Daniel called and expressed his unhappiness. "I'm just not feeling the love. I understand it in my head, but I'm not feeling it."
This is a very common problem among people who study Real Love. The principles make sense to them. They can understand how love would fill their emptiness. But they can't feel it, and without that feeling to motivate them, they soon stop their efforts to find it.
"How many times have I talked to you?" I asked. "In-person and by phone."
"Many times. Dozens."
"And why would I do that?"
"Because you care about me?"
"Yes, and what is another word for that?"
"So why don't I feel it?"
"Because you don't believe you're worth loving. With their words and behavior, your parents and others told you that you were lovable only if you met certain standards—if you were smart, clean, cooperative, grateful, and so on. They 'loved' how you made them feel, and you were smart enough to figure out what that meant—that who you really were was not good enough. In other words, you were not worth loving unconditionally."
Daniel let out a long sigh. "That's it. I really don't believe I'm worth loving."
"And who told you that?"
"The people you just described."
"And what were they like? Were they unconditionally loving?"
"So you've chosen to believe the judgments of people who were empty, afraid, and blind."
"I guess so."
"You had no choice. When someone in a position of trust and authority tells a child that something is true, it simply becomes true. These people told you that you were worthless, and you believed them. It became an incontrovertible FACT for you. So now when I tell you that you are worth loving, it simply doesn't fit into the world you were taught. You can't believe it."
"So what can I do?"
"First, you have to see that your entire past life was a lie. You were taught lies. Everything you believe about yourself was founded on lies. Nobody meant to hurt you in this way—nobody meant to lie to you—but they did it anyway, and the effect on you has been horrifying. If I'm careless with a gun, I can easily kill you accidentally. Then I can claim that I didn't mean to do it, but you'll still be dead."
"Sometimes I feel dead."
"So the first part of changing is intellectual. You have to understand that all the fearful and blind people in your life couldn't possibly have told you the truth about yourself. They didn't even see the truth about themselves. All lies. If you really get that, you can take a big step toward adopting beliefs that are true."
"Okay, what's the second part."
"That's harder. You simply have to trust me—trust me that I won't hurt you, that I won't lie to you, and that I will love you."
"How do I do that?"
"Trust is a decision, kid. You choose to trust, and in this case, it's not that hard. It's still a leap of faith, sure, but the leap isn't that great. How much evidence do you have that I care about you?"
"Quite a bit."
"And do I strike you as afraid and blind, as the other people have been in your life?"
"No, not at all."
"So if I'm not afraid and blind, would I be able to see you more clearly?"
"Yes, I guess so."
"You guess so?"
"Yes, you would see me more clearly."
"By a lot. The opinions of a million blind people mean nothing compared to the statement of a single person who can see. And what have I told you about yourself?"
"That I'm worth loving."
"So, first you recognize that you've lived in a world of lies, and then you decide to trust that I'm telling you the truth. If you can do that, you can begin to feel the love you're already being given."
Feeling loved is wonderful, but for most of us, it's unfamiliar. When we're stressed, we tend to do what we know, not what is right. We tend to believe what we've been taught, not what is true. When we're afraid, we reach out to control the people and things around us, but Real Love can't be controlled. It can only be given and received freely. That lack of control adds another layer of unfamiliarity and fear of trusting that someone can love us.
If you don't feel loved and genuinely happy, take the leap of faith. It's the only way.
Replace your fear and confusion with peace and happiness.
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