Genuine Love Is A Powerful Force

Genuine Love

Genuine love is, arguably, nature’s most powerful force. It has the power to grow us and to heal us. Yet its true nature eludes many of us. A character-impaired culture has a lot to do with that. The attitudes and values that dominate our social climate make it harder than ever to understand what true love really is. (See: Chapter 10, Essentials for the Journey.)

Human beings naturally crave love. And in the shallowness of today’s culture, many find themselves virtually starving for it. Languishing in relationships they once believed seemed a passport to unending joy, too many find themselves depressed, hurting, questioning, …. spiritually dying! And a major reason for this involves misunderstanding from the outset what genuine love is all about. This is no one’s, fault, really. In our times, rare is the person whose environment provided them deep awareness of love’s true nature.

So many things can seem like love that aren’t. And sadly, most folks these days experience the truth of this the hard and painful way. But there is hope. And love is still the answer. That’s as true now as it’s always been. But to put it into action and allow its power to work, you have to cast some erroneous notions aside and embrace what it really is.

More than Attraction

Genuine love is much more than attraction. You can be attracted to someone for a variety of reasons. And, sadly, some of those reasons can be pretty unhealthy. You might think you have found a hero or a rescuer. Perhaps a physical attraction seems overwhelming. But neither the attraction you feel nor the strength of it tells you whether love is present or how authentic it might be. The hold someone has on you or the degree to which you desire them can be quite powerful. But neither of those things is a true barometer of love.

Some narcissists have incredible impression management skills. And their manner of relating can be powerfully seductive. (See, for example: Narcissistic Charm Can Easily Blindside.) (See, also: Emotional Romeos Are Masters of Seduction.) You don’t learn what little genuine love they have for you until much later, often when it’s too late.

We often come to relationships with many needs, desires, and hopes. And sometimes it seems like the other person fulfills these things. When that happens, we can fall, and fall hard. It takes time and experience within the relationship to appreciate what manner of love is truly present and a partner’s true capacity to display it and remain committed.

Character Matters

This week’s Character Matters podcast wraps up the series on genuine love. A new series begins next week.



2 thoughts on “Genuine Love Is A Powerful Force

  1. Growing up with a narcissistic mother, I had a funny idea of what love was. I didn’t know what genuine love was. I was blessed to have people present in my life who were able to teach me some of those things, such as how to have compassion for others. I am truly grateful for that.

    Genuine love is unconditional. It’s loving people when they are hard to love. And it’s not easy to do. My narcissistic mother behaved as if love were something that could be bought, and used money to manipulate when I was on a disability. Now that I am gainfully employed and make good money as a nurse (psych), I have gained some self-respect. It’s sad to me that she still tries to buy my love. She has it, or I’d have cut it off a very long time ago. We have some contact now, and though the feelings haven’t caught up with the forgiveness yet, I realized forgiveness was the best thing I could do for myself. With forgiveness, it’s allowed me to not listen to the completely negative things that come out of her mouth. Most of it goes in one ear and out the other.

    Love or no, it’s important to take a step back and practice some self-care. I am grateful for my recovery which has helped me learn healthy boundaries. IF you are going to have any kind of relationship with a character disordered narcissist, it is a must.

    Good post, Dr. Simon!

  2. Hi JC,
    I can’t say I agree with you about love being unconditional. I think it’s conditional that the other person treats you respectfully and kindly, at least most of the time. Otherwise IMO, it’s not love, it is an unhealthy dependence or a sense of duty.
    Sorry to hear about your mom. It’s a difficult choice to maintain a relationship with a toxic person, family included. Wishing you the best.

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