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Pop culture throws around the word “love.” There are several ideas attached to love, but they’re all wrong.

Here’s why:

Whether you’re listening to a song about love or watching a Disney movie, these ideas imply that love comes from outside you.

But that’s impossible. Your emotions can’t come from somebody else. And if you believe someone else is responsible for making you feel love, you can find yourself in a rabbit hole of pornography. Or other addictive behaviors.

In this episode, I reveal the true definition of love so you don’t fall into the same trap that ruins marriages and your ability to love. Listen to the episode now.

Show highlights include:

  • The insidious way pop songs sabotage your ability to love (2:44)
  • How embracing a victimhood mentality cripples you for life (3:29)
  • Why “Christian Love” often leads to judgement, manipulation, and gaslighting (even if you have good intentions) (12:32)
  • The “Love Without Content” approach that creates a deep sense of connection to your spouse (even when you’re arguing) (20:40)
  • Why “romantic love” makes marriages fall apart (and how “real love” makes your marriage last forever) (22:10)
  • How searching for love leads you down the pornographic rabbit hole (24:12)

If you want to radically change how much control you have over your emotions in as little as 20 days, you can go to https://thefreedomspecialist.com/feelbetternow and sign up for the Choose Your Own Emotion course.

If you or somebody you know is looking to drop the ‘F’ Bomb of freedom in your life and break free from addiction, depression, anxiety or anything that’s making you feel flat-out stuck, head over to https://thefreedomspecialist.com/ and book a call where we can look at your unique situation and give you the roadmap you’ve been missing.

If you’d like to buy a copy of my book, Is That Even Possible?: The Nuts and Bolts of Energy Healing for the Curious, Wary, and Totally Bewildered, you can find it on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/That-Even-Possible-Healing-Bewildered/dp/1512336041

Read Full Transcript

It's time to rip the cover off what really works to ditch addiction, depression, anger, anxiety, and all other kinds of human suffering. No, not sobriety. We're talking the F-word here: Freedom. We'll share, straight from the trenches, what we have learned from leaving our own addictions behind, and coaching hundreds of others to do the same—and since it's such a heavy topic, we might as well have a good time while we're at it. [00:27.6]

Bob: All right, welcome back to the Alive and Free Podcast. Today, I want to take you through an interesting journey about love. This is a large question that a lot of the clients we've worked with struggle with. It's something I struggled with over the years and it's come up recently because if you've been following me on social media, in any case, not that you have to, there have been some things that have happened. A conversation that's happened recently of somebody who is Christian, who out of the love for me, he declares has then reached out and, you know, called me the devil and all of these other types of things. And it got me thinking about what love is about the confusion I used to have over it, and about how much confusion there is in the world about what love is. And so, I wanted to take some time today to lay out some of the things that I have seen that people get tripped up on that prevent them from experiencing true love for themselves that prevent them from experiencing deep connection in love with other people. And that sometimes promote behaviors that are not actually loving behaviors, but can actually be damaging to other people. And so it's going to be quite a ride. I think we'll see how it goes then. I'm sure it might spark questions, but the hope is that this conversation just gives you an opportunity to sit back and start to question some of these main vague concepts that most of us carry around in our lives about what love is about what faith is about, what life is about, about all of these different things. Because a lot of times we have some unquestioned thoughts in our head that because we never took the time to go back and just assess whether they were even valuable. They ended up controlling us in ways that we don't, we don't want, so here goes. [02:16.5]

Now let's start at the beginning. You and I grew up, I'm assuming you're grown up. Maybe I'm not grown up. I don't know. But we grew up in a society that has all kinds of ideas about what love is. There's pop culture. So, there's music all over the place and the title of this episode is "What is Love? Baby, Don't Hurt Me...". Umm, that's an old song, that's I don't even know the name of the song, but it's one that we, I heard a lot like in 80’s, 90’s or whatever. So, there's all of the music in the world around what love is and about what it means about what it means to be together forever and to love each other and to do all this stuff. And you would do all of these things and the hurt that comes from love. And what that does is it starts to prime. Anybody listening to that music because the song feels good. They associate good feelings with the thoughts inside of the lyrics. And as a result, not saying the lyrics are good or bad, but they're kind of poorly informed because most of them are informed by the idea that your emotions come from somebody else and they don't. They never can. You can't make anybody feel anything. Neither can anybody make you feel something. [03:23.5]

