4) Love is not a substitute for doing your own healing and shadow work
We unconsciously attract partners who have characteristics or qualities that we don’t have and we think that having these people in our lives will make us complete and whole.
Or we attract partners to heal our inner wounds whether they stem from childhood or insecurity or any other place.
Till the time we heal our wounds and integrate our shadow side and achieve wholeness on our own, we will keep on attracting partners out of our insecurities and fear and not out of love.
Whatever you need or want from a partner, you should be able to provide to yourself first.
Love is not a substitute for your inner work of healing and integrating your dark and shadow side.
5) Love is not about self-sacrifice or masochism
Another misconception about love is that “Love is Self-sacrifice”.
Love is a delicate balance of interdependence. It is about taking responsibility for self-care and then extending yourself to love and support your partner.
You cannot fill from an empty cup.
When some people refer to self-sacrifice or martyrdom as love, they are basically trying to get their own need for masochism met under the garb of love.
They suffer from low self-worth and try to compensate for the lack of self-love by playing the role of a martyr. In this way, they are doing a disservice to both themselves and the person they claim to love.
6) Love is not ownership or entitlement
Another major misconception that stems from romantic love ideal is a feeling of ownership or entitlement regarding our partner.
We think that if we love someone, they are our own property. Not just that, we want to put a label on our relationship as soon as we can, thinking that by putting a stamp of marriage or any legally binding contract, we will be able to keep that person with us forever.
We forget that the other person is not an object and has a separate identity, opinions, likes, and dislikes.
He does not necessarily have to agree on everything that we say nor does have to function according to our whims and fancies or has to stick around with us forever.
If someone outgrows a relationship or falls out of love, he is free to move on from a relationship.
5 Things That Love Really Is
1) Love is a choice
Like we discussed, love is not an overwhelming feeling. Instead, it is a thoughtful and committed decision.
“I have defined love as the will to extend oneself for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth. Genuine love is volitional rather than emotional. The person who truly loves does so because of a decision to love. True love is not a feeling by which we are overwhelmed. It is a committed, thoughtful decision.” – M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth
2) Love is disciplined
We do not like to hear Love and discipline in the same sentence but discipline is actually required to love in the right ways.
“Love is not simply giving; it is judicious giving and judicious withholding as well. It is judicious praising and judicious criticizing. It is judicious arguing, struggling, confronting, urging, pushing and pulling in addition to comforting. It is leadership. The word “judicious” means requiring judgment, and judgment requires more than instinct; it requires thoughtful and often painful decision making.”
– M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth
3) Love is separateness
Love is a beautiful companionship between two separate individuals who come together to help each other to reach their highest potential without losing their individuality in the process.
“Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”
― Khalil Gibran, The Prophet
4) Love is action and effort
Love is as love does.