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When Love Feels Weird



When Love Feels WeirdWhen Love Feels Weird

By Alan Cohen

At a recent seminar a woman stood and explained that she had had a long string of painful relationships. One of her partners had even died. "Now I have met a man I really like and things are going very well," she explained. "But it feels so weird. Why is that?"

I told her the parable of a princess who was kidnapped by a group of fishermen and taken to live at the city pier. The princess soon forgot about her life in the palace and became acclimated to the life of a fishmonger. She spent her days meeting boats at the dock, cleaning fish, and selling them. She smelled like fish, everyone she knew smelled like fish, and she became so used to the smell that she hardly noticed it.

One day someone from the palace recognized the princess and rescued her. She was brought back to the roy al castle where she was given her original room with a soft bed, fine linens, exotic flowers, and sweet incense. The first night home the princess lay in her exquisite bed and grew restless. After a short time she arose, knocked on her attendant's door, and complained, "Get me out of here; this feels weird."

We can become so used to dysfunctional relationships that when we are finally presented with a healthy one, it seems foreign. Yet what is normal is often not natural. Our natural state is soul fulfillment, reflected through rewarding relationships. Anything else represents a compromise.

I recently had the honor and pleasure of co-presenting a seminar with Neale Donald Walsch, author of the popular Conversations with God series. I found Neale to be a very dear and generous man, and felt as if I had been reunited with a long-lost brother.

On the evening preceding our first presentation I had dinner with Neale. His wife Nancy invited me to join her early the next morning for a swim with dolphins. Although I would have loved to have participated, I told Nancy that I wanted to rest and prepare for my presentation that evening, so I could show up in full splendor. At that point Neale waxed impish and announced, "In that case, I'm not going to show up. I don't think I could handle your full splendor."

Neale was playing on the fact that many of us have become so used to living at a level less than our full glory that if we or those around us really let it rip, we would not know what to do. Marianne Williamson made the point in a popular quote (sometimes attributed to Nelson Mandela) that it is not our darkness that frightens us, but our light. We have become so accustomed to identifying ourselves and our lives with our problems that when someone comes along and suggests we are whole and beautiful, we doubt or crucify them.

Plato described a group of people living in a dark cave. When they were released and approached the light, it hurt their eyes and required a period of adjustment. Like suddenly finding yourself in a relationship that works.

A good relationship is not too good to be true. It is good enough to be true. Everything good is true, and relationships are no exception; they are a powerful avenue to let our true selves shine. Yet our culture has underscored and glamorized dysfunctional relationships so much that a healthy one seems like an anomaly.

How many sick "love" songs have you heard on the radio, crooning about the losses associated with relationships?" Sheesh! And how many soap operas and movies paint love as a struggle? I can't count the number of videos I have turned off after a short time because I could not bear to watch two people keep hurting each other in the name of love. Perhaps Dr. Chuck Spezzano best condensed the message in the title of his book, If It Hurts, It Isn't Love.

February is the month for lovers. This month, let's really let our full splendor rip, to the point that we end up shining magnificently and not running away because it feels weird. Let's expand our loving beyond romance and sex and embrace everyone and everything in our life that is lovable. Let's enfold our families, friends, coworkers, and pets in our circle of celebration. This month let's define ourselves as world-class lovers, beginning by falling in love with ourselves. Make that rising in love with ourselves.

Love was never meant to feel weird. Fear binds the heart and love releases it. In a world of darkness, the light is not a threat, but our doorway home. The more we grow comfortable with our birthright to love, the more we will live in its embrace, until it becomes our abiding condition.

About the author

Alan Cohen is the author of many popular inspirational books, including the award-winning A Deep Breath of Life. For information about Alan’s seminars or to request a free catalog of Alan's books and tapes, call 1-800-462-3013 or visit Alan's web site at Alancohen.com Enrich your abundance by joining Alan for the innovative online Year of Living Prosperously. Contact Alan’s office at P.O. Box 835, Haiku, HI 96708, (800) 568-3079

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