But that is how we've been conditioned or taught that things work, which is why there's so much victimhood in the world, which is why there are so many social causes coming up that make people feel like an underprivileged thing and all that other stuff. They're confusing the emotions with the action. Yes. Sometimes negative things are happening and those need to be taken care of. But the emotional state, if we teach people that your emotions come from somebody else, what we have done is cripple them for life, until tell they finally see what's really, really going on. So, let's say we have this impressionable young kid, and then we start teaching them all of these love songs and these love songs, sit there and condition this chill child to believe that it's a really good feeling to believe that somebody else causes you to experience love or hate or pain or anything else. And so, they grab this. [04:15.7]

A lot of this music is also written around sexual innuendo and sex being one of the highest expressions of love. That has also been present in Hollywood, in a Disney movies, not that sex is president Disney movies necessarily, but this idea that love is found in the physical display of romantic affection and romantic union, is there. In the Disney movies, yeah, it's like the guy gets the girl and that's how love works. And I grew up with all these things so, I had all these expectations in my head because I felt good during the Disney movies. And it was so satisfying and rewarding that I had all these expectations. That that's how things were going to go. They'd the good guy would get the girl that, you know, the kiss like means it. And then you live happily ever after. And none of that has anything to do with reality. It's storybook land at all. It doesn't mean that you can't live happily ever after, but it doesn't look like a Disney movie does. And it often the sequel is after everything's fallen apart. [05:16.8]

If we go down the mainstream media track, then it is kissing and sex and, you know, hot erotic nights and stuff that is commonly the visual indicator of what love is. And obviously that led me down the porn path where porn stripped all of that away. And it just led to the final climax of sex being the highest possible expression of love and ecstasy and joy. And I know intellectually that doesn't make sense. And I know if you're listening to this, you're not dumb enough to sit there and intellectually think that that's the case, but it's not what we think that controls our behavior. A long time ago. I read the book, Blink by Malcolm Gladwell, where he kind of broke down some of the research around how decisions are made with human beings, how quickly they're made, and then how fast we turn around and then create rationale for a decision that was purely emotional. Humans don't make rational decisions. We like to think we do, because that is a virtue that we've had, but that's not how humans make decisions. We make decisions purely based on a sensation in the body and any emotions that may ride along that that we have visually have. And then because of that, we get a feeling or a vibe, and then our brain goes looking for reasons why that vibe is warranted or the right thing to think. So, if we get a negative feeling, we go looking for reasons for the negative thing. If we have a positive feeling, we go looking for reasons for the positive thing, we don't make intelligent decisions. We don't make rational decisions. We make emotional decisions and we've found good ways to justify it so well that we've convinced ourselves that we're rational human beings. [06:50.5]

Now computers make rational decisions because that's all that they're built on is logic. And that logic is also limited to the biases of the person who can, who programmed the computer, but still the computer itself functions based on the logic it's been given. So, it's maybe biased toward logic, but not emotion. Humans on the other hand, not. So, when we're presented as children, without having been taught logic or reason at all, anyway. I mean, you know what kids’ logic is like, it's not like it. They win the argument just because they refused to accept your logic. But that doesn't mean anything they believe is logical. So, we present them with this popular culture idea of what love is and that it's lovey-dovey and it's hanging out and it leads to sex and it's snuggling and it's romantic and it's all physical essentially. Oh yeah. And we do get married and we have kids and we stayed together through hard times, but mostly love is this other thing. And then, oh, I love you because this and it's gratitude notes and all this other stuff. And then we add introduced Disney, Disney movies, and Hollywood romantic stuff. And then pornography, it's not that rationally, you and I believe that that's what love is. It's the inside. We have these emotional and biological, physical imprints that make us feel like that's what we want, to the point where when I got into marriage, like I wanted my wife to see me come in the door and like swoon or run to me or something. Because like, that's what I thought would be an indicator that she loved me, but that wasn't the case at all. [08:22.8]

But that's what I thought it wasn't. So, every time she didn't do that, I thought, oh, there's something wrong with me. Or she doesn't want me. And then I'd be disgruntled with my marriage because, oh, I don't know if I'm feeling love or not love. And I was so confused by everything that one year I literally wrote my wife a note saying, I don't know what love is, I have no idea what it is. Because think about it, you have feelings inside your body, and then you have other people telling you what love is. And you're trying to figure out how to match those up. And when it doesn't match up, what do you say? Because I was being honest. I don't know what love is. Like if, if love is supposed to be this great, wonderful feeling, then what about the times when I don't like, I'm not feeling that toward my wife or my kids does that mean I still love them. I was just confused. And I was being honest about my confusion. Now, love itself is something that we'll talk about, but I want to share one more kind of way that love starts to show up in a, in a really powerful situation. And it's, it's a negative, powerful situation, and that is manipulation. [09:25.3]

