TRUE LOVE CHECKLIST: Is It Love Or Something Else?

I wanted to make a follow up post to go along with my last post about the misconception that Love Hurts. We discussed that Love is and always will be Love. We also discussed how if it’s not love that hurts then it must be fear. Mistaking  something else for love is not an uncommon problem.  When we have been betrayed, we think it is love that brings us pain, but really the pain was caused by deceit. “How could she do this to me, I love her.”  When we go through a loss, we think it is Love that brings us pain, but really the pain is caused by our attachment. “But I love him.”  When we go through a conflict we think that it is love that brings us pain, but really it is an unmet need.  “She doesn’t love me like I love her”. It’s misidentification like these that allow us to buy into the  belief that it is Love that is hurting us. That someone else is hurting us. If we never loved in the first place, we would be safe. WRONG! It is not how someone else is being that hurts, it is how you are being that does.

“What hurts is not love itself, but rather our unloving actions or reactions, the conditions we place on love, the fear that we are not loved, our resistance to being loved, and even out lack of faith in love… You experience pain when you are thinking, feeling, or behaving in a way that is not loving.” – Robert Holden

Love is a state of BEING. To BE Loving is a choice we must make. And if we aren’t in our loving, we are in fear. Remember, We can not be in both states at the same time. True love never dies. It is unconditional and everlasting. When there is a change in dynamic or even a loss, TRUE love still remains.  If in examples like the ones above can lead you to misidentify what love is, in what other ways may you be mistaking true love? What fearful reasons are really the root of your pain?

In Robert Holden’s book, Loveability, he has a TRUE LOVE CHECKLIST to help you “be aware of any mistakes you are making , recognize the real cause of pain, learn any unlearned lessons, and most of all, choose a better way”. 

shutterstock_93326353

 

TRUE LOVE CHECKLIST: (the following has been copied directly from the book)

1. Is this love or fear?
“The basic fear ‘I am unloveable’ is the primary cause to suffering. When you identify with this fear, it causes many tears to fall. The fear is not true, but if you believe it, you will turn away from yourself. Feeling unloveable causes you to reject your internal loveliness…When you believe ‘I am not loveable”, it causes you to contract inside, to defend yourself, and to behave in unloving ways that add to your pain. You also experience pain when fear appears to triumph over love: for example when it looks like love is not present, that love changes, that love is being withheld, that love is not enough, and that love dies. In deep pain, the fear is that love has forsaken you. In other words, love has rejected you, too. The temptation here is to reject love. However, when you stop loving, it hurts you even more. Only by loving can you begin to face fear, heal the pain, and walk out of hell. ”

2. Is this love or dependency?
“Many psychologist view dependency as a major source of pain in love. They counsel you against needing anything from anyone, lest you get hurt. One way to counteract this fear of dependency is to be totally independent of others. Unfortunately this causes just as much pain. Independence looks like freedom, but really it is a dead end. It shuts you off to the whole creation. Imagine if you had no relationships in your life. The truth is, we depend on relationships for our growth and evolution. Relationships are how we learn to love and be loved.

Health dependency allows you to ask for help, to be open to inspiration, to cooperate with others, and not to try to do life by yourself. Unhealthy dependency arises when you feel unloveable and see others as the source of your love. You believe it is their job to make you feel whole, secure, and connected to the world, to heal your wounds, and to validate you. Inevitably, though, when you make someone your source of love, they will also be your source of pain. No one does a very good job making someone feel lovevable, mostly because it’s an impossible task.”

People can encourage you to feel loveable, but they can’t make you feel loveable. Making sure you feel loveable is YOUR job, not someone else’s. 

3. Is this love or attachment?
“Can you feel the difference between feeling connected with and feeling attached to someone? When you love someone, you feel a connection that defies all physical laws. You feel connected from the moment you first recognize each other. Your friendship is timeless. You feel connected even if you live ten thousand miles apart. Your friendship knows no distance. You feel connected even when you haven’t spoken in ages. Your friendship is beyond words. You feel connected even if one of you is in heaven and the other is still here on earth. Your friendship is beyond all form. Your love for each other serves as a memory of your true nature, and somehow you know that your connection will continue long after you have forgotten about your visit to this world.

