Why Guarding Your Heart from Pain Keeps You From Love
Last night, I saw the movie The Giver. Have you seen it? I read the book with my kids when they were in 6th grade, so I only remembered the gist of the storyline. If you haven’t seen it or you need a refresher, it’s about a land where people are raised to have no emotions. When they are adolescents, they receive daily injections to erase any memory of pain or pleasure, and they live in a black and white world of sameness. Everyone is fairly equal, and big brother is watching over you at all times – in public and in the privacy of your own home. The premise is that if you protect people from extreme pain and pleasure, the world will be a better and safer place. The Giver is the only person who still feels emotions. His job is to give the memory of emotions – good and bad – to a Receiver. Without spoiling it for anyone who wants to see the movie, I will simply say that it made me think a lot about guarding your heart in dating, and why that keeps you from fully experiencing love.
In my TEDx talk, I spoke about the “tootsie pop” layers that used to surround my heart. I thought they’d kept me safe from pain. They are the reason I married “safe”, a decision that turned out to be far from the safe loving relationship I yearned for. Guarding my heart also kept me from fully experiencing the joy of a loving partnership, from choosing partners where I’d be fully engaged in giving and receiving of love.
Guarding your heart from pain keeps you from opening your heart to love
The main reason why people shut down their heart and play it safe in love is FEAR.
What fears made you play it safe, choose the wrong partners, or stay too long in a relationship that didn’t work?
- Were you afraid the partner you were seeking didn’t exist?
- Were you afraid you weren’t pretty, thin, young, smart enough to attract the mate you desired?
- Were you afraid you’d be alone the rest of your life?
Fear and love tug at each other. You must conquer that fear and be willing to feel a little (or a lot) uncomfortable in order to find true love. Love involves taking risks. It means you have to be willing to get vulnerable, to share the deeper parts of yourself with another. It means sharing the good and the bad, the imperfect and the gifts you bring.
Only then can you fully experience the joy that love brings.
The road to that love begins with self-love and self-knowledge. It begins with knowing your value and your relationship standards – having clarity on how you want others to treat you. It’s the first step I take my private clients through.
When you’re strong on the inside, you can let your guards down.
How do you guard your heart from pain? Please share your thoughts. I want to know what you think and feel.
I am passionate about helping women over 40 attract and sustain a healthy, lasting, loving relationship. I made my coaching affordable to everyone, not just those who can pay for my exclusive one-on-one training. I also created a community for my clients to go for continued support after completing personal coaching with me. Join the Last First Date Inner Circle and receive monthly topic-based calls to learn effective dating skills, put them into practice, and have the support of myself and your peers who will help you laugh (and sometimes cry) through it all. I’ll help you stay focused and positive towards your goal of attracting the love of your life.