Part II—The Messiness of Love
No matter how hard we work, giving and receiving love doesn’t necessarily equate feeling love.
In my work as an EFT therapist, I see many different types of clients. Though virtually all of them come in with good intentions and even good insight, they get stuck resolving conflict, maintaining connection, and feeling heard and seen.
As I mentioned in my first post, there is a lot of wisdom that comes from learning what others who have come before us and from different cultures have observed and discovered about love.
Some Ancient Greek thinkers believed that love could very well be something like a mental illness—a form of madness where desire overpowers sound judgement—an opinion worthy of consideration for anyone who has found themselves acting in surprising ways in relationships! Intimate human relationships are messy.
Perhaps fourth-century North African thinker Augustine of Hippo can help clarify this tension: Are we made for love? Or, does love make us sick?
The answer is surprising. Yes, and yes. It’s both.
Augustine underscores that we when seek out love from others in way that is inappropriate, we will feel like we are going crazy, but when we can love in a way that we are made for, we find authentic satisfaction.
Intimate relationships are the battleground for giving and receiving love. Sometimes we think we are being clear in our attempts to show love, but we are still trying to protect feelings or avoid hard conversations that might have some conclusions we aren’t ready for and don’t want, sacrificing our own truth to “make it work.” Moreover, sometimes our partners have wounds that make it difficult to love—and, more importantly, sometimes we have wounds that do the same.
Wounds challenge Augustine’s second point—because even when you love or are loved appropriately, you will neither enjoy the love you’re giving or receiving if your emotions haven’t been healed. In relationships, it isn’t enough to simply know you are loved on an intellectual level. We also need to feel it because feelings are central to our human experience of being someone loved in the world.
Fortunately, Emotionally Focused Therapy can help repair relationships through healing emotional wounds. In other words, therapy makes sense of the messiness love and unites the “knowing” you are loved with the “feeling” you are loved.
This Post Written By:
Nicole Rizkallah, LAMFT – Therapy With Heart
8737 E. Via De Commercio, Suite 200
Scottsdale, Arizona 85258
Phone: (480) 888-5380
Fax: (480) 203-2881