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Are You A Victim Of Love?
Do you remember what it was like, as a child at Christmas time? Your whole being was filled with joy and excitement. Christmas was a time where families, friends, co-workers, and even complete strangers, came together to share in the celebration, blessing, and thanksgiving of Christmas.

We all enjoyed receiving presents from those who loved us. We also enjoyed giving gifts to others; not because it was expected of us, but because we wanted to show those special people in our lives, just how much they meant to us. We wanted to show them in some small way, that we loved them, and we were thankful to have them in our life.

Where you ever filled with trepidation, over the thought of opening up presents given to you in love? Do you ever remember telling your mom, dad, uncle, aunt, friend, or co-worker, that you were afraid of receiving their gift, because of how it might make you feel inside yourself? Do you ever remember saying to someone at Christmas time, that you wouldn't accept their expression of love?

When we were kids, we didn't have those kinds of thoughts. We gladly accepted those gifts of love, because we knew that the person who gave us the gift, truly cared about us, and loved us for who we were.

For many, those wonderful, intoxicating, memories, and expressions of love as a child, slowly changed. What used to be a time of joy and excitement in many ways, has grown into a time of inner angst. Presents used to be given, without thought, or expectation of receiving something in return. And now as an adult, many get pangs of worry or guilt, if someone shares a gift with them, and they don't have something to give in return. They don't want to look bad in front of others. What once started out as expressions of love without pretense, has been replaced with acts being shared, and filled with ulterior motives, for whatever reason. What happened to that child within you? What happened to that inner child, who wasn't concerned about putting on appearances, and wanted to give and share with others, regardless of whether or not, you were given anything in return?

Each and every day, we are given gifts from those we know and love, as well as from those we just met, or complete strangers. The gifts I am referring to, are not monetary, or physical gifts per se, they are gifts given to us, from someone's heart and soul. They are gifts given to us, without the desire, or the expectation of receiving anything in return. The gifts I am referring to, are the gifts of love.

Has someone ever told you, that they cared deeply for you, or loved you, and you immediately felt pressure, and a need to put walls up? Has someone ever told you, that they cared deeply for you, or loved you, and you felt a need to question them ( whether directly or indirectly inside yourself ) and their reasons for caring deeply about you, or loving you? Has someone ever told you, that they cared deeply for you, or loved you, and you found yourself slowly backing away from them? If you have felt these emotions before, or said these kinds of things to yourself, without ever sharing them with that other person, what made you feel the need to question that other person's motives, or take action that led you back behind the safety of your inner walls? What made you feel suddenly pressured by the mere expression, whether verbal or otherwise, of caring, or love? When you were a child, you weren't filled with, or consumed by, these kinds of thoughts and feelings? What has happened in your life over the years, that has made you to believe, that being just who you are, is not a good enough reason for accepting the care and love of another person?

Truth be told, we have all had these kinds of thoughts and feelings at one time or another in our life. Where do these thoughts and feelings come from? What makes us feel such a need to protect ourselves, from the very thing that we say we want, and long for in our life?

In my opinion, these kinds of thoughts and feelings swell up inside of us at times, because we are living our lives as 'victims of love', we just may not realize that we are playing the 'victim of love'.

Most of us have gone through painful times, when it comes to interpersonal relationships. I haven't met a person yet, ( including myself ) who didn't have a story to share, when it comes to this subject. We all have stories about ourselves, in one form or another.

We are all guilty at times in our lives, of playing the 'victim of love'. What makes us play this staring role in our lives at times? In my opinion, the reason that we may do this, whether we realize it at that particular moment or not, is unresolved closure in ourselves. Many times, we play the victim of love, because its safe. We have already experienced this emotion, and action in our life. We know the story. We know the beginning from the end. In a nutshell, people play the 'victim of love' in their life ( whether they realize they are doing it or not ) as a defense mechanism. In my opinion, it is a living form of denial of the present in our life. Many times we do this without even realizing it. At times, we feel comfortable stepping back in the past, not only because we have already lived it, but we have also spent a lot of time and tears, analyzing our past, and our role in it. Our past is familiar. For many, it is the safe ground that they can see, and feel beneath their feet.

