What’s your LOVE MO ?
There’s a well-known quotation (& book) by relationship expert Chuck Spezzano that goes: “if it hurts it isn’t love”.
“Now hang on a minute!” I hear you say… surely that pain in my heart when my lover betrayed/abandoned/left/cheated on me… you get the picture.. was because I LOVE him/her so much?
Hmm. Not necessarily. Not really and truly.
I was reminded of this recently, when I was skimming through my Kundalini Yoga Authentic Relationships training manual to find the long list of different forms of love.
There’s “reactive love”, for example, which involves negative emotions like jealousy and ongoing projections entangled with other subconscious agendas.
Or “pragma”, a kind of “shopping list love”, which involves keeping score and trading off benefits and liabilities.
And how about “ludic” relating, where the partners are detached, uncommitted, maybe playing with multiple lovers without any particular purpose?
Other forms of love, which our society tends to idealise, but actually have a shadow component, are romantic love and eros.
And then there’s “radioactive love”, which “in the name of love, creates rage, hurt, jealousy, destruction… and harms all those in its field.”
Hmm. I’ve known that one for sure. And ironically, all in the name of being “Twin Flames” – a dangerous obsession, I’d say, in New Age circles, that can easily (as it did in my case) mask co-dependency and abuse.
What I’ve learned in my dedicated and pretty comprehensive exploration of authentic relating, is that – in very simple terms – we learn our Love MO in childhood and then go on to replicate it in adulthood. The only problem with that being, that often what we are led to believe is love, really isn’t.
And that’s where the pain comes in.
Because from the moment we experience the absence of love being called love, our soul is set on a mission to correct that misunderstanding and will keep on bringing us into encounters and situations that give us an opportunity to recognise the truth – THAT WE ARE LOVE – until we do.
As children we don’t know any better, so we might grow up experiencing a neglectful, judgemental, abusive or detached parent as “normal” and then consistently attract partners who behave the same way.
Our wound will get triggered and we then have a choice: we either recognise what’s happening and initiate a healing process or we blame the other and/or walk away.
Now here’s the thing: even when our parents or caregivers were doing their very best and were wonderful people, we may still feel this wound and they may still have acted in ways they believed were loving that were not.
We are all prone to subconscious strategies to control and manipulate others in relationship, so as to get our needs met and feel loved.
And so we are all in different ways and on different levels, attracted to partners and people, who are going to invite us to clear up our shit.
Whether we want to improve our existing relationship or attract a different kind of partner (because we're sick of the pain), the only solution I know is choosing to make the unconscious conscious and forge a connection with (or remembrance of) the divine love I am. Which, for me, is what my yoga, meditation and tantra practice is all about.
Self-awareness as to your love MO (take a look at your childhood wounding and repeating relationship patterns), love language and sexual expression is vital if you want an authentic relationship.
As is some form of meditative practice that fosters connection to pure love and a higher truth.
With this in place, we can begin to experience what in our Kundalini Yoga training we call “ultimate or true love”; relating in a field that knows, allows and has compassion for whatever arises - especially the shadow and the pain - so that both parties may navigate their way safely to wholeness and the recognition of a love that is not for the self.
Of course, this is all a journey of never-ending spirals, twists and turns. We don’t need to judge ourselves for where we are or where we’ve come from – that’s an absence of love right there. But it can be beautiful and inspiring to have the greatest possibility set out before us and know exactly where to start to begin dissolving the belief that love hurts.
For an experience of such a love and truth, join me on my Making Love Retreat over Valentine's weekend, February 14-16, 2020 at the gorgeous Earth Spirit Centre, near Glastonbury.