Thursday, November 24, 2011

Clearly Jeanne desperately wants her husband
to say “I love you” at times, yet she forces
herself not to ask. She therefore pushes
herself further into self-doubt, by forbidding
herself to ask for what she wants.

This self-denial is a result of shame,
an emotion closely connected to deservedness.
You need to realize that asking to be loved
is not only not shameful, it’s exactly what
one should do to get love. Shame tells us
that love is a small, precious commodity
that we have to beg for. But love is abundant,
and asking for it only reflects that you
already perceive it to be yours.

Whenever Alan says that he loves her,
Jeanne also needs to trust his assurance,
and if this proves difficult, she should
resist the temptation to ask for more
reassurance on the spot – it will be more
productive to work on how she can learn 

to trust.

Here the story comes to a parting between
psychology and spirituality. In psychological
terms Jeanne’s lack of self-worth is abound
up in dark memories from her past.
As a small girl she was imprinted with
experiences that told her she wasn’t good
enough – we all have similarly painful
memories. Years later these were transferred
to looks, age, and sexual desirability.

Jeanne would never accept herself as long as
she was attracted to men who she believed
were more desirable that she, because any
comparison would put her in the shade.
Being with Alan was a “solution” born out of
past conditioning that had to fall away.

“I think it’s a good idea for you to work
through personal issues,” I told Jeanne,
“but lasting a solution to whether you are
deserving or not will only come spiritually.

The spiritual answer to any problem is
immediate. It’s our own perception that is
slow to catch on. God’s ability to love us
is limited only by our ability to receive
that love here and now.

* Adapted from The Path to Love,
by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press, 1997)

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