Friday, September 16, 2011
The Bittersweet Allure of Feeling Unloved
Odd though it is, many of us have a strange affinity for feeling rejected, abandoned, and unloved. Sometimes the feelings arise in the familiarity of bittersweet self-pity.
Not all of us are prone to this, of course, but many of us indulge in these negative feelings. We're dragged down into unhappiness, depression, and even ill health by clinging to these negative emotions. They are usually old unresolved emotions from our past that we don’t know how to live without. They seem to define us. We know ourselves through this pain and sorrow. We don’t know who we are without this brand of suffering.
Our affinity for rejection, abandonment, and betrayal are emotional attachments. They’re like barnacles on the side of our hull that we’re reluctant to scrape off. They’re jelly beans we keep eating even though our teeth are decaying badly.
Common sense tells us that we ought to avoid such painful feelings. But common sense doesn’t work for us in the realms of the psyche. Irrational, conflicting forces are at play in our psyche, and they have no interest in our well-being. We need to see more clearly into the nature of our emotional conflicts so we can use our intelligence to avoid unnecessary suffering.
As an example, a needy person who appears to be desperate for love is often entangled in the familiar pain of feeling unloved. Unconsciously, the person often chooses to feel unloved rather than to feel loved. This person often turns away from love when it is available, and runs off in self-pitying agony to where love is unavailable. When that attachment to feeling unloved is brought into the light of the individual’s awareness, the person, in processing this knowledge, can usually improve his or her situation dramatically.