So right now, what we've established is this. The word love is thrown around in, in popular culture quite a bit. And there's all kinds of ideas that are attached to it. And it's assimilated into a human's mind because of the feelings they have when that word is spoken and other things that are associated with it, right? So, we have ideas about love that are going on. And then we have these emotional states in our body that are usually content driven, meaning I feel, I think about my wife. And then I think about the things that she's done for me, and I feel a sense of gratitude. And that gratitude is there because of my thinking. In other words, when I stopped thinking of it, the feeling of gratitude may take a little bit of while to go away chemically in my body. But the feeling of gratitude starts to ebb. And that's just that until I've memorized that state of being, it's my thinking that is producing that. And so, most of the time, when we think about someone that we love, we usually think about them. And then we think about something that they're doing that relates to us and how much that fills us with a good feeling. [10:30.3]

And then as a result, we have a good feeling come to us. And then we say, we love them. What's really going on is that we love our ideas about them. To love another person would mean that you have to be able to see them for all that they are. And there is no way that humans us in our society are being taught that in any way, shape or form. We are taught to make impressions. First impressions really well. We're taught to go off of our judgments of other people. We're taught to judge people based on their outward appearance and based on our past history. And then we easily fall into that trap for all sorts of different reasons. And we have judgments that are not rooted in any level of understanding of the other person. And as a result, we confuse the feeling we have about the ideas in our head with being a feeling about the actual person we're thinking about. Because the reality is this every person that you have ever met has an idea in their head about you. And that idea does not match the idea. You have a view that's in your own head, the person that you think you are doesn't exist anywhere in the way world outside of your own head. And the same goes for everybody else. [11:33.0]

If you or someone you know is looking to drop the F-bomb of “Freedom” in their life, whether that's from past trauma, depression, anxiety, addiction, or any other host of emotional and personal struggles, but they just don't know how or wants some help doing it. Head on over to thefreedomspecialist.com/feelbetternow and check out some of the things we've got in store for you or book a call so we can look at your unique situation and get you the help that you're looking for. [12:00.9]

So, we're living in a world where everyone who has met, have met has a different idea about you and their feelings that they have, that they claim are toward you are really feelings that they have toward an idea in their head. This brings us to this idea of Christian Love. Now, charity love, you're reaching out to somebody because you want to help them and you want to save them and you want to do all of these different things. The other day, somebody seeing things that were online and whatnot, decided to poke around on my website, saw some things that his life history had mirrored in some ways. He saw them and it reminded him of all the things that he had done, where he had been into shamanic stuff and witchcraft and the occult, and trying to lead people away from Christianity. And he'd been into alcoholics and drugs and sex and all of these different things. And he was a columnist for a magazine that was trying to like push all of this agendas. And it'd been really miserable. And he was getting sick and having stuff. And then one day he had a miraculous healing in a, from something that happened. [13:03.4]

He says, Christ visited him and he was healed. And then Christ told him to move away from all that stuff, because it was not good. And to stop leading people away from Jesus or, or however it was. So, in other words, he had a miraculous healing thing. Now we can talk about what those look like, how the mind makes sense of that stuff. Why it's possible that it was Jesus and not Mohammad, depending on the culture and the climb that he came from and all that other stuff. We don't need to go there. What we can say is this. He had an experience, a really powerful experience that turned his life around two years ago. And he's been ever since then, very, very happy with the way things have gone. And who wouldn't be happy, leaving a life where you're sick constantly, where you're in alcoholism and depression and sexual addiction, and like searching everywhere for things and all kinds of stuff. And that antagonistic worldview to a worldview where he feels like he's loved and even if he's made mistakes, there's definitely he's in a better space. But because he had some experiences and then he saw someone breathing, doing some breathing stuff on one of the videos he reached out and he's like, you're leading people astray. You need to repent. Jesus loves you, but you got to turn your life around. And I was like, wow, I'm curious. How, where did you come to this conclusion? [14:13.1]

