Sunday, 4 January 2009

Is it Love or Is It Addiction?

" The key word here is seek. In mature love relationships, we no longer 'crave' unconditional love from our partners. The only time we needed that kind of care was in the first eighteen months of our lives. We no longer need it from others because we are unconditional love. Unconditional love is a state of being that comes from within us ~ and not the other way around. The paradox is that when we stop searching for unconditional love, we are often surprised to find someone loving us just that way. Perhaps it is because when we experience ourselves as unconditional love, we give the safety that invites others to share their love" p104.

"The Way Out.
What can you do if you discover you are in an addictive relationship?
First, remember that most relationships have addictive elements. None of us had all of our needs met in childhood. Our parents, being human failed us at times. Their failures become our weaknesses when we blame them or demand from others what we failed to get.
Second, keep in mind that one some level addictive love is perceived as survival ~ thus, it won't easily be given up.
Third, remember the psychological reasons for your addiction are as unique to you as your fingerprints. Only you can discover what purpose they serve; only you can find what fears keep you from letting go. If you are unable to let go of an unhealthy relationship, or if you find yourself moving from one addictive relationship to another its time to seek outside help.
Fourth, work towards intimacy with yourself. When we know that we are complete by ourselves, we are ready for healthy love relationships. Self-sufficiency and self-knowledge can be the keys to love and freedom.
Fifth, remember that moving from addiction to love is a process. Just as there was a way into dependent behaviour, there is a way out. There is hope. In knowing the difference between addictive love and healthy belonging, in understanding that process, you can learn acceptance of yourself of yourself and others; thus, your chances of achieving fulfillment in love increase" p117

" The romantic notion that urges two 'to become one' sounds ideal ~ but this is impossible in real life, and the concept is neither romantic nor an ideal worth pursuing. We don't have to lose ourselves to be close to another person" p52

"What is intimacy? The word intimacy has different connotations to different people. For some it suggests a profound emotional closeness, a deeply personal connection. For others, it is interchangeable with the word love. For some, it is euphemism for 'sexual closeness', often suggesting illicit overtones.
If we accept Eric Berne's definition of intimacy as a 'profound exchange of thoughts, feelings and actions in the here and now', we expand our understanding of intimacy to potentially include all life experiences....
In moments of intimacy, because of one's vulnerability, one absorbs experience into his or her psyche. Indeed, in early childhood trauma was intimacy. In some cases, the pain of intimacy was so great that we may have promised ourselves never to be that intimate again. Such self-promises close us off to more ecstatic states of intimate love.
In intimacy, then, we are naked and free to reveal the truth of who we are, including our emotional wounds, our fears, our walls. In intimacy, relationships are processes, not perfect products. Intimacy ~ the exchange of thoughts, feelings, and actions in an atmosphere of openness and trust ~ is a profound expression of our identities that leaves us in a euphoric state. Even under healthy conditions, however, the experience of intimacy is a rare and precious gift." p57-58

Is It Love or Is It Addiction? By Brenda Schaeffer

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