Elaine had been learning Real Love for a couple of years. She attended seminars and retreats. She participated in many conference calls and groups and Real Love calls. And yet still she was afraid.
She called me and said, “I don’t get it. I still get afraid, and I can see in the eyes of other people that they don’t feel loved by me. You keep loving me, but I’m missing something.”
“You’re so busy defending yourself that you can’t feel what I’m giving you. So, no matter what words I say, or what words you say, at the end of the conversation, you’re not happier.”
“I still don’t get it.”
“No, you don’t. You’re too afraid either to feel my love for you or to understand what I’m saying. Let’s try a mental image. You’re asking me for a bowl of ice cream, so I go to the freezer, get you what you want, and hand it to you. But then you don’t eat it. You’re not the slightest bit happy about it. Instead, you stir up the bowl and poke at it with a spoon, carefully examining the contents for hidden razor blades. You persist in doing this to the point that the ice cream melts into a puddle, and then you pour it on the floor, still looking for razor blades.”
When we’ve been in pain and afraid long enough, defending ourselves becomes a default. Without thinking, we do it all the time, so that when we are offered Real Love, we immediately defend ourselves and become incapable of feeling the love we’ve always needed. We’re too busy looking for razor blades to eat ice cream.
Solution? We need wise men and women to create an environment so safe and loving—and with sufficient guidance—that we can entertain the possibility of not defending ourselves. The first time we choose not to defend ourselves makes it much easier to make that choice the second time, then the third. And before long we establish a pattern of being open and accepting the love available to us.
Learn how to truly love others and give them what they need.