and strong emotion is what has given love a bad rap.
We do not understand intense emotion, and we do not trust it. We want the joy and elation love brings. they life us up out of our dull, mundane routines and make us feel alive and significant. But we abhor the fear and anger and sadness that also attend love. They drop us into deep pits of desolation and despair and make us feel helpless and out of control.
As Freud remarked many years ago,
"We are never so vulnerable as we are when we are in love."
If we do not understand the intense emotion that love engenders, then love will always be a scary proposition.
What is amazing today is the new research reveals about the impact of emotion in our closest relationships. The message is that we are supposed to be in total control of our emotions before we turn towards others. Love yourself first, then another will love you.
"For humans," say psychologist Ed Ronick of the University of Massachusetts, "the maintenance of emotional balance is a two person collaborative process."
In other words we are designed to deal with emotion in concert with another person---not by ourselves.
Love relationships are not meant to be 'joyrides; they are also restorative and balancing meeting places where negative emotions are calmed and regulated. It is a little like the old adage, "two hearts are better than one;" and indeed they are. By "contact comfort" is meant by moving close to another person, the impact of every risk or threat is reduced.
Learning to love and be loved, is in effect, about learning to tune in to our emotions so that we know what we need from a partner and expressing those desire openly, in a way that evokes sympathy and support from him or her. When this support helps us balance our emotions---staying in touch with but not being flooded by them---we can then tune in to and sensitively respond to our partner in return.
Once we are balanced, theorist John Bowlby calls, "effectively dependent" we can call to others and respond to their call in a way that makes us and our connection with them stronger. We can turn to the world and move in it with flexibility, open to learning and able to look at the choices available to us in any situation.
Sue Johnson - Love Sense