When you are attached to someone, it is still possible to feel that love connects you, but mostly what you feel is fear, anxiety, and pain. Attachments are contracts based on form. Pain arises when the conditions of attachment are not met…Pain also arises when the form of the relationship changes. Children grow up and leave home. Parent divorce and leave home. Our best friend gets married. We get married and divorced. People we love die. We grieve the loss of form, and understandably so. But, in truth, there is no loss in love, not when you allow yourself to feel your genuine connection to each other. ”

4. Is this love or do I have an agenda?
“What do you expect from your mother? What do you expect from your lover? What do you expect from your child? from the world? Whenever your expectations are not met, you will know it, because you will feel disappointed, let down, angry, and hurt. What is the difference between an expectation and a demand? Nothing much actually. Expectations look innocent enough, but they carry an agenda, a plan, and a demand to get something. Each expectation is set on a timer, and if you don’t get what you want in time, the bomb goes off.

Expectations are fear based. They are an effort to grab what you want instead of letting it come to you. The more afraid you are of not getting what you want, the more expectations you have on your list. Expectations are frustrating because they arise from an attitude of getting that blocks receptivity. They create an agenda that acts like a wall between you and the other person. Love doesn’t have an agenda, because an attitude of love is really based on BEING rather than getting or receiving…Love helps you to BE what you want to give and receive.”

Common Expectations That Cause Hurt in Relationships:
* I expect to be loved by everybody
* I expect people I love to love me, too
* I expect people I love to love me more than others
* I expect others to know how I need to be loved
* I expect others to love me the way I love them
* I expect people I love to know that I love them
* I expect others to love me without making mistakes
* I expect others to love me all the time.

5. Is this love or am I trying to get something?
“You can’t feel hurt unless you are giving to take”, says Chuck Spezzano. When you give love in order to get love, it ends in tears, either right away or eventually. Love is not something to get. You can’t get love from people like you get a bottle of soda from a vending machine. If you did a naked dance in front of them, you could probably get their attention, some approval, and even a wild applause. This might feel pretty good, but it wouldn’t be love. If you give love in order to get love, you will end up feeling disappointed and resentful. “Look what I did for you”, you yell. “I even did a naked dance for you,” you cry. When you give love freely, you feel the love you give and you feel loveable NO MATTER WHAT the return.”

6. Is this love or am I in sacrifice?
“There are two types of sacrifice: unhealthy sacrifice and health sacrifice. One is based on fear and the other on love. Knowing the difference is the key to knowing how to love and be loved. Unhealthy sacrifice may appear to work at first, but love and dishonesty are not good bedfellows. Lovers try to play small in a relationship in order to heal power struggles and avoid rejection. Children get ill in a desperate attempt to heal their parents relationship. Business leaders nearly kill themselves for their cause. Unhealthy sacrifice is often well intentioned, but it doesn’t work, because it’s based on fear not love.

Healthy sacrifice is a different story. To be happy in a relationship, you have to be willing to sacrifice your fear for love, independence for intimacy, resentment for forgiveness, and old wounds for new beginnings. Above all, you have to stop giving yourself away and learn how to give more of yourself. You give yourself away when you are not true to yourself, when you play a role, when you don’t speak up, when you don’t ask for what you want, when you don’t listen to yourself, and when you don’t allow yourself to receive.”

7. Is this love or am I in a role?
“Two people in a relationship will play out a number of roles together. When you are happy, you barely notice these roles exist. However, when things are not okay, the roles are more fixed and rigid. They are your position and your point of view in the relationship. They affect your capacity to give and receive. They can cause you to polarize and to oppose each other. This is painful, as you no longer feel like you are on the same team. The perceived separation can cause a power struggle and more conflict.

Roles that are fixed and rigid cause hurt and pain. These roles usually begin in childhood, born of fear that you are not loveable or that there is not enough love to go around…When there is a problem in the relationship, your homework is to find out what role you are playing and also consider what good things could happen if you stopped playing this role. Here are some good examples of roles that cause polarity:”

* Am I loving this person or am I playing the role of a martyr?
* Am I loving this person or am I playing the independent role or the dependent role?
* Am I loving this person or am I playing the role of the parent or the child?
*Am I loving this person or am I playing the role of the rescuer or the victim?
*Am I loving this person or am I trying to be positive or be contrary?

8. Is this love or am  I trying to change the person I love?
“Have you tried to change your partner recently? How did it go? Were they suitably appreciative? I imagine you didn’t get a thank you note for your efforts. Have you tried to change your children? Were they receptive? Did it work this time? Children are willing learners, except when they don’t feel loved. Have you tried to change your parents? After all, they’re getting older now and so they should be weaker and less able to resist your campaign. Has anyone tried to change you recently? How did you feel about that? Did you feel more loved? Are you feeling even more love for that person who wants to change you?