There is nothing wrong with taking a look back at our past at times, and acknowledging our role, and faults, that led us to some of those painful events. I believe it is a healthy thing to look back at times, and take personal inventory. Problems arise in our lives, when we seek to live in our past because it is comfortable to us, instead of taking a step into the unknown. Many times, people live their lives as 'victims of love' because they are seeking closure from someone else. They are seeking acknowledgment of who they are as a person, from that person(s) who may have played a role in a painful event in their life. I believe in doing our best to make amends with people when we can. If we are able to tell that person we are sorry for some of the things we did and said, I believe we should. Sometimes making amends with that person(s) that was a big part of our life at one time, is not possible. There comes a point in each of our lives, when we need to forgive ourselves first and foremost, realizing that closure doesn't come from other people. Closure comes from within. If we live our lives waiting for closure from the past, as we play the 'victim of love', we chain ourselves to those very things that we want to be free from in ourselves. We need to give ourselves the gift of forgiveness in ourselves, and with others, whether we ever see, or talk with them again, for whatever reason. As long as we play the 'victim of love' when it comes to closure from our past, we will never be able to walk forward in love. We will never be able to accept the loving gifts of others in, and of themselves, as long as we are living in the past, waiting for some wrong that may have been done to us, to be righted.

Another characteristic of being a 'victim of love', is comparing those in our present life, in whatever way, with those from our past, who may have hurt us, or didn't accept the gift of us, like we had hoped for.

When a person says, "I am not as trusting as I used to be because I have been hurt so many times", they are saying to themselves, as well as those in their present life, that they are choosing to predicate, evaluate, and compare the people in their life now, to those in their past, in whatever way, and for whatever reason.

When we seek to have meaningful relationships with others, whether they be family, new friends, or those we just met for the first time, and we start comparing all that they say and do, to the words and actions of those from our past, we make it not only impossible for us to embrace us for who we are today, we also make it impossible for those in our lives right now, to do that very same thing with us. When we play the 'victim of love', by comparing those in our life today, with those in our past, we are saying to ourselves, and to those in the here and now, that we are still the same person we were one month ago, 6 months ago, one year ago, or even 5 years ago. We are saying to ourselves, and others, that we don't trust ourselves, or others who want to get close to us, because we are still playing the 'victim of love. When we say these kinds of things inside ourselves, and to others through our actions, we are admitting to ourselves, and to others we want to get closer to, that we haven't really moved forward. We are telling those in our life now, that we want them to travel with us back in time, and right the wrongs that may have been done to us. Hopefully, you are not the same person you were in the past. Give the gift of acknowledgment and forgiveness to yourself, and others in your life today, by embracing that great, but simple fact.

I am not trying to minimize the pain and sorrow that we have all gone through at times, when it comes to relationships. It can be a very difficult process to work out of. What makes it painfully difficult, and drawn out at times, is when we continue to play the 'victim of love' in our life. Playing the 'victim of love' prevents true loving intimacy inside yourself, as well as with others you care about.

One of the ways that we can stop being a 'victim of love', is to acknowledge to ourselves first and foremost, as well as with others, that the thoughts and emotions that we may have right now, are real in our life. Before we can heal, we must face these thoughts and emotions, allow ourselves to grieve where we need to, assume our proper role and responsibility in some of those events, and then love ourselves, and others enough, to do our best to leave the past in its right, and proper place in our lives. It doesn't mean that we should forget our past, or act like some of it never happened. What it does mean, is that from this day forward, we are going to start loving ourselves for who we are, in all that we are, and then allowing ourselves to share in the wonderful expression of love with others each and every day.

If that person in your past, never could, or would embrace you in love, for all that you were at that time, that doesn't mean that the gift of yourself, that you did your best to share with them, was any less wonderful or beautiful. Your past will only define who you are now, if you allow it to.

Are you living your life as a 'victim of love' right now?

You may be saying to yourself, I never realized that I was living my life as a 'victim of love'. You may be saying to yourself, that you knew that you were in some areas of your life, but you didn't know how to start freeing yourself from the chains of your past, so that you could start walking forward, embracing love in yourself and with others.

I hope that this has been a blessing to you in some way. I know it was for me, when I realized it in my own life at times.

There are going to be times, when you try and walk forward, and you take a step backwards. When that happens, acknowledge it in yourself, and with others in your life, that you were trying to take positive steps forward, dust yourself off, and do your best to keep trying to walk forward.
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