Breaking Up: When Love Doesn’t Live Here Anymore

| 08/07/2011 | Comments (2)

I have a few comments to make about baggage.

I don’t mean the matching set you check at the airport, I’m talking about the emotional trunks and garment bags that people carry around with them. This luggage really should be called body armor because people use it as a shield to protect them emotionally and mentally from perceived threats and anticipated pain.

Reflecting upon events that occurred in the past, they extract bits of information that might remotely in some way shape or form, pertain to the situation at hand. They feel justified in using this material to protect themselves against you, the warrior that would dare to enter their heart.

I hate baggage.

I hate it because in my mind, love cannot grow in an atmosphere of fear and distrust. You can’t move forward in a relationship with one foot on the brake and one on the gas! What essentially happens in that case is you spin around in circles and don’t really go anywhere.

I think the thing that pains me the most in situations such as these is the impact that the guardedness has on honest and open communication. When we are protective, we’re really operating from a base of fear. We are afraid of rejection, we are afraid of putting ourselves out there, we are afraid of giving up the safety and familiarity of the known separate aloneness for the unknown. We both long for and fear the possibility of love will bonds us soul to soul with another human being.

The famous author and poet Robert Frost states: “do not build a wall until you know what you are walling in and what you are walling out.”

Risk is always scary; but there is no gain without change! We cannot move forward if we’re standing still. There is no growth if things always remain as they have been. Holding onto the old and familiar and comfortable way of being or living is guaranteed to keep you stuck in a rut of loneliness and unhappiness. It would seem that everyone wants to be loved and to love another. So then, why is everyone afraid of love?

It’s true that this is a pain-filled world in which we are living… filled with loneliness, frustration, heartbreak, and emotional and spiritual starvation. We’ve all suffered rejection, coldness, and betrayal, which in turn cause us to have scars of anxiety, insecurity, feelings of inferiority and unworthiness.

Many people suffer from serious personality disorders due to the previous pain and their inability to move past that pain to trust others and ourselves.

It seems that most of us believe that the agonies suffered in the past can successfully predict the fears and agonies of the future. The negative result of this type of thinking (where we spend most of our present time worrying about the past and the future), creates nothing but a vicious cycle of fear.

In order to open our hearts and love again, we need to stop anticipating that the future will be just like the past! We need to live in the here and experience the now. Holding onto garbage creates a very stinky smell in our lives. There is no value in recycling trash.

Spiritual teachings instruct us that “to give it to receive.” Utilizing this law, when we gave away our love to others we would gain love in return. However, the law of Man states that what we give away we lose…. in other words, we don’t have it anymore and we have thus suffered a terrible loss. Therefore, we want to hang onto our love, not give it away unless it is bargained for and traded. We look for an even exchange complete with assurances, promises, conditions and terms of performance.

Judging people from a fear based thought process means that you don’t see the whole person. Usually we focus on just a fragment of the individual being and, pulling out our old “baggage magnifying glass” from the suitcases, enter what we see as a fault. Warning bells go off, the defensive walls go up, and once again we shut love out of our lives because of a perceived threat to our security.

Acceptance of choices and mistakes is key. We must accept that no one is perfect, not even ourselves, and forgive accordingly. We must accept that the trials and tribulations we go through are stepping stones across the river of life, and that occasionally we will get our feet wet in the water.

We must let go and stop hanging onto a past relationship, fearing that we will never love again or that no one will love us like s/he did. We must accept that there is no growth without challenge, no lessons learned without struggle, no gains in strength without pain.

It will take great effort, but each of us needs to put down our trunks and allow ourselves to see each person that comes into our world with fresh new eyes, untainted from the behaviors of those in our past.

We can all learn to love again if we can dig down and find within ourselves the courage to leave our prisons of protection, and open our hearts to take a chance.

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Veteran social researcher, relationship advice columnist, author and radio host. Author of hundreds of articles on American and black culture, gender issues, singles, dating and relationships. Author of "Sucka Free Love!" , "The 24 Types of Suckas to Avoid," "The Black Church - Where Women Pray and Men Pray," and "Why Vegan is the New Black" all available on Amazon.Com. Her unique voice and insightful commentary have delighted fans and riled haters for 20 years. Read her stuff on SurvivingDating.Com and AskHeartBeat.Com.

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Category: Date Smarter, Not Harder

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Comments (2)

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  1. Ann says:

    Beautiful post. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Moses says:

    Fear and insecurity was the primary reason my last relationship failed. I have learned that pain and pleasure are two interdependent sides of the relationship equation. One must risk the possibility of pain, rejection, in order to receive the pleasure in the future.

    Thanks for writing this blog post.

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