Rejecting Love

Some people just have no capacity for love. It’s not that they have no love in them because every one of us comes pre-filled with unlimited love, yet still, there are those who cannot accept love or even receive love because they have, to varying degrees, limited their inner love center or shut it down completely.

You recognize these people building virtual walls around themselves to keep people from getting in. They are highly guarded, defensive about love, keepers of secrets, and avoid connection through social interaction. Even a simple compliment is quickly discounted by these otherwise well-meaning people, who may be quick to respond aggressively or in anger as they reject the idea of being complimented.

At one moment, he or she can seem perfectly normal and suddenly they transform into someone else in a sort of Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde safety maneuver.

Our earliest experiences in life often dictate how you will respond to love throughout your life. It is highly likely that a person who rejects love did not grow up around a healthy love model in his or her young life.

In their tender, early years, those who reject love probably equated love with disappointment, rejection, and a barrage of other negative feelings which causes emotional pain and trauma triggered by even the thought of being vulnerable enough to give or receive love.

That’s why someone who has childhood trauma associated with love might react negatively or with hostility when approached with the idea of being loved as he or she sees love as a threat and may feel those same emotions tied to their unconscious childhood memories welling up inside them causing them to defensively reject an otherwise innocent loving gesture.

Those who are closest to them may find themselves being rejected, blamed for the way they are feeling or expressing themselves, accused of some imposed offense, or potential victims of abusive behavior when all they did was to offer caring love and support.

If you are one of those unfortunate recipients of an emotional upheaval, be aware that it has nothing to do with you. Only someone who is in a lot of suppressed emotional pain would respond to your love and affection that way.

Often these people are reacting to their life-long attempts to bury their negative feelings from childhood of loneliness, neglect, fear of abandonment, or abuse.

Their survival instinct kicks in as they subconsciously try to keep themselves from being hurt again, like they were in their youth, when someone they depended on, loved and trusted made them feel safe, loved and protected, only to found out that the people they love will let them down, betray, or hurt them.

There is also a conscious disconnect if someone feels as though they are unlovable, unworthy of being loved, or associates pain with love when someone else extends love to them. It’s like a short circuit happens in their brain, which challenges everything they “know” about life and their place in our society.

This feeling that being a victim of all the negative things which could happen when he or she is loved is triggered and this type of victimhood is very difficult to break-through.

A sense of mortality can present a problem with accepting love if they are obsessed with the idea of impending death. This can be triggered early in life when a loved one or a pet that was deeply loved suddenly dies. It could also happen later in life when an adult loses a loved-one unexpectedly.

These are the people who enter into a contract with their being to never love again so as to avoid the painful loss. They feel better about keeping close relationships at arm’s length or seeking a secluded life in isolation.

There are many other reasons which might find you face-to-face with someone who avoids or rejects love. In any case, those who are able to move on beyond their inclination to reject love are able to make a break-through by working with a coach, consultant, or counselor who can help them deal with the issues which threaten their ability to love and be loved.

And just as effectively, a love rejector can find their way by working through these issues and meet their inner child all on their own.

Even so, most importantly, when someone acts as though they are rejecting your love, know it is not about you, even if they blame you for their reaction. It is your responsibility to be compassionate and love them no matter what.

Do not try to fix them. Do not accuse them of being wrong or broken because they are not.

The object of your affection is only doing the best that he or she can with what they have.

Find new ways to love and support them which do not trigger his or her defense systems and love them unconditionally, if you dare.

God willing, one day he or she will awaken to true love and find a better way to love and be loved.

Love is all there is, everything else is an illusion.

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.