I Feel Like I'm Lying When I Say I Love You

IMG_4788These are statements I hear quite often in my practice: I feel like I’m lying when I say I love you to my partner. I feel like a fake, an imposter, like I’m leading him/her on. If I don’t feel love, how can I say it? And I’m not always feeling it. In fact, it seems like more often than not I’m not feeling in love, or loving feelings at all. So how can I be genuine and say I love you?

When you say I love you even when you don’t feel it you’re acting from who you really are. Yes, you are lying: You are lying to the fear-based part of you. You’re lying to the gatekeeper that wants to protect you from getting hurt… again. You’re being untruthful to your small-minded ego who is defined by its separateness and, thus, is terrified of losing itself in the oneness of real love.

But you’re honoring the deepest places of your heart: your place of truth, wisdom, softness, and open-heartedness. If you could peel away all of the layers of fear that have hardened there like a wall of tears to protect your tender heart, the “I love yous” would come pouring out on a waterfall, like the song of angels unleashed in one symphonic expression. Maybe not at first. You might not feel a rush of love, but when you act from love instead of fear you will start to notice small openings, and when you string together the small openings you will live more and more from a place of expression that feels authentic and true.

Every time you say I love you even when you don’t feel it, you’re being truthful to the part of you that does love your partner. This is how we grow love and shrink fear: by action. We take action against fear and send it the message, “I hear you but I’m not listening to you.” It’s the action itself that sends fear the appropriate message that will put it in its place. We rarely shrink fear by talking about it or arguing with it. We shrink it by walking directly into the thing that terrifies us – heights, airplanes, social situations, intimate relationships – and realizing that on the other side is love.

This mindset flies in the face of every single thing we learn about love. We’re so inundated with the belief that love is only a feeling, that when the feeling is absent we assume that we don’t really love or love enough. What we fail to learn – and this is the key sentence to brand into your mind – is that when fear enters the heart it creates a barrier that traps the feeling of love inside. The love is still there, but it’s trapped beneath the barricade of fear. Fear is the protector. Fear’s job is to prevent you from getting hurt by love. And when you learn to to shrink fear by taking loving actions that diminish its power, you unlock the prison bars and unleash love’s offerings.

We can take loving actions every single day that shrink fear and grow the part of your heart that longs to give and receive love. Would it help to know what those loving actions are? Would it help to have the roadmap that would offer you the exact Love Laws and Loving Actions you need to shrink fear and grow love? I would love to share this roadmap with you and guide you on an exciting journey to this end. Once you have this information, the work then is to practice it for the rest of your life. We don’t miraculously heal in thirty days, but we can certainly break ground and create a new foundation on which healthy habits can take hold. We plant the seeds together over thirty days, and then you commit to watering them, day by day, for the rest of your life. This is how we grow a love garden.

This is the last week to sign up for my fifth round of Open Your Heart: A 30-day program to feel more love and attraction for your partner. The program begins on Saturday, and I look forward to seeing you there.

A Manual for Love

I wish I had been given one. I wish we all had been handed a Love Manual in a class in high school, and taken levels two and three in college. For there are basic laws and practices we could have learned that would have made the path of intimate relationship so much easier had we only been given the proper roadmap.

I don’t believe that there’s one manual that would apply to every aspect of every relationship. That would be like saying there’s one parenting book that applies to all parent-child configurations and would resolve every child-raising difficulty. It sounds alluring, but when that promise is made I turn the other way, as relationships of all kinds are far too complicated to be simplified into a one-size-fits-all formula.

But what I have learned over many years of being in intimate relationships and guiding others through them is that there … Click here to continue reading…

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Love Cannot Be Measured

Love cannot be measured. It cannot be placed in test tubes in a science laboratory or placed on the great scale of life to determine whether or not there’s enough. The anxious/sensitive mind longs for a definite answer to the questions that swirl through its brain - Do I love you enough? What is enough? Do I love you as much as you love me? - praying that a divine hand will reach down from the heavens and seal the relationship with a stamp of approval. But love is not an exam you take in school where you can receive a letter grade. It’s not a handful of precious jewels you can place on a scale to determine its worth. It can’t be quantified, graded, or weighed. Love cannot be measured.

You long to measure love because the hypervigilant part of you wants to make sure that you have what it … Click here to continue reading…

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Yes and No

Sometimes an anger surges up in me about how abysmally this culture guides and takes care of its members around transitions. We expect engaged women and men to put on a happy face from proposal through honeymoon, ignoring their innate need to grieve the loss of their singlehood and honor their fears about getting married. We applaud pregnant women and new mothers for not allowing their baby to interfere with their regular life. (My heart sinks when I see a mother with a one week old baby at the grocery store.) And just when the body wants to turn inward to slow down or come to a complete stop at the year’s end, the culture orchestrates an overwhelming time filled with the outward energy of consumption and socializing.

The theme in my work with clients last week was exhaustion. Despite all of them knowing that their bodies needed rest, … Click here to continue reading…

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The Risk of Living and Loving

On our way home from a lovely Christmas day with my family who lives about an hour away from us it started to snow. At first it was a wet sleet, but within a few minutes it thickened to a snow storm, and before we knew it we were driving through a white-out. The temperature dropped quickly, the slick roads turned icy, and everyone’s speed slowed to a crawl. We were driving in treacherous conditions.

I doubt anyone enjoys driving in those conditions, but being from California I seem to have a particularly strong aversion to driving in snow and ice. So I sat quietly next to my husband, who was intently focusing on the road, and sent out prayers for us and everyone around us: Please let us all arrive safely at our destinations. We’re driving in treacherous conditions. We passed a car turned upside down on the side … Click here to continue reading…

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