A common mistake in relationships is the belief that your love will change a person, eventually. You can’t love someone and want him or her to change. For a start, when you try to change people, they do not feel loved by you. If anything, they feel judged and rejected. Love does not seek to change people, because love does not find any fault in a person’s true essence. Love can help a person grow and to bring out the best in him or her; but you will not see any of this of you do not love the person unconditionally in the first place. The paradox for love is that when you stop wanting each other to change, you are changed, and this change enables you to love each other more. “Ask yourself:

* Am I loving this person or am I trying t o fix him?
* Am I loving this person or am I trying to improve her?
* Am I loving this person or am I trying to save him?
* Am I loving this person or am I trying to heal her?
* Am I loving this person or am I trying to get him enlightened?

9. Is this love or am I trying to control this person?
“Every relationship experiences what is commonly called a power struggle. This is not just in marriage, but also in relationships between parents and children, between in-laws, and between siblings. In a power struggle, both people have to learn to give up trying to control each other so as to experience true friendship and love. When a power struggle is healed, it helps both people feel more equal, more connected, and more loved.

Control is a form of fear. When you are tempted to control the relationship, it’s because you are afraid that you are unloveable and that you might lose someone’s love. Unfortunately, the more you try to control a relationship, the less loving it feels. Too much control makes the other person passive or passive aggressive. The more you control someone, the less attractive and interesting the person is to you. Control stunts growth, it kills aliveness. Here are some points to consider:

* Am I loving this person or am I playing it safe?
* Am I loving this person or am I trying to protect him?
* Am I loving this person or am I trying to protect myself?
* Am I loving this person or am I trying to keep the peace?
* Am I loving this person or am I trying to hold on to her?

10. Is this love or am I trying not to get hurt?
If you believe that love hurts, you will be afraid to love and be loved. This fear of love makes you want to protect yourself against love. Your ego creates an arsenal of defenses that stop you, for instance, from loving too much or loving too easily. You employ these defenses to feel safe, in control, and emotionally insured against any injury. And still you get hurt. And hurt again. Eventually, by some act of grace, you consider the possibility that these defenses are the cause of your hurt. And so it is, because defenses are made of fear and fear keeps you stuck in the experience you are trying to escape.

Until you realize that love doesn’t hurt, love will always seem to hurt you. That will be your story anyway. If you are willing to let go of your story, even for just a moment, you can start to have a different experience of love. As you begin to  dismantle some of your old defenses, you notice the love course runs more smoothly. Eventually, your defenselessness opens you up to experience pure love.”

 

If you are feeling pain or loss of love in any moment, stop and ask ask yourself, is this true love or is this something else?  It isn’t until you discover what it REALLY is, that you can start to heal and return to loving.

What are some ways you mistake pain for love? In what ways can you think, feel, and BE more loving? Leave your answers in the comment section below.

xoxo,

barista

Reflect on the Journey

It’s the last day of the year!!! Some never thought we’d make it to see this day but we’re here at the end of chapter on another year with promise and hope for many more to come.

hindsight-rear-view-future-past-road-mirrorI like for everyone to take some time today and REALLY reflect on this past year and what has happened.

As I look back on 2012, I remember the feeling I had last January and knowing that 2012 was going to be a BEGINNING to awesome things and boy have I manifested that. I started this blog which is a huge step in the direction I want to go. I went to New York for the first time and with my mother of which we hadn’t been on a vacation together for a loooong time. I tried some things I’d never done before like zip lining and parasailing. Both also taking me out of my comfort zone due to my fear of heights. I got engaged to my love and the father of my child of whom I’ve been involved with for the last 7 years. I experienced freedom by setting some truths free and the outcome forced me to grow. We moved into a new house of which we absolutely love, in the process let go of some old and welcomed some new. I’ve been able to spend some amazing quality time with my family. We’ve decided that we want another baby. I created a model of an app idea I’ve been sitting on for two years, and met with some people to see what it’s going to take to make it. I got to meet and have a short conversation with a huge inspirator of mine, Mastin Kipp. I’ve learned more about living a healthy lifestyle. I’ve witnessed new beginnings for my loved ones around me be it babies, marriages, new boyfriends, new schools, new houses, new jobs, new perspectives. I’ve felt love, loss, anxiety, calm, peace, pain, happiness, joy, and a multitude of other emotions! I EMBRACE IT ALL. I am now equipped with knowing even more of what I want to create for myself and my future.

