“Is it really love at all?”

August 12, 2012

That’s a line from an Eric Andersen song, and I was actually listening to other Eric Andersen music last night, but what occurred to me in the early morning hours was how even a well-intentioned person can overwhelm me with something they think is love but isn’t.

I experience this emotion as a seduction, as being administered an irresistible paralyzing anesthetic that induces great pleasure.  I think the part of the combination that isn’t the anesthetizing agent consists of intense high positive regard for me from the other person, like the emotion some people feel as a fan towards a rock star, maybe.

I also think that then the other person wants that emotion back, which is another issue entirely.

What concerns me here is that this emotion isn’t the same thing as what I feel when I exchange with someone what I label “love.”  I suspect it is an attempt to imitate it, by someone disconnected from their inner self, the place where love resides.

I don’t mind being attracted into that person’s sphere by an imitation, if that’s the best they can do, but for me, maintaining that sort of polarized asymmetrical exchange drains me in the long run — there’s a net outflow from me faster than I can replenish true love from its source, especially if the person has a bigger appetite for loving energy than my own capacity to pull in such fresh energy from elsewhere.  Because the whole exchange has to be powered originally by real love from somewhere, even if that energy is returned as this intense high approval, and that real love is only entering the system through one person, the person connected to their inner self and through that to the universe, in this case, me.

So I experience such a relationship as enervating, even if I cherish other aspects of it and even is such other aspects are helpful and serve.  I don’t actually know what I’m supposed to do about a situation in which a person wants to maintain such a relationship.  Usually frustration arises and we push each other away.  At the other extreme, I think the other person would excel and I would collapse — an outcome I try to avoid, especially given my observation of people who haven’t.

There are more details to this situation, such as how this attempted arrangement plays out materially, but I didn’t write this to argue, I wrote it more as an attempted explication of where “love went wrong.”  (That I got from a Dan Fogelberg song.)

 

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