Defensive About Love?

If the idea of unconditional love causes you to feel anxious there’s a good chance there is some emotional healing that is needed before you can fully embrace the idea. We are all a collection of emotional wounds from our past which prevent us from fully enjoying all the best things this life has to offer.

In an effort to find ways to survive the maze of all that life can throw at you, you create a defensive system just to navigate the potential angst you can face on a daily basis. You don’t want to feel bad, rejected, threatened, or experience emotional pain, so you make it a priority to protect yourself from being vulnerable.

Yet, love is all about letting go and being vulnerable.

While we all want to be loved unconditionally, the idea of loving someone else this way can be very frightening, leaving you fearful of what might happen if you let down your guard. Your protection of yourself can be interpreted by onlookers, or potential love interests, as hostility or anger.

You may find yourself pushing away a potential love interest, finding fault, potentially offering up false accusations, impulsively challenging, judging, or rejecting any openness, compassion, or closeness because you are overwhelmed by the pain from your past relationships (which can go far back, even to early childhood relationships).

You may be unaware of the source of your angst, still, you remain defensive, embroiled in defensive thought, overwhelmed by fault-finding, seeing “red flags,” or finding ways to blame anyone or anything for justifying your negative feelings.

Just the fact that you were emotionally hurt or betrayed by someone you fully loved and trusted from your past can create an alarm that sounds triggering your defensive response any time you feel yourself starting to trust or love.

When you were a child, you loved unconditionally, often only to be abrasively and suddenly make keenly aware that you cannot trust those who you believed would never hurt you. You carry these unhealed emotional wounds into adulthood, as you collect more corroborative evidence along the way.

As a child, you idealize or idolize your parents, and when they discipline you, you feel rejected, still, to survive, you assume responsibility and accept that you must have done something wrong or were bad, even when you did nothing wrong. You might carry this into an adult romantic relationship, as you seek to replace your parents with a different kind of life mate.

We all desire to grow and expand in a safe environment with another to forge a life and emerging with a family of our own as we mature. When ancient texts suggest, like St. Paul did, “that a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the twain shall become one flesh,” (Ephesians 5:31) note that it says to “cleave” not to cling. To cleave is like the grafting of two trees into one, so that the one tree can bear two types of fruit. There is no separation, yet the fruits of both trees are there for all to see and be enjoyed by the community.

This is the natural desire of an adult, yet your conscious and/or unconscious mind reasons that no one can be trusted, and if you do trust anyone, they will turn on you, causing you to experience sadness, pain, and/or emotional trauma.

If you’ve ever fully trusted and loved someone, only to have your whole world shattered into a million pieces, like the man who didn’t believe in love, what right-thinking person would willingly put themselves in that place of vulnerability again?

You can go on through life, asserting your independence by not needing anyone, “I can do it myself.” Doing so keeps others at arm’s length (and a beer bottle) and isolates you keeping from deeply connecting another or others. “I don’t need anyone.”

You may find ways to fill the void by immersing yourself in your career, hobbies, or addictions if you are unable to love yourself unconditionally. You might be surprised to learn that the same conditions you impose on others regarding trust and love, you also place upon yourself.

If you really desire to love another, you must first find the love for you within yourself. Then, this love can overflow to be shared with others.

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.