Sometime today, preferably before things get too wild, try to sit down in a quiet space and just go over all the events that took place this last 12 months. Were there things you did for the first time? Did you do something you’ve always wanted to do? Did you step out of your comfort zone? If so, what was the outcome? Did something terrible happen to you at all? What were the lessons learned? How have you become better? Can you see, even a little, how it fits the bigger picture? What were your moments of joy? Did you do anything to step closer to your dreams?

Years come and go and some of us never fully take the time to reflect on our journey. It is fufilling to take a rest break, look back at all the places you’ve been, painful, joyful, loving, or hard and just fully welcome who you are today because of everything. To let go for a second all the woulda coulda shouldas, the whatifs and maybes, and embrace ALL your experiences.

Tomorrow we can focus on our blank canvas of the new year. Today let’s be thankful for our journeys thus far!

xoxo,
barista

RIGHT NOW!

relax_your_mindI realized I want need to become more present in the moment. Seems so cliché and easy to say, yet is one of the hardest things to do. I spend way to much time worrying about the future, as most of us do. Thinking about…planning for…being scared of!!! The problem with that is that the future never ends up exactly how we envision it to be. Shit just doesn’t always go as planned. Think about it, when has something gone EXACTLY how planned? probably never, but stuff ALWAYS works out and life always moves on, doesn’t it.

We tend to stress so much over the “what ifs” but the key is KNOWING that even if things go worse than planned, those moments are just a tiny piece of a bigger picture for you.

Think about some of the things you stress over when thinking about the future. How much time is wasted stressing out? Time that you can never get back. Wouldn’t it be nice to know that things will work out just the way it needs to? Well the secret is, IT DOES! Things ALWAYS work out for the best even if now it doesn’t seem so. How many times have you looked back and realized that all the stress was unneccessary? Yet for some reason, we continue to act the same way again and again and again.

The lesson is to TRUST! Trust in the Universe! Trust in yourself! If you have faith in higher power, you need to have faith in yourself. They go hand in hand. Your level of trust in yourself is a mirror of the trust you have in something greater.

You should still have goals, ideas, and plans but you have to KNOW that no matter what your goals, plans, and ideas for the future are, you will get to where you need to be yet sometimes it’s not in the way you expected. You have to let go of the expectations to make room for something more grand to happen. Start thinking about all the things you want to change. Things you want to come to you. What kind of person do I want to be and what do I want for my life?

For your creations to become reality you have to take action which requires you to respond to today! The present. Think about, what can I do TODAY to move closer to what I want? How can I enjoy TODAY?

Think about RIGHT NOW. What you have in your life RIGHT NOW. Be thankful for RIGHT NOW. That’s gratitude at its highest form. Being thankful for where you are, who you are, and what you have RIGHT NOW!!

When you do that, all the worries and stress tend to go out the window. You can breathe in the air of the moment and experience life…. which is RIGHT NOW. The past doesn’t exist anymore and the future never comes. The ONLY thing we have is RIGHT NOW

Living in the past or the future, or in many cases both, does nothing but limit you from becoming the greatest you can be.When you are living from one of those places, you are actually missing right now. And if you are missing right now, you are missing life. If you are missing life, then whats the point?

Living in the present allows you to paint on a blank slate in every moment. You can create whatever you want. Whatever you dream. That’s the fun part. It shouldnt be stressful. Every moment is new. It’s not fun painting on a canvas that’s already used.  When you live in the present you begin to LIVE. You begin to be HAPPY. You don’t waste any more of your time being regretful or afraid. The stresses lessen because you KNOW that no matter what, your path and all the things that have happened or are going to happened are for your greater good so you can reach your highest potential. The faster you start to recognize that and see how it’s played in your life RIGHT NOW, the more time you have to live a HAPPY fulfilled life and make every moment count and THAT is the point! Look at how fast time flies… don’t you want to be able to feel new every day? every moment.

So I challenge you to practice living in the now. One easy way to do that is just showing gratitude. Being thankful for right now. Let go of any pain from the past and any expectations from the future and just witness the miracles in front of you. Even if just for a moment a day…stop, breathe, and enjoy RIGHT NOW!

xoxo,

barista

I’m Baaaaaack!

