Friday, October 2, 2015

Counterfeit Love

What is counterfeit love? This term captured me as I was reading quotes from one of my favorite psychology authors, John Bradshaw posted on this article. I know what counterfeit love is, I know it all too well.

There are two kinds of love, real love and false love--just like there is your true self and your false self. False love produces the false self and true love produces the true self in others. Those who are accustomed to being loved for who they really are, and validated as children are more able to function in their true and natural state in adulthood. Unfortunately, those who were loved wrongly--and for the wrong reasons--develop a false self that covers and hides the true self with toxic shame.

So what is the difference? I know I've written about it before... the difference is that false love is love that may look like love, but isn't really love at all. False love is about being loved for being what someone else wants, needs or expects you to be--not, however, for being who you really are. True love is being loved for who you really are, even when that means you are not pleasing and complying.

True Love - Loving another for who they are, even when they are disappointing or make mistakes. Loving that person in their reality, as they experience life without trying to mold them, manipulate them, shape them and form them into anything other than who they are. True love is about receiving acceptance, validation and compassion for another as they unfold in their own way without expecting them to meet your needs or serve as an extension of your will and desires. True love is love that gives space and grace to the other, offering room for mistakes and all manner of vulnerability. This is true love. True love feels good; freeing; within true love we can grow and become all that we were born to become on this planet.

False Love - False love is being told directly or indirectly that who you really are is unacceptable, shameful, bad or wrong. It's being conditioned to believe that you must please the love object in order to GET love. It is a sense that you don't know who you are, you don't know what's best for you. False love teaches that your own experiences and reality are questionable, and that you should disregard your own gut and follow the whims of the one who is in control. False love is about power and control, manipulation, greed. It's about making the person into what is needed by the parent or lover instead of allowing the person to simply be who they are created to be.

If you've grown up in an environment that is less-than-nurturing, then you may not have ever in your life experienced true love. In fact, you may be operating out of your FALSE SELF without any inkling of who you really are. This False Self is a self that is a people pleaser which is always trying to seek validation externally. The False Self is at the core of narcissism, and at the other end of the same plane--it is at the core of codependency. (Codependency & narcissism being polar opposites on the same vibrational level). The False Self is fake and portrays itself as perfect, however, in reality it holds the ultimate flaw. The false self can never be satisfied and is forever relegated to the prison of addiction: sex, gambling, alcohol, relationships, love, shopping, eating, electronics--name your poison.

The False Self is narcissism. It's the part of us all that our culture is rabidly cultivating with imagery and idealism that can never deliver on its promises. The False Self craves the perfect body, the perfect home, the perfect career, perfect family, cars, vacations. All of these things promise to fulfill, but leave the core of the person--the true self starving for truth...

The True Self is truth. It doesn't give a shit about the kind of car you drive. It doesn't care if you eat spaghetti and wear a size 7. The True Self doesn't parade itself because it's not searching for anything because it already knows it is loved. It is impossible to function as the true self unless you know the truth of who you are--which is love. True love exactly as you are without outward adornments. You are love and there is nothing you can do to add to that fact, or take it away. This is the true self.

So we must keep the right perspective as we go about our lives and label and identify false premises from which we are living our lives. Any lies we believe will produce more of the false self... the feeling of toxic shame that we are inherently flawed, not good enough, wrong, bad. If we don't keep ourselves in check, we will feel ashamed and guilty for being who we are, and continue to try to cover up our shame by more purchases, more addictions or worse--suicide.

We must remind ourselves who we really are, every moment of the day. We must combat the voices that tell us we're not good enough. We must reparent ourselves and provide ourselves with true love and empathy for the inner child within that has been squashed and forgotten beneath layers and layers of falsity--of someone else's opinion of who we should be. We must curb our greed for material items which lie to us and promise the world but fail to deliver. We must stop making the mistake of believing that anything outside ourselves can add to or take away from our precious existence.

There is no other way.