Loving Upstream

Love resistance is one’s inability to accept and embrace the best things in life, the positive, powerful emotions, even rejecting them due to sensitivities to negative attachments from the past.

Fear will keep you anchored in negative emotional states because there is a feeling (albeit a false sense of security) associated with the belief that you can control the life which surrounds you with brute force. The emotions of fear are all in the domain of force.

In the realm of power, are emotions which are based in love. To hover among these emotional states requires letting go and allowing life to flow as you detach from expectations and grow.

You can achieve much in your own militaristic strength and understanding, but if you can lean not unto your own understanding, you open our life to new, infinite possibilities, allowing exponential rewards from far less effort on your part because you are operating in the flow of the power of love, in effect downstream.

Going with the flow, you travel much further with little or no effort. You must still be active and aware enabling you to simply maneuver your movement amidst the flow to avoid any potential resistance. You don’t have to be pushing to move upstream with all your might against the current.

If you are loving upstream, against the current, you will be unable to accept genuine love flowing from another. Your perception is clouded by fear from an experience from the past. You will be predisposed to suspicion of being love because love in the past resulted in pain.

You know you are loving upstream if you predicate any display of love with, “the last time.”

“The last time,” is an excellent method to support the survival of the fittest. We learn from our mistakes and protect ourselves from suffering a similar negative result by protecting ourselves with all our might upstream; against the current or flow of love.

Some examples might include, your partner asks you to put on your safety belt, and you resist because you’ve associated wearing a safety belt with being controlled of having the affairs of your life dictated by someone else in the past. You recoil with rejection, when your partner’s intent was to encourage you to be safe, as an expression of his or her love for you.

Other upstream rejections of another’s expression of love might include feeling assaulted when you are complimented. Feeling threatened if given an unexpected gift or shown some other form of generosity. Not being able to receive compliments because of either feeling unworthy or fearing potential manipulation. Rejecting intimacy because, “All you want is sex,” when this refers more to a past relationship, rather than reality in the now. And the list goes on and on, ad infinitum.

So you build walls of protection around yourself and push away any potential for love in fear, upstream, against the current.

Effective? Yes. Your highest and best method of living in the flow of love? No.

No wonder the search for love is so frustrating, even exhausting, when you’re attempting to achieve it with all your determined strength, loving upstream.

Red Flag Obsession

There’s so much advise, and when you’ve been the unfortunate victim of abuse or a romance-gone-bad, you can find a sense of safety by looking for red flags. Beware that you might fall victim to red flag obsession.

And if you aren’t able to come up with enough red flags, you can find all the red flags you could possibly imagine everywhere from newsstands and books to the over-anxious depths of the worldwide web.

When you start looking for red flags, out of fear, your fear will begin to see everything as a potential red flag. The same red flags which you embraced as a means to protect yourself can actually promote your own deterioration or destruction.

If you’re frightened, broken, or suffering from a broken heart, you probably shouldn’t be looking to put yourself at risk. You should avoid putting yourself in situations that could potentially be risky so that you don’t have to use red flags to help keep you safe.

If you are looking for red flags, you’re bound to potentially find them everywhere you look, keeping yourself in a perpetual state of panic. Not only will you find this exhausting, but the stress that comes from this will cause your immune system to fail, and this will cause your social network to break down.

It will be difficult for someone obsessively looking for red flags to trust others, it also engenders a feeling in others who may feel the negative energy of your troubled perspective to trust you, especially, if you’ve announced your propensity to be looking for red flags.

People don’t like to be judged unjustly and will think they are under your unrelenting microscopic examination. Few people would sign-up for such an interrogative approach to demonization and may find ways to avoid you and your red flag obsession.

And if you’re so inclined, you will probably assume that this person was guilty when they found a way to avoid further interaction with you.

Red flag obsession is a lonely business where you assume the role of the only righteous judge who is constantly judging all who access your social court and is akin to narcissism. You’re better than that.

Not all people are bad people. In fact, few of them are. There are far more good people in the world than predatory ones. But if you are looking for red flags, you will be able to take a small detail, and using your fear-fueled imagination, you can assume this is a potentially dangerous person.

Only bad people have to assert how good they are by constantly saying, “I’m a good person.” For the most part, a good person doesn’t need to assert their goodness. The people who have known this person for an extensive amount of time will know how “good” they are by witnessing their integrity over time.

A truly good person does not have to convince anyone of their goodness and they may feel it unreasonable, or at least awkward, having to prove their goodness or worthiness to anyone.

Rather than looking for the evil red flags, a healthier, wiser person might otherwise be looking for the good in others. And it’s not just enough to query them in a question and answer format-like interview.

Take your time and observe them over time. Don’t jump right in and put yourself at risk, though moving any relationship to a deeper level will have risk associated with it. The best and closest relationships involve a degree of vulnerability or risk.

