new age spirituality

© Dr. Georgina Cannon - This article MAY NOT BE REPRODUCED without the permission of the author.

What is This Thing Called Love?

by Dr. Georgina Cannon

“But I really love her”…is the plaintiff cry I hear in the clinic when a relationship is over.

“But I love him”…is what I hear when the suggestion arises that one might want to leave a relationship which ill treats you physically, emotionally, or sexually.

It may be true, but in reality, being in love isn’t enough. What’s missing?

Respect. Conversation. Understanding. Trust. Friendship and support.

Without at least three of these things, there is no relationship. And love isn’t enough by itself to build a lasting, strong viable relationship.

Knowing how to look for and participate in a loving relationship comes from what we learn as children. What we see and experience can become our truth and our pattern of relationships. How our parents treated each other and how they treated us can set the blueprint for our own relationships.

In the clinic, I find that I’m dealing with the love issue a great deal. People who can’t find love, people who don’t trust love – or avoiders, and people who are love addicts.

If you’re a love addict, you move from relationship to relationship, each one following the same pattern – instant attraction, within a few days you’re giving gifts or writing poems, making time for them whenever they call, never mind what else is going on in your life. Total focus on the other person - mind, body and energy. The other person starts to pull away, you feel and act like a victim, the other person leaves you. You have stopped being the person you were, all of your emotional, physical, and mental energy is devoted to the other person. Your happiness becomes dependent on their presence.

If you are a love avoider, you are attracted to the neediness and vulnerability of the love addict – it gives you a high to feel wanted, needed and loved. For a short time. Eventually you feel engulfed, smothered, invaded by the neediness of the other person, and you run. Often not very nicely! But then you repeat the process over again – and again. Sometimes even with the same person. And you end up feeling guilt. And that’s not good! Release the guilt with our Dump The Junk e-book and CD, and start fresh, learning and understanding your true needs for boundaries, appreciation, respect, and caring.

Falling in love isn’t the same as loving. It manifests differently in daily life. Falling in love can, at times, feel like a kind of insanity. It often creates a desire to be with the loved one continuously, write their name, hear their voice. Life becomes totally dependent on being with the other person, they fill the mind and emotions, leaving out everything and everyone else. It is at times like these that friends complain “you’ve disappeared,” or “I don’t see or hear from you”. That’s because the process of falling in love is exclusive, not inclusive.

The falling in love process, or infatuation, is often instant, and it is the time where even unpleasant behaviour can be turned around as positive – until real life sets in! “I love the way he wants to be with me all the time – I feel loved and protected,” can later become: “I feel smothered...I have no space of my own…he wants to know where I am all the time”.

Loving is inclusive – that’s one of the main differences.

So what should we be looking for when looking at a healthy loving relationship? Whether the love relationship is about friends, family, or lovers, the basic tenets are the same.

Love is kind and nurturing – love keeps your best interest at heart.
Love is co-operative and caring.
Love gives you space to be your best self – growing and learning in life.
Love is commitment to time, it is different to lust, which is “I want it (you) NOW”.
Love is inclusive – it allows as many people as you wish into your circle of love.
Love allows you to feel happy, secure and appreciated.

Ultimately it is important that we create enough space in our lives, and in our existing relationships, so that new people can come into our life in a meaningful way. And whether that way be through Love, Lust or Infatuation, it is important to understand and acknowledge which one it is…and enjoy it for what it is.

About The Author
Dr. Georgina Cannon, a certified master clinical hypnotherapist, is an international award-winning teacher, lecturer, author and Director of the Ontario Hypnosis Centre in Toronto, Ontario.