I awoke the other morning to the thoughts of the difference between Love and special love. The first being the eternal, never-changing, all-encompassing Love. The second being what most humans refer to when they say “I Love You.” They are rather easy to tell apart. The second one can turn into special hate (fear). The first cannot. I write this post not as any kind of expert. I write this post not to my younger self as many people do, but as if I were my own best friend having a conversation with my now self.
Special love/hate relationships look like this:
Two people stand before family and friends vowing to love honor and cherish each other — forever. Ten years later, they stand before a judge fighting over who gets the silverware, dog and the condo in Boca.
A person is really nice — until they find out — the other person is gay or they sold drugs or they had an abortion.
Judging or gossiping about a friend or family member.
The list is rather endless and I personally do not know anyone that is not involved in multiple love/hate relationships. I don’t think it is the use of tools or language or the development of technology that separates humans from all other animals. I think it is our unconsciously embracing the special love/hate (fear) relationship.
It’s pretty easy to determine if you feel the eternal kind of Love or not. Imagine the person no longer giving you what you want or expect. How do you feel toward them NOW?
You just had the best day ever with your boyfriend and he announces that he wants to end the relationship. Do you hug him and wish him well?
You’ve put your everything into a major project at work. You’re the first to sing the praises of your boss. You’re called in and your position is downsized. Do you still have the warm and fuzzies toward your employer?
Your straight A, star athlete, well-behaved child gets a full scholarship to a prestigious ivy league school. They decide to go do performance art at sunset on the pier in Key West. Is your child still your pride and joy?
I don’ mean you have to like the situation. But how would you feel toward that person?
Most of the time in human relationships it would be truer to say,
“I love you — for now.”
” I love you — as long as you don’t let me down.”
“I love you — but not if you….”
“I love you — as long as you don’t love someone more than me.”
Special love and special hate (fear) are both really about love.
Special love is about sharing love.
Special hate is about sharing a vulnerability of needing love.
Why when I pour all of my love into someone who is in special hate mode, do they seem to hate me more?
They don’t. The hate themselves. But not wanting to face this they dump it on you.
The person at some level wants to be loved, but they are not able to receive it. They don’t think they are good enough. Or they are certain that if they start to feel all great about you, they will be abandoned.
Sometimes, especially with children, they “attack” the one they love the most. They know that if they confront that person who hurt them, the person is likely to walk out of their lives. So, unable to be that vulnerable, they dump those hurtful feelings on the one person they know loves them so much they won’t leave.
What if I’m spending more time on the special hate side of things than the special love?
The first given is if you are in any danger of harm, get help and get out.
For the everyday stuff:
- Be aware which side of the fence you’re on — if you’re angry, annoyed, bored, snarky — BE AWARE OF IT.
- It’s never about the other person. The other person’s behavior either triggers feelings of love or hate in you. Spend some time figuring out why. Develop the traits in yourself that trigger love.
- Let go. Let go of the reasons from your past that are bubbling to the surface now and turning a wonderful person into a shrieking shrew. Let go of the dam that has held back your love. Love can’t be contained for later use. Let it flow.
- Sit with it. Question if your extensive list of obligations is really an avoidance list. Sometimes we keep a full schedule to avoid the fact that we feel empty inside. Stop long enough to let reality catch up to you.
- Release the “comfortable” pain. Accept your authentic self.
- Ask why? If you decide to race motorcycles. Why? Is it your passion or is it so that the adrenaline numbs the fact that you’re afraid if the world sees the real you that you’ll be judged not good enough? If you drink two beers every night. Why? Is it because you enjoy the taste or is it because you hate your job and you’re choosing to numb that fact rather than do something about finding a job you love?
- Keep it simple. Humans like to make our problems seem oh so very complex. Just ask anyone why their marriage isn’t happy or they got fired or they flunked out of school. I’d be surprised if you weren’t given an extensive list of reasons. And yes, most of them will involve #2 — the list will be about what other people did wrong. Making it complex, makes it easier to lie to ourselves that it is too big to solve so why bother trying. Stop focusing on the problem. Instead, focus on the solution.
- Accept you’re human and love yourself with all your quirks and imperfections.
9. Do something you love. It is impossible to feel love and hate (fear) at the same time.
Seriously, I just realized that if I had embraced #9 during the last half century — I wouldn’t have needed to spend 4 hours writing about all the other stuff. Maybe, I finally understand #7.