Continue to be cautious, but not so cautious that it makes you paranoid about being at risk all the time, this is unhealthy red flag obsession.

If you’ve been bitten by the red flag bug, no problem. We all do the best we can with what we have. You don’t owe anyone an apology, you didn’t do anything wrong, but now you can start taking a more positive approach to getting to know others.

You’ll be surprised to find that once you start looking for the best (just like when you were looking for the worst) in others, you will find beauty and goodness everywhere you look. And you won’t have to worry about being at risk.

Just because you’re looking for the best in others doesn’t make you blind. You will see the inconsistencies in others and you can safely file the information away as you allow their reality to unfold naturally before you.

Buried Treasure in Fighting

Conflict in relationships is part of the growing and expanding love opportunity. You can choose to join forces support and heal each other through each conflict, or let each successive conflict tear away and erode the relationship until there is nothing left to fight for.

If you as a couple unite and allow for conflict to be a tool for advancing your love, creating deeper meaning, connection, and intimacy in your relationship, you will find the buried treasure in fighting and are very blessed indeed.

To effectively approach conflict in its most positive and powerful form, it might be good to understand what fighting is all about.

1. Fighting is Not about Us

When you’re in the midst of a passionate discussion, conflict, or fight, try to keep in mind that while the surface message may be an important message about you, your relationship, some circumstance or situation surrounding your relationship, honor and listen to this surface message, but the passionate delivery or rage, has little or nothing to do with you or your relationship.

2. Fighting is about Fear

A useful part of our physiology, the brain’s secretion of the danger cocktail (a combination of Adrenaline, Cortisol, and Norepinephrine hormones) disconnects all resources that might be used for conducting thoughtful rationale in exchange for the focused struggle for survival, a definite advantage when encountering man-eating lions, tigers, and bears. And fear is the trigger that sounds the alarm, overriding our nervous system.

The “fear” may not be what it appears to be on the surface. You will notice this when your first reaction might be, “Why are you so upset?” because the subject doesn’t seem to match such an intense emergency response. In this case, most likely, the fear is anchored in your partner’s past.

We all accumulate fears from the time we are born, and they routinely express themselves as we walk through our adult lives (often at the most inopportune times) and link themselves to something which triggers the emergency response and you are prepared to fight or run as fast as you can to avoid peril or impending doom.

3. You as a Couple are Allies

Remembering that you are in this together is a key component. When you are facing an obstacle, challenge, or emotionally charged threat to the relationship, remember it is not you against your partner. It is you and your partner linked side-by-side heart-to-heart against this invisible adversary who is trying to come between you.

You and your partner are committed to each other and this relationship. You wouldn’t intentionally do anything to hurt your partner. You love and support him or her and would do anything to help him or her.

And if you can clearly see your partner overreacting to an issue and spinning out of control emotionally, this is a sign that your partner needs your help. So, stay calm, don’t let yourself get lost in the drama, be the strong support that your partner needs in this vulnerable and sensitive state.

4. Pay Attention

Listen and pay attention to what might be represented as unspoken content or underlying fear. Honor the surface message by clearly understanding what your partner is trying to communicate and seek clarification and acknowledgment that you are understanding correctly while continuing to look below the surface for clues.

Our fears, which hold us back and block us from our highest potential have accumulated and followed us from birth, and these fears are normally anchored to our relationship with our parents (like fear of loss, or abandonment) or other childhood traumas.

If you are attentive and fueled by the love for your partner and his or her best interests, you might be able to uncover the hidden connection to his or her fear(s) from the past. This is when you,

5. Find the Buried Treasure

The buried treasure in the conflict.

An example might be,

You and your partner agreed to (driving in separate vehicles) meet in the parking lot of a restaurant. When you showed up ten minutes late due to a traffic jam, you met with your partner’s outrage. Let’s say, you did the right thing, did not get defensive and help the space sacredly for your partner’s outrage, letting him or her get it out.

You let your partner know that you understand that he or she is upset because you were late and rather than take the time to let him or her know that you might be late, you decided to focus your efforts on getting there as quickly and safely as possible.

You reinforce that you wouldn’t do anything to hurt or harm your partner, your heart is filled with love for him or her, and you would do anything to protect your partner and be there for him or her to the best of your ability.

Then, after a while, you might query, “Is there a time when you can remember in your life, in the past, when someone showed up late?”

You can see the rage start to build as your partner tells the story about how he or she was left to wait alone in the school parking lot, waiting for his or her father to pick her up after school. The father had forgotten and she waited alone, now in the dark, for four-and-a-half hours!

Bingo! You found the buried treasure!

Now that you and your partner recognize this, you can move through the process of your partner’s healing about this traumatic episode from his or her past.

You guys are a super team!