And then he went into a tirade about all the things that he knew and studied and everything else, and everything was wrong. Now get clear, this man saw a few things on a website, read a few words and assumes that he knows everything I do to help people out. He assumes that he knows all the concepts in my head. He assumes that he knows my life history as compared to his, he assumes that he understood that he knows that I'm being led away by the devil and that he isn't, he assumes all kinds of things about me. Makes from those assumptions, which are a vast array of assumptions, a judgment. A judgment out of pure Christian Love that he doesn't want me to experience what he's been experiencing without even checking whether or not I'm experiencing anything of the sort. And then he comes out to call me to repentance, to tell me I'm leading people astray that I'm high up in the plan of the evil one who has major plans for me. And that I won't feel any negative effects in my life, as long as I'm helping the evil one out. But as soon as I go to help God out, then the evil one will attack me, which jives and then doesn't jive, depending on who's interpreting whether God protects his people or not. And whether, eh, bad things come to evil people and all that other stuff. Anyway, he's got this great idea and vision about who I am. [15:27.2]

And so, I just kind of picked apart what he had said. And I invited him to just look at the fact that he doesn't know anything and he's made a lot of really snap judgements. Well, then he came back and did a lot more and a lot more and a lot more and a lot more. And he wouldn't stop to the point where I was like, dude, you're just just saying, you know, because you know, and that's it, and that's fine, but you know, I'm good. And so, then he's like, I'll pray for you. Again, his desire is for me to be saved and for everyone I've ever talked to also to be saved. So, I think it's, it's coming from a place of, I want the goodness that I feel to be everywhere because I think that is the best way the world should be. Can you see this? His “feeling of Christian Love” for other people is literally coming from thoughts in his head about what he thinks is right, and about what he thinks the world should be. And when he envisions the world feeling the same way he's been feeling about himself, then that's a good feeling for him. And so, he's going out talking about how he loves other people, but really, it's just born out of a love of his own ideas and of his own feelings, which is beautiful. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. [16:34.4]

He hasn't tested to whether, see whether to see what he's feeling is any better than the stuff that I've been able to experience at all. He has no foundation for even making that assessment, but it's coming from a love of his ideas. And as a result, he continued to brow beat and to, you know, make claims and all kinds of things that in the sense would turn into, if it weren't me and somebody else possibly gaslighting harassment, co-dependent kinds of behavior. And then he's like, I'll pray for you. God loves you. I was like, cool. Then I like an hour later, he's like, Hey, I was praying and Jesus told me you need to heal from some abuse. Is that true? I was like, nope. Thanks for checking though. And then later on, he's like, oh man, well, you really need to get rid of all your triggers for pornography and stuff. Yeah. Thanks, I figured that out years and years ago. Don't really have any so that's oh, for two. And so, his like sense of him knowing me is rooted in a completely foreign idea about what's really going on. [17:31.6]

And that's where his Christian Love is coming from. And often that leads to judgment and manipulating and gaslighting. We do all kinds of things because we think what's best for somebody else is what needs to happen because we liked the idea and we feel warm and fuzzy about it. And so, then we go in, we Gaslight them or we try and make them believe that their life is not good. And we judge them and we do it out of love. And that is the worst kind of manipulation on the planet because somebody who isn't aware of what's going on like children and like people who are in vulnerable states because they're suffering or struggling and isn't really aware or equipped to see what's going on will feel your warm heartedness, which you're generating by thinking about your own thoughts. You're not actually aware of them a lot of times, not all the time clearly, but they will feel that warm heartedness and love it because it feels better than whatever they're feeling. And so they'll just accept whatever ideas you throw at them, even if those ideas are poorly informed, flat out wrong, or even downright harmful. [18:33.4]

And this happens over and over again. The reason that I have a job, a lot of the reason I have a job is because people grew up around a lot of well-meaning other adults who were teaching them that they were broken, that they were not good enough that God doesn't approve of them in certain instances and whatnot. And it's not only religion that does this, but I deal with a lot of people who are deeply religious and their feeling about themselves has come from a bunch of adults in their life, lovingly telling them that they're not worth much. Lovingly trying to get convinced them, that they can't trust their own judgment about what is right and wrong and what is good and evil. And it's really damaging to them. And it takes us a while to help them recuperate their ability to see what's really going on. So, then we end here going like, well, okay, what's happening here? Then what is real love, if the love we're talking about isn't love at all, let's make the distinction. [19:29.2]

