he reply, he personally phoned me up within 10 minutes of writing it!
To be honest I was in a state of shock and was shaking with fear for most of the phone call. He was so loving and understanding, but also quite unconventional in his approach. I felt like I mattered.
Greg was at one time a very successful eye surgeon. He had all the trappings of life; successful career, plenty of money, children and much more, but he was miserable. In fact at his low point he held a gun to his head ready to end it all.When he was down on his knees and desperate he decided there just had to be more to life. Through trial and error and a bit of divine intervention he eventually came to find a solution: Real Love.
When Jim and I rang him together, it was the start of a deep journey into real love and trust, something I had given up on. Greg is a straight-talking, humorous, highly intelligent, inspirational,no-nonsense guy with a heart of gold. He gives people what they need and that can be very hard to receive at times. I had to learn to face bits of myself I really didn’t want to see!
After many phone conversations we met Greg in person for a few days for an intervention. This was mind-blowing for me. He listened to me like no one ever has,he valued me, he pointed out my problems lovingly and he held me like a baby. He gave me his full, undivided attention. Never in my life have I ever felt this safe, peaceful or understood. Jim also really opened up. It helped us in a way that words cannot describe. It was true unconditional love, being loved as I was with all my flaws. My light glowed in his light.
Greg’s core message is simple. We must learn (while being loved) to be utterly honest and let go of both attacks and defences. They come from fear, not love, and do us a lot of harm. It is about learning to truly love and accept others unconditionally instead of trading love.We can only feel accepted if we are prepared to take the risk to be truly honesta nd open. If we just show people our good points, if we need their praise and approval, and if we hide and protect ourselves, we cannot be fully seen and loved just for who we are. We also cannot love them for who they are. We loose touch with true connection and that is a big price to pay.
I have never felt this safe, peaceful or understood
If your answer is yes to any of the following questions Real Love may be for you too:
Finding real love means looking at the way we are, and making changes
1. Be loving
Understand that the key ingredient we all need in our lives is real love. If we don’t feell oved we are essentially drowning and fighting for air. We will then do anything to get what we want even if that means hurting others and ourselves.
If we understand that our partners,children co workers are drowning when they behave badly it’s easier for us to reach out and offer them a hand, instead of jumping in and arguing or pushing their heads further under water. The bottom line is: stop tearing people apart and love them instead and just see what happens.
2. Tell the truth about yourself
Instead of blaming someone else for your problems tell the truth about yourself. Take responsibility for what you do.
You’re late to pick up your husband. He gets angry, because he doesn’t feel loved,and says, “You’re late to pick me up and it’s freezing cold!” We all know what could happen next. You would make excuses, be right and it would all get worse. You have the choice to be right OR be happy. If you want to be happy you are honest and say something like: “You know what, sorry, you’re right I am late. I was selfish, messing about doing things at home. Now you are tired and cold when you just wanted to get home. I will make sure I leave more time next time.” This is very likely to end the argument there. If he’s still angry just be quiet and do your best to be loving.Perhaps touch him gently.
3.Stop nagging, criticising,expecting and demanding
Refrain from criticising, expecting and demanding. It just doesn’t help. You can ask,but do not demand. Asking means making a request and then accepting even if the answer is no, without disappointment. We all have a right to make our own choices.
I had been nagging my 17-year-old son for ages to clean his room. Did it work? No, I felt exhausted and he felt unloved. I decided to let him be responsible for his room and lovingly expressed that. I said that if he wanted his clothes washed he’d need to put them in the laundry basket. I felt relief and he felt free. Now he tidies his room when a friend comes over and he puts his washing in the basket when he decides it needs washing. I love him despite his messy room. We are both happy;no more nagging.
4. Take responsibility to be loving
Look at your partner or children. Instead of blaming them, think about what you might do if you were caring about them as people.
5. Be authentic
Practise being honest with people generally and see what happens. Do you feel more connected? We can’t feel loved if we’re pretending to be someone we’re not.
6. Take the initiative to change
You may be thinking why do I have do all this? The answer is because someone needs to and as yo uhave no real control over others it might as well be you! One partner really can turn things around with the help of real love. If you are both prepared to throw yourselves in, so much the better.
For more information on Greg Baer’s Real Love, visit reallove.com
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