Essential to the evolution of man, it’s what separated us from the rest of the animals. A force which drives us to want to take care of another person’s needs. It’s been defined as the meaning of life. The most powerful positive emotion there is, love encompasses much of our lives. All people desire it, and yet sadly, some people never experience it in their lives, even during their childhood. These people’s desire to feel love eventually grows so great that it begins to sabotage their chances of experiencing it further. They begin to see themselves as not being worthy of being loved, or worse, they begin to see the world as a cruel place filled with loveless people. It takes over their thinking and becomes an obsession, their simple want to be loved begins to lead them down self destructive paths in desperate attempts to gain this feeling. Some people pray upon this, using it to satiate their own physical desires. Deep down these people too desire to feel love but have convinced themselves that the feeling of sexual ecstasy is a greater feeling. I believe that the truth of these people is that they don’t have a very good example of love in their lives to compare it to, but that is another discussion.
I’d like to focus on the concept of unconditional love. That’s a pretty powerful concept, a feeling of love without any conditions. One person loving another for no reason at all, with no expectations of anything in return. This is love in its purest form. It is quite rare, often generalized to the example of what a dog feels for it’s owner, or the love of a child. It is a feeling beyond any other. Between two adults, however, the concept of true unconditional love is often confused by our own inabilities to first be able to love ourselves.
An interesting thing happens when somebody who doesn’t love themselves feels unconditional love. They don’t trust it, they don’t believe that anyone could love them that much. They begin to challenge it, intentionally acting out in hurtful ways just trying to expose it for the lie that it must be. If that does not work, they begin to use that love to manipulate the person, forcing them to constantly try to prove their love in some way. The thing about this, is that once somebody begins to manipulate another, they lose respect for them. Often it is this loss of respect which leads to the destruction of the relationship itself, a last straw if you will.
This exposes one of the inherent laws of unconditional love, just because you love somebody doesn’t mean you have to be with them. One must never allow their love of another to overtake their love for themselves, staying in a relationship which requires this is not an example of unconditional love, it is an example of being controlled by fear.
As love is conditional, it does not end when the relationship does, but the destruction of the relationship itself becomes the proof the individual was looking for that they really weren’t being loved all along. What has changed here is not the love one feels for another, rather, simply the comfortablity one feels in showing that love for another. Once somebody loves someone unconditionally, that love exists forever, even if they never allow themselves the opportunity to express or feel that love again. Focus instead shifts to the many other aspects of life which change with the collapse of a relationship. Life’s path, at one time intertwined with another continues on it’s own course and new opportunities for love arrive in time.
Unfortunately, for the other person things tend to become much more difficult. Since they never learned how to love themselves unconditionally, they began to rely upon their many tests as a proof of their own value, and with out that reassurance that they are worthy of love, they find themselves suddenly feeling quite worthless. This tends to first manifest itself as a sense of being deceived during their many tests and attempts to expose the truth of their partners love for them. The many different times they allowed themselves to become convinced that they really had been loved sets up a confusing situation in their heads, and they begin to rationalize their own self worth. This then begins to expose them to the realization that they really had been loved. As they have still not yet found it within them to love themselves in the same way, they begin to regret that they had been loved so strongly and become very aware of just what it was that they lost. Suddenly they are filled with the desire to regain what they once took for granted. They attempt to get back together with their partners, reminding them of when times were good and highlighting little changes that they have made in their lives to try to showcase how serious they are.
The problem here is their own inability to love themselves, and this has not changed. At the first sign that the will of their partner begins to weaken they often make the mistake of looking for some sign that they are still loved.
This feeling of pressure to prove themselves often proves to become disastrous as it was the frustration of having to do this that led them to step away from the relationship to begin with. Things tend to descend quickly at this point, as with this feeling comes all of the anger and pain this other person’s insecurity has put them through. Often at this point, all communication is cut off entirely, in the hopes that their partner will at some point truly learn how to love themselves. Until their partners discover their own self worth, they will never truly be able to fully grasp the worth of another. Without this, any relationship they get into will at some point or another become unhealthy and destructive, regardless of how much the people they are with love them.