I continue to quote Lissa Rankin’s The Fear Cure, the book that taught me a lot about fear. I’ll start with this one:
Studies show that most emotions last no longer than 90 seconds unless we attach stories to them.
This applies to any emotion, not just love. If you are angry with someone and you let the anger pass, it’s gone. However if you cling to it and tell yourself, in your mind, a story about how this person is so and so, and this is ruining your life, etc – as soon as you create the thought trail, activate the thinking treadmill, you have assigned a story to your anger, and now it’s a living part of you. Some people can not let go their emotions (usually negative, as they are easier to stick by) for a lifetime.
In application to love, you can fall in love with a complete stranger by… you got it! thinking about them. Again, a storymaking machine that is your mind whirrs into action and poof! you are gone into the land of fairies and butterflies. You are not here, you are not present, you are living out a fantasy in your mind.
The very act of grasping for the feather creates the wind current that pushes it away.
And then, of course, we can’t bear to lose this fantasy we created, the castle we have so painstakingly constructed in our mind (mind!). We start obsessing. We want to be near the object of our love. We think (think!) about them constantly. We become love addicts.
Don’t cling to what you desire. Just accept the discomfort of your unmet longing.
Then we learn. Or life teaches us a lesson. Stop making up stories in your mind! You, overly romantic nerd. If someone is meant for you, you will know. The treatment for love addiction is to learn to let go. To be comfortable with not having object of your desires. To let them be. To understand what’s driving this need to be in this crazy, all consuming emotional state, what explains this lack inside of you, why you are projecting this outside and then to accept the condition and the underlying reasons.
You trusted this thing called love so much that the gripping fear you may have felt before loosened, and you were willing to give up everything that once made you feel safe and in control.
Lissa Rankin offers an intriguing theory on why we fall in love which may explain why some do it obsessively. Love helps us deal with fears. It’s a sort of escapism I guess. When we love, we are fearless (just think of all the stupid/ brave things you did last time you were in love!). I realised this after reading The Fear Cure – I did fall in ‘love’ to help me create, write. The whirlwind of emotions accompanying ‘love’ helps overcome the writer’s block fears (of rejection, failure, success, etc). Like magic potion, it transports you to your Muse and keeps you going throughout the night, on an empty stomach, for hours just creating, writing, reciting the stories inside of you.
For all love addicts out there. Once you understand the link between the ‘love’ you think (think!) you are feeling and the fear/s you have, you suddenly find yourself in the harsh light of reality, naked and ashamed. But this is part of waking up and overcoming the addiction. The real love is of course somewhere else. You start seeing it as it is, without the drama, firmly in the now, warmly glowing in your heart with a light that never goes out.