Withholding Love

Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket--safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.
--C. S. Lewis

How do you withhold your love? We all do it at one time or another. We shut down, shut people out, refuse to budge from our opinions or demands. We hold people hostage, knowing that they care about us, because we are angry or upset with them. Sometimes we make ourselves busy. So busy in fact that we don't have time to address the issues, the feelings or the incidents that first led us to withhold our love.

When you refuse to share what you are feeling and how the other person has contributed to those feelings, you are withholding your love. When you don't provide the other person with valuable information that could make your relationship with them better, you are withholding your love. When you allow the fear of being hurt, the feeling rejected, the fear of looking dumb make you act like you just don't care, you are withholding your love. Whenever you are not offering the truth of your experience to those who share the experience, you are withholding your love.

Whatever is not an expression of love is an expression of fear. Withholding love for any reason is a sign that we are crying out in fear. Fear of being hurt. Fear that our love will not be reciprocated. When you find yourself backing up, pulling back, withdrawing from another person, ask yourself, "Why am I withholding my love?" What you are likely to discover is that there is a hidden fear forcing you to do something you would not like to have done to you.

Until today, you may not have been aware of the ways and the reason you withhold your love. Just for today, stand in truth! Do what is loving! When you feel afraid, acknowledge and admit it. Then love yourself through it.

Today I am devoted to loving and being loved without being afraid!

-Iyanla Vanzant, Until Today! - Daily Devotions for Spiritual Growth and Peace of Mind ©2000

The key to healing our wounded souls is to get clear and honest in our emotional process. Until we can get clear and honest with our human emotional responses - until we change the twisted, distorted, negative perspectives and reactions to our human emotions that are a result of having been born into, and grown up in, a dysfunctional, emotionally repressive, Spiritually hostile environment - we cannot get clearly in touch with the level of emotional energy that is Truth. We cannot get clearly in touch with and reconnected to our Spiritual Self. We, each and every one of us, has an inner channel to Truth, an inner channel to the Great Spirit. But that inner channel is blocked up with repressed emotional energy, and with twisted, distorted attitudes and false beliefs."
--Robert Burney, Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls © 1995

What is not love is always fear. We don't always interpret fear quickly. That's because it wears many faces. Violent rage seldom looks like fear to us. Neither does a bully's humiliation of a school chum. Tearful pleading may be recognized as fear, but only because it doesn't threaten us. Is every act that is not love fear? We may have to remind ourselves often that it is.

Daily we'll observe many instances of fear. The action called for from us is compassion. In the expression of it, we'll reap its benefit. In the same way that fear fosters more fear if not met with love, compassion also multiplies. Being a purveyor of the latter helps to heal all who enter our realm today.

Perhaps we think we can always recognize love, but is that true? Let's expand our horizons. Love may be silence. It may be laughter or tears. It may be unexpected agreement from an adversary. Love will never be hostile, but it may be subtle.

Look for the signs of love today, and express them in your life, whether or not you see them.

16 Steps for Discovery and Empowerment
Charlotte Kasl, PhD. © 1991
1. We affirm we have the power to take charge of our lives and stop being dependent on substances or other people for our self-esteem and security.
2. We come to believe that God / the Goddess / Universe / Great Spirit / Higher Power awakens the healing wisdom within us when we open ourselves to that power.
3. We make a decision to become our authentic Selves and trust in the healing power of Truth.
4. We examine our beliefs, addictions, and dependent behavior in the context of living in a hierarchal, patriarchal culture.
5. We share with another person and the Universe all those things inside of us for which we feel shame and guilt.
6. We affirm and enjoy our strengths, talents, and creativity, striving not to hide these qualities to protect other's egos.
7. We become willing to let go of shame, guilt, and any behavior that keeps us from loving ourSelves and others.
8. We make a list of people we have harmed and people who have harmed us, and take steps to clear out negative energy by making amends and sharing our grievances in a respectful way.
9. We express love and gratitude to others, and increasingly appreciate, the wonder of life and the blessings we do have.
10. We continue to trust our reality and daily affirm that we see what we see, we know what we know, and we feel what we feel.
11. We promptly acknowledge our mistakes and make amends when appropriate, but we do not say we are sorry for things we have not done and we do not cover up, analyze, or take responsibility for the shortcomings of others.
12. We seek out situations, jobs, and people that affirm our intelligence, perceptions, and self-worth and avoid situations or people who are hurtful, harmful, or demeaning to us.
13. We take steps to heal our physical bodies, organize our lives, reduce stress, and have fun.
14. We seek to find our inward calling, and develop the will and wisdom to follow it.
15. We accept the ups and downs of life as natural events that can be used as lessons for growth.
16. We grow in awareness that we are interrelated with all living things, and we contribute to restoring peace and balance on the planet.

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email: Michael@N-Spire.com

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