In 1970 Eric Clapton, one of my all time favorite musicians, released an album called Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs. The entire album was inspired by his unrequited love for the wife of his best friend. His best friend was George Harrison, who, of course, was one of the Beatles. One of the songs on the album was called “Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad”? Eventually Eric got the girl but eventually he also lost the girl.
Is love sad? I don’t know about sad but it can be painful.
I believe all of our lives are a continuous search for love. We all want to be loved and feel loved. This is the rub. Being loved and feeling loved are not the same thing. When I was somewhere in my fifties I began to realize that the great inner struggle of my life was the feeling that no one really loved me and I often felt rejected. I know, or at least I believe, that many people do love me. However, as some people say, I wasn’t feeling the love or the acceptance.
Why do so many people feel unloved?
Most of our ideas about love are idealistic and not grounded in reality. Romantic love often draws people together but many times is the first thing to go in long term relationships. When the babies are born, the careers are taking off, and the world is kicking your ass, life doesn’t usually feel very romantic. Hats off to any couple who has maintained romantic love over the long haul. I honestly think they are few and far apart. It is common for some people to find true love later in life when the tasks of living are mostly behind them.
Our search for love is highly influenced by our experience of love or the lack of love.
My parents and family rarely showed love to one another as I was growing up. Some of my siblings may disagree with me but this is how it looked from my perspective. We were not a warm and fuzzy family who expressed a lot of emotion. I honestly cannot remember being told I was loved or ever being hugged as a child. As a teenager I was always falling in love with girls who eventually broke my heart. As an adult, people sometimes tell me they love me. Some people love me who don’t even know me. They love my public persona as the writer. Other people love me who know me personally but they don’t really know the real me. Some people may love me but I don’t know it. Other people love me in a real way but it might feel very abstract to me.
Some psychologists say that our personalities became what they are because we subconsciously think we need to act a certain way in order for other people to love us. If I am perfect, people will love me. If I am loving, people will love me. If I am successful, people will love me. If I am different, people will love me. If I am smart, people will love me. If I am dependable, people will love me. If I am fun, people will love me. If I am strong, people will love me. If I am peaceful and calm, people will love me and on and on and on.
It is not enough to love people in your heart. They have to know and feel they are loved. Love is not meant to be abstract. Don’t assume the people in your life know they are loved. Chances are that they don’t. With love I think we are all a little insecure. Show the love you feel.
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