What we're talking about so far is that a person thinks something and that thought produces a chemical, emotional response in the body that they, that feels warm and comfortable or whatever and they call it love. That is love with a content, with a context it's conditional love. As long as you're thinking about it, it's there. As soon as you stop thinking about it, it vanishes. It is not permanent. It is not eternal love, it is conditional love. As long as they're thinking about what your wife, you're thinking about, what your wife or husband does, and you really appreciate it, then you feel love. But then when you think about their pet peeves about them, then you don't feel love. So, what this love that we're talking about is any love that has content to it might produce a warm, emotional feeling, but that warm, emotional feeling is not love. That warm, emotional feeling is just a warm, emotional feeling that came from your thoughts about what's happened and what that means about you or what somebody else is and how much you appreciate that or so on and so forth. [20:31.0]

Love itself from my experience. And it's limited and it's growing, but it's still, it's still limited, it's not permanent. It's not all the time, but from what's happened with Jasmine and I, where we have been on the brink of divorce twice, where we've had to look at some really deep things within ourselves. What I felt early on was these warm, emotional feelings that would come and go. What we've developed is something totally different. It has no content to it. There is no thought about it. There is just a sense of deep union and deep connection that doesn't require a thought or an event or a series of behaviors or circumstances in order to be there. It is just simply there. She comes in the room it's on. Even if she's, she leaves the room. I still could think about her and whatnot, but her presence alone, there's a deep connection between us and there is no content to that. It doesn't matter what's happening. I could be thinking about work. She's in the room, it's there. It doesn't really matter what's happening. That sense of deep connection is what I would call love. And I bet you've experienced it before, but you never realized what it was because everyone around you has made love into a storybook has made love into a thought that then produced a warm, emotional feeling. But that warm, emotional feeling is just the chemistry of a thought about a story. [22:01.1]

And that same feeling can come to you when you step into a movie theater and watch a movie. You can feel that same amount of love and nothing's happened. It's all fiction. And sometimes we say about these movies, like it's based on a true story. And we say that because that then story about it being based on a true story, now gives us permission to give our thoughts fully to that story so that we can produce that warm, emotional feeling inside of us. But it is just the chemistry that has come from certain thoughts. It is not love. It is not bad; it is a wonderful feeling. It comes and goes. It is fleeting. It is not love. It is not reliable. It is not permanent. It is not eternal. It is not ultimately the bedrock upon which a really profound relationship can rest long-Term. That's why there's a honeymoon phase in marriages. And then it falls apart. And that's why so many other marriages fall apart. And so many people start seeking outside of marriage for connection because they don't know what real love is. They know what romantic love is. Would they know what Twitter patient is to quote Bambi? [23:08.1]

What is love if you are using love to ref the word love to refer to that deeply warm, emotional feeling that you get when you're thinking about someone, then that very thing is manipulating you and can possibly manipulate other people when you're acting out of that and saying that that is love. True Love is just a deep sense of connection with the other person. Now, true love is also a deep sense of connection with you. You cannot be connected with someone else and not also feel that same connection with you, they come hand in hand. When you were experiencing that deep sense of connection and union, it happens with all things, some of them faster than others, especially if some of them are pretty antagonistic, but your entire way of being in the world will change and soften because of the connectedness that you are feeling. And it doesn't have any story associated with it. [24:05.1]

And so, as we wrap up asking the question, what is love and, and following that refrain, baby don't hurt me. Don't let yourself fall into the trap of believing that love is something that comes from the actions of another person, from the words of another person, even from the feelings of another person or from the thoughts inside your own head. Because as soon as you begin to believe that that's what love is and then you are searching for love, you can fall down the rabbit hole of searching for pornography or sex or extramarital affairs or searching for accolades and praise from other people, because you think that's love. Or becoming a people pleaser because you think their words or love or their actions or love. In fact, your whole life can be a chase for love. [24:51.3]

There's a great song called Stupid Deep by Jon Bellion who asks the question in the middle of it. Like, you know, what, if who I hope to be was always me. And what if the love I fought to feel was always free. And what if all I've ever done was just attempt earning love because the whole inside my heart was stupid deep. That hole inside your heart comes from a misunderstanding about what love is and about who and what you are in relationship to the world. Fix that and real love, real true love can show up in your life in ways that you never expected and it will not feel like the movies. Thank heavens. [25:29.6]

And that's it for todays “Alive and Free Podcast.” If you enjoyed this show and want some more freedom bombs landing in your ear buds, subscribe right now at wherever you get your podcasts from. And, while you're at it, give us a rating and a review. It'll help us keep delivering great stuff to you. Plus, it's just nice to be nice. [25:48.0]

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