I have been blogging about love addiction the last three weeks. I have learned so much about it and how it affects you, me, and just about everybody else. A love addict is relatively easy to spot within ourselves and in others. For example, if you are a love addict, you no doubt obsessively and compulsively try to relieve or medicate the deep pain in your life through romantic relationships. Once in a relationship, you feel you can’t live without the other person and you will do whatever you have to do to keep the relationship going. If that doesn’t work, you panic and will do whatever you have to do to get into a new relationship.
No one can meet our deepest needs, no matter how hard we try…
Just looking at this definition makes us think of how many people, including ourselves, in one way or another fit this description. Think of all the desperate, wounded people there are on the treadmill of what they think is love, and yet they can’t get off. They’re searching for someone who will heal them and make them feel whole, but that person is not out there. No one can meet our deepest needs, no matter how hard we try, but yet we keep on searching. My mom used to say, “It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack.” The only problem with love addiction is there isn’t even a needle to be found.
It’s one thing to know what love addiction is. It’s still another to break away from its chains. I received a very direct and candid comment from Sarah.
“Dawson, do you really think it is possible to be cured? I'm not sure. Doesn't the saying go, ‘once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic?’ So then, ‘once a love addict, always a love addict?’ I've learned how to deal with the external stuff that stems from a love addiction, but the internal struggle is often pretty intense. I don't think I am cured. I think I just learned to practice self-control in relation to the symptoms. The ‘craving’ hasn't just disappeared. How do you fix the inside stuff?” (Sarah) Yes Sarah, there are cures to love addiction. It won’t be easy, but the struggle and the journey to find healthy relationships and peace are well worth it. So let’s begin.
To get free from love addiction, we must clearly understand how deeply the cravings for love penetrate our hearts. It’s what comes out of our hearts that affects everything else we do. There is no deeper emotional desire we have than to love and be loved. King Solomon, whose been called the wisest man in the Bible, said,
“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”
“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”Emotionally, our hearts are extremely fragile and can be easily hurt, therefore sending us in the wrong direction of life. Our innermost being started out as a beautiful creation of God, but with wrong choices we can easily trash it and leave it sick and in great need. Picture in your mind for a moment a beautiful white carpet (perfectly white). Then picture someone coming in to the room where the white carpet is, and throwing garbage, manure, and staining paint all over the carpet. The white carpet was never designed to be trashed like that. Something beautiful has become disfigured. That is a lot like our hearts. We, and other people, do not guard our hearts and therefore they become stained and damaged.
It is heartbreaking for me to see how many peoplesimply throw their heart away allowing themselves to be repeatedly hurt while trying to soothe their heart. They go from one relationship to another to another to another on the treadmill of tragedy. Before long, their whole life is ruined. “…there is more to life than…your partner. To have them playing god is too much to ask. I know because I did the same and now [my boyfriend] has hurt me and left. This was going to happen anyway, my mother left me and I leaned too much on him causing the stress on his shoulders. I don’t blame him for leaving, but [what] he said hurt and I’ll never get over that…For those who seek something more and personal need to find it within them selves. Address the problem and take time to heal. If you don’t, it could be worse and you could lose everything plus more…” (Tori) Tori is absolutely right. If you don’t guard your heart, you could end up losing what’s most important in life – love.
So where does the healing for love addiction begin? It begins by admitting our hearts are priceless, and affect every area of our lives. We must make a commitment to protect our hearts and not just throw them away looking for love in people and places where love cannot be found. Let us all respect our own hearts.
More on the healing next week.
NEXT WEEK’S TOPIC – IT’S TIME TO OWN OUR LOVE ADDICTION
Why is it so difficult for you or someone you know to admit you are love addicts?