Loving someone even when it hurts

Someone said to me today, “You tell people you know a few weeks, a few months, “love you.” I hear that when you are on the phone with your friends, ending conversations with love you. That is so superficial. That is because you’ve led such a fucked up life with your horrible upbringing, that you tell people that. You don’t know what love really is. How can you say that to someone you haven’t known for a long time? ”

This first left me speechless, sad, mad, and then questioning myself. Does it really make me superficial for saying that? What does this say about myself?

This followed me on subsequent calls with clients, friends and family. It led me to really examine what love means to me.

Yes, I have had my share of losses. Yes, I have made myself the rock during hard times, drawing myself up by my boot straps when I felt alone. It became my part of my survival DNA. Over the years, I realize also, that in order to experience love, it required me to shed my protective armor. It requires me to be vulnerable. For me, that means telling people I love them when I feel it. All the time. Irregardless of even love hurts. I grew up with parents who withheld love. Then relationships that withheld love. I used to withhold love, then I realized that it didn’t necessarily hurt them, but me. I thought it would keep me safe, from hurting, but I just felt an emptiness inside. It may have hurt them, but it hurt me more.

Seeing this is what makes me continue to be able to love wholeheartedly. In times when the shit hit the fan, even at the risk of being seen with my heart on my sleeve, I love. Even today when someone I love so much said those words to me and it hurt, I continued loving that person. Today, I went back and applied love to the places that hurt. For the present, and the past. Today, I went way back, into those places, in the darkness of my childhood, and the timeline over the years when I did not get that love, or kept love away. I spent time giving some love back to those old parts of me and felt better.

So tonight, I giggled and laughed, and loved up my 4 year old as we got ready for her bedtime. I recognize that just because someone else have a different ideology of love, I don’t have to make it mine. I LOVE fiercely, without shame or on someone’s terms. Love has many layers, intense, paternal, romantic, childlike etc. I can meet someone and feel love for them right off the bat. I love animals and children with abandonment. I can find something to love in most anyone. Does that make me naive? I am not sure. I just know that I spent too many decades alone.

Tonight, I encourage everyone who has love, and gotten hurt, to continue to love wholeheartedly, even when you might not know what the outcome may bring. We may not have control over our external circumstances, but we have a choice in how we love.

Have you loved someone wholeheartedly in the face of hurt, of vulnerability, of the chance of it not being received or returned? I would love to hear your experiences below.


8 thoughts on “Loving someone even when it hurts”

  1. While I appreciate the value of being told by someone that they love me I appreciate actions far more. I know that this stems from my childhood where the actions of people in my life didn’t support what they told me. One example – my dad tells me how much he loves me but then doesn’t make an effort to be a part of my life while I’m growing up. Even today I hear I love you from people who’s actions don’t validate what they say. For me, that is more fucked up than saying it because you feel it in the moment. What I work to remember about love is that it’s a verb not just an emotion.

  2. I totally appreciate the authenticity of this post! I sometimes do feel like I use the words ‘I love you’ too often, but I truly don’t think I say it unless I am feeling that on some level – maybe it was loving their listening ear or tender compassionate heart… whatever it is – if I feel loving I say it in the moment and I don’t think there can be enough love in the world. So, I’m with you… I celebrate love in all it’s forms and people don’t have to say it back to me if they don’t want to. At least I know I’m putting it out there from my heart. Loving is healing. Loving is our true nature so the more we can connect with that, the more it will help us be more gentle with ourselves and others when we go through trials and tribulations in life.

  3. I want it all. I want them to tell me, show me and convince me. LOL…sometimes you settle for one…just because of all their other good qualities…and deep down, you know, whether they show you, tell you or convince you…you are loved.

    Sometimes we just think we are alone.

    Thanks for a really nice and important blog~Cathy

  4. Claire, I don’t think you’re naive at all as saying “Love You” IS YOUR TRUTH.

    For the person who said that to you, it is simply not their truth to love as easily.

    Without judgement, neither you nor that person are “right” but rather both living authentically in your truth – and what more can you ask for?

    Sending you so much love :),


  5. I believe that love is free and there is unlimited supply of love we can give. Of course – giving love to the right people and right things in life is just as important. If something is hurting you even when you give your love, then it may be time to step back, detach – grow and expand yourself, and then see if you can love and heal. 🙂 xxx

  6. Love is such a beautiful word. So I don’t really mind to