You have supported your partner and helped him or her face his or her demons face-forward and come out on the other side victorious! Nothing draws a couple closer together or engenders greater intimacy than that.

Kind’a makes you look forward to the next fight, ’eh?

Oh, by the way, in honor of the surface message, after apologizing for being late, you also agreed to call ahead if at all possible (more possible now, with cell phones) if you’re going to be late out of courtesy, love, and respect for your partner, which is something that his or her father never got to do.

Note: This example was a pretty direct conclusion to arrive at. In other circumstances, it could take a lot more investigative work on your part as you collect data from a past fear expressing itself repeatedly before you are able to properly detect it.

Love and Fear in Relationships

We already know that we bring baggage along with us into any relationship which contains ideas, fears, programming, and beliefs that hinder our ability to be honest, open and have a truly loving connection with another person.

Because we believe these ideas to be true, because in our mind and felt by our emotions, they appear to be even more real than the pain of life which might be felt in the real world. The construct in our mind has been so carefully designed and programmed since our birth that we believe it, more than we might believe something in real life that may contradict our programming.

The fears which we harbor from the past plays out in a dramatic portrayal, all the while supporting the underlying belief, i.e., I can’t trust anyone, all men are dogs, I will never know true love, to have love you must give up yourself, etc. We do this, even if we don’t like it because there is safety in knowing a thing is true. We are comforted by the experiential re-enforcement of our beliefs even if they are painful and untrue, which may not make it true but it does make it appear as though you are right. The question is, then,

Let’s face it, love and fear are polar opposites on the emotional scale, how can anyone expect to bring such a contradiction to a logical conclusion. Love and fear will always promote pain and dysfunction. For instance, if you have a fear which asserts that you cannot trust anyone, then this becomes your self-fulfilling prophecy. After a while in your relationship your partner will do something that seemed perfectly normal or “cute” in the beginning, but suddenly the same act triggers an emotional response making you feel as though you have been betrayed, he or she is sneaking around or hiding something from you, and the drama is played out.

Which would you rather have?

To be right, or to have love?

We tend to project our feelings and fears from our past onto our partner, and we are so good at it that our partner will have no hope in overshadowing your projected image or idea, no matter how well-intended and loving as they might be. This creates an environment which fosters difficulty in couple’s connection and conversation.

When something sets you off in an emotional tailspin, this is triggering a reaction based on some hidden fear which if identified and dealt with can engender healing and open up opportunities for unbridled growth and expansion in you, and untold possibilities for creating a deeper, more authentic and enduring connection with your partner.

If your relationship appears to be problematic, chances are if you heal your relationship to your self, you will also heal your relationship. I know, it can be a lot to try to wrap your head around because your first instinct is to say, “It’s not me,” it’s the other party who is causing all the conflict. The fact remains, if you are the one feeling the emotional reaction to the trigger, it’s you, not your partner.

Now, through a little investigative research, if you can ferret out the source of your reaction and deal with it in an effectively eliminating fashion, it will no longer have power over you, causing you to react irrationally. You, then, can focus on your partner’s issue (if it still remains) calmly, without accusation or judgment.

All you have to do is to open and allow for a deeper connection to be revealed to you, then do the deep work of exposing the root and eliminate it through a psychologically surgical process. The surgical process can take many shapes and forms and rarely does one procedure work on all people. Nonetheless, you can start this process, right now.

You can start by using a simple prayer,

“Reveal to me the ways that I am hindering achieving my highest and best that have anchors to my past. Help me identify them and heal them so I might enjoy life without being restrained by them. Let me see me and my potential for love more clearly.”

Then see what happens. Almost immediately, you will feel lighter as a new energy enters your sacred space and thirty-to-forty days, you will have access to this energetic power fully, as it strengthens over time as you send up this simple prayer daily.

You will also notice a shift in the energetic vibration of your relationship and your partner as well because as you grow and change, your relationship grows and changes also.

This energy will attract to you all the tools, knowledge and resources necessary to move you through the process. But you must be alert, attentive and willing to take action when you are quickened or when assistance is presented to you.

Your answered prayer will have things showing up in unusual ways, you will see themes and messages appear in media, internet searches, advertising, other people’s conversations, books which may be calling for you to read them, or even the message which seems to speak to you when hearing a song on the radio.

Check your motivation because you should be doing this for the right reason: You. You are not going about this work to save your relationship or to change your partner. You might find that your partner is changing along with you and that your harmonious journey will take you to unknown magnificence in true love and deep, meaningful connection.

On the other hand, as you do this deep inner work, you may discover that you and your partner really are not compatible and cannot continue on a single journey traveled by the two of you hand in hand. The time may come when you both send each other off to each continue his/her journey without you, as you continue yours.

Be open and don’t try to force a particular outcome, let the source of all life imbue you with everything you could possibly need to live a better life, your best life, and make the world a better place.

Let your love soar.