So I have been a little M.I.A (and no that’s not Miami) for the last month or so. So many changes have happened and truthfully I just didn’t make time for the blog. I beat myself up for it a bit but then realized that it’s ok to take a break! Sometimes when you take a break and sit out for a bit you can come back refreshed and brand new.

So upon starting this little post I decided that I want to really give my true authentic self. I know I have said this over and over andddd over again but it’s the part I struggle with when it comes to this blog. I worry so much about readers and followers that I don’t focus much on just allowing my inside to shine out. No expectations. When you have no expectations is when you can allow yourself to receive the highest results and most times that can come in ways we NEVER expected.

I decided it’s about time for me to start a routine to have that time to myself in order to touch on the feelings that are usually pushed aside. I realized that as in tuned with my SELF as I am, I am just as much out of tune. Ever get asked, “How are you feeling?” and your typical answer is “Good” or “I’m okay”. Do you even know that means to you? Do you REALLY know how you’re feeling? Can you accurately describe your feelings? How do you know you feel that way? What in your body is telling you so? These are questions most of us don’t even think about before uttering the expected “I’d doing good”. If you don’t know the answers then how do you know that how you describe to be feeling is even accurate to whats really going on? The only way to find out is to start investigating the truth behind the words.

As mentioned in my very first blog, I am an avoider. I avoid FEELING. So as part of my routine I want to start to meditate and sit with my feelings and write from my heart and from what I feel. This way it can come from a pure place, even if painful, instead of a place in which I need validation or recognition. I used to get so scared about writing… “what if I’m not good enough” but if I allow myself to write about whatever comes up I can do no wrong because that is what needs to be dealt with at that time.

I just finished my first mediation partially guided by a small script in Gabrielle Bernstein’s book “Add more -ing to your life”.  I downloaded some relaxing meditation music and just focused on breathing. I sat on my couch, put my hands to my side and took deep breaths in. I worked on focusing where the pain was coming from. At first I thought my stomach and I was trying to breathe through the pain. Then as I was doing that I started thinking “well why would it come from my stomach, shouldnt it be my heart or something”. There’s that expectation again. I wasn’t even sure if anything was really coming from my stomach either at that point.

After taking a few deep breaths, my head started to feel like it was floating and it started moving what felt very slowly but uncontrollably. It fell back against the couch and slowly was moving up and down , left and right. I immediately thought about “Ask and It Is Given” when Abraham got Esther’s attention and of course I then started trying to figure out if my head was making letters. Yup expectation again! When I caught myself I re-focused back on breathing and just allowing whatever was happening to just happen. It almost felt like a masseuse was guiding my head in circles trying to loosen it up and get my to just relax and let it in.

Maybe that was my answer… Maybe that is where my pain is located. In my head. Maybe in all my expectations. I will have to touch on that more but it was an enlightening experience none the less and led me to start up this post and come back to My Mornin Coffee. So here we go, with intention to let the expectations go, starting with this blog. This is not a “normal” post for me…there is no “message” but some times maybe there doesn’t need to be. Some times the words just need to be free with nothing in mind but to glide. And I will allow that to be ok.

Thanks for having me back!

xoxo,

By Taking Chances, We Learn To Be Brave

A Creed To Live By

Don’t undermine your worth by comparing
yourself with others.
It is because we are different that each of us is special.
Don’t set your goals by what other people
deem important.

Only you know what is best for you.
Don’t take for granted the things closest to your heart.
Cling to them as you would your life, for without them
life is meaningless.

Don’t let your life slip through your fingers
by living in the past or for the future.
By living your life one day at a time,
you live all the days of your life.

Don’t give up when you still have something to give.
Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying.
Don’t be afraid to admit that you are less than perfect.
It is this fragile thread that binds us to each other.
Don’t be afraid to encounter risks.

It is by taking chances that we learn how to be brave.
Don’t shut love out of your life by saying it’s impossible to find.
The quickest way to receive love is to give love.
The fastest way to lose love is to hold it too tightly;
and the best way to keep love is to give it wings.
Don’t dismiss your dreams.

To be without dreams is to be without hope;
to be without hope is to be without purpose.
Don’t run through life so fast that you forget
not only where you’ve been, but also where you’re going.
Life is not a race, but a journey to be savored
each step of the way.

 ~ Nancye Sims ~