When Love Feels Weird
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
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
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
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