Well painting on Ebay

I have several friends that are addicted to love. On the surface that doesn’t seem like such a bad thing right? But they are addicted to how it makes them feel. As such, they will trade almost anything for it. In fact, most of them continue in abusive, abrasive, and sometimes downright caustic relationships…just to get a fix of love occasionally.

A hug feels good…an embrace? Even better. No matter when you get a hug, if it is genuine—you want it. I have a friend whose family was violent growing up. Bringing knives to Thanksgiving is common, but usually it is a carving knife. The members of his family always brought knives for protection, because you never knew what was going to go down. The cycle was predictable, first some poorly chosen words were passed. Then a stabbing comment was uttered, yelling ensued, finally it would get physical. The thing is…they would make up. That make up period was blissful. The hugs were genuine.

My friend was the youngest of many older brothers and sisters. Their father was abusive, so what else did they learn from him. Love looks like pain. And, you dish it out to those younger than you? The youngest, well, he just had to take it. Older to younger, that was the pattern that was established. As the youngest, my friend had to learn to just “Turn Off”. He learned early that to show the pain was worse, for “toughness” was valued. If you think about it is really sick. “I am going to beat on you, but if you take it and don’t cry…I’ll compliment you on your ability to take it.” Sick.

He had to learn to turn off his “I care” as well. Being the youngest and smallest, he never knew if “this is it”. “This” is the time they go too far. This is the time they hold my head in the toilet too long. This is the time that they don’t just cut me, but they stab me where I don’t come back from. This is child abuse surely, but it isn’t the physical that stays with you. It is the psychological part that stays with you and literally corrupts all your decisions for the rest of your life.

My friend has had trouble ever since. Most of us have learned some form of conflict resolution that didn’t involve getting physical. So, when he gets into a relationship, letting the other person know “how much I care for you” always ends up physical. He is not one to hurt others, perhaps the good part about being the youngest. He would especially not hurt a woman, so—he hurts himself. Physically, he has nearly died several times, all in an attempt to say, “I love you,” and, “I love you this much.”

Unhealthy to say the least.

He is not alone though. I know another woman, who is known to explode. People don’t like to deal with her, because she is known to lay all kinds of accusations upon others the moment she feels slighted. People complain that she twists their words to make them suit her purpose and throws them caustically. When she feels maligned, she doesn’t take the time to see if in fact there was any malicious intent, but rather reacts and escalates the situation to the N’th degree in retaliation.

What is she wanting, what is she waiting for? She is waiting for the reconciliation to come. If you make up with her, that means you really love her. If you want nothing more to do with her, she is wounded.

As a child she was rejected by her parents, and the pangs of that rejection have colored her entire life. Every relationship she enters is a test. “Will this person leave me too?” She pushes people to edge, because the make up is so much better. It is internal juice of knowing they really love me “that much” that she is addicted to. She loves make up sex.

I know another man that deals constantly with the rejection. When he was younger his father said do this, this, and that, or I won’t love you. One day, he failed at the task at hand. The father didn’t speak to him for a year, and didn’t see him for 3. The feelings of loosing his father’s love affects every decision he has ever made.

Every person has a cycle of love/anger that they learn or adopt from those who, early in their life, “loved them”. The cycle starts in a “normal” state, then the road gets a bit rough. Then, it gets down right rocky. Then hurts start mounting, and the gun begins to be loaded. Finally, one step too far and BAMM! The gun goes off…….and reconciliation. Ahhhhh, the honeymoon begins.

“I’m so sorry I hurt you.”

“I’m sorry too.”

“I love you.”

“I love you too.”

Bliss. Until the chemical rush of reunification wears off…and the cycle begins again. Like a junkie, the cycle must get more and more intense, because a normal make up won’t deliver the same pump of chemicals into their system. Eventually, there exists an explosion that you just can’t come back from. Death in one way or another, however it is made manifest.

What then is the solution? For me, and I can only answer for myself, is to seek to love in every moment. I have my own paradigm, but I find that if I am constantly attempting and trying to love the other without being concerned with what I deserve, I find that things seem to always work out. In other words, I interrupt another’s and occasionally my own patterns. A pattern interrupt.

A pattern interrupt is an interruption in a specific flow or sequence. The main aim is to prevent any obvious linkage and thereby neurological conditioning. The other purpose is to weaken the old strategy and prevent it from having the same level of intensity as before.

I don’t have many tools, I have some paint brushes, a tray of paint, and some paper. I have two arms with which to hug, and a mouth that can compliment, praise, and give hearty approbation. My aim in this world is not to react but respond. My goal isn’t to reconcile after an incident, but to give love from the beginning and avoid it all together. By proactively loving others before they have the chance to enter their pattern is a good way to show people an alternate pattern. Be the first to love. Be the first to hug. Be the first to offer a painting, and expect nothing in return. What wouldn’t people trade for love. Especially, when it cost them nothing to receive. What would you trade for love? Perhaps even more importantly, why hold love back? How many of us, hold our love at bay until we receive something we deem worthy enough to trade for. What do you trade for love?

I can’t think of many people that give away everything in the first encounter, expecting anything in return. By doing so, it is an immediate pattern break for every person on Earth. Be the first person to love. Of course, I’m not alway successful. I fail. I get selfish. I want things my way. I want justice. I want to be respected. But, I’m trying. Just like my friend had to learn to “turn it off”, I am trying to learn to “Turn it On!”

Turn on the love. I kinda like the way that sounds.