I have made a big breakthrough in the study of my love addiction. This was a result of extensive and painful self analysis that took me years. If it’s your first time on my blog, do not be alarmed, I do not have psychopathic tendencies, I am just a person prone to falling in unrequited love the reasons for which puzzled me greatly for at least a decade. You can find my previous reflections on the subject here. I think I finally got somewhere in terms of an answer and a cure.
Initially, I looked at my love addiction (although I prefer to call it ‘obsession’) from the perspective of the Tolle’s pain body concept and me being addicted to the pain-pleasure cycle. I did not get far. I looked at the theories of attachment style formed in the childhood. So what. I have excavated my childhood memories and looked at my issues with love stemming from the experience of love in my early years. This led to the discovery of the strong fear of commitment. I finally looked at love addiction from the angle of evasion of the present, an escape from the real tasks awaiting action to the world of unrealistic fantasies. Love as a procrastination tool. Love as a smoke screen, as a project to avoid some real life shit? I was getting somewhere.
My latest theory seems to offer an answer. It links love with fear and is inspired by Lissa Rankin’s ‘The Fear Cure’ which I am reading at the moment. I love to not be afraid.
Overall I had a good, happy childhood. However as a child, I have not experienced unconditional love. I have no doubt that I was loved but often moods of those around me led to behaviours which proved otherwise. I had to be on guard. I was trying to be in control, to be prepared for the uncertainty. I developed fears. I did not feel safe and I could not trust those who loved me.
In retrospect, this explains a variety of nightmares I was experiencing at the time. They only stopped once I fell in love.
Love revealed that amazing space inside of me where I could let go of fears, where I could be brave and could let go of my guard. Love contained the promise of finding a person who could make me feel safe, who I could trust unconditionally, who could free me of my fears forever.
Of course, no one can do this but myself. It took me 10 years to realise this. My unconscious knew it all along. Which is why I fell in love with people who could never reciprocate (although they are all beautiful souls and amazing people, who I wish I could meet under different circumstances). The search for safety and trust, for freedom from fears in a lover, a mere mortal is doomed from the start – trust or safety will be betrayed in some shape of form, if not by the lover, then by the inevitability of loss. Mortals can not find safety in mortals. There is no trust where there is death.
Lissa Rankin suggests that to overcome love addiction, one has to stop looking for safety, trust, freedom from fears in love, and ought to turn their gaze to something bigger, the Universe in my case (God, higher power, whatever you call it). When you learn to trust it, learn to feel safe under its guidance, you liberate yourself from fears. You let go of grasping. You accept. You surrender. Addictions and obsessions – results of fear – end.
There is another aspect. By liberating me from fears, love gives me freedom to create. I write when I love. A lot and well. Poetry and prose. It’s as if to get in the flow for writing, I need to be in the flow of love. It’s now obvious to me that I need to learn to create without being in love. Or perhaps while being in a different state of love (i.e. Universal love).
Isn’t this what drove so many artists to suicide? Strong feeling of unrequited romantic love fuelling creative process while destroying one’s soul. I wish I could discuss this with Mayakovskiy. Was this his root cause too? Could this have saved his life, and if so, would it still be worthwhile living? It’s hard to not have this intensity, this drama in your life. It’s hard to acknowledge that this all consuming passion might only be a distraction preventing us from facing the real issue which is our fear. It’s hard to let go.
And thus, in my case at least, obsessive love is nothing but an attempt to overcome my fears. There is a whole bouquet – a fear of uncertainty, of commitment, of rejection, of failure, of success. Lissa’s book and the coaching programme I am taking help me face them directly, without using love as a smoke screen. The process is unpleasant to say the least. Freedom is the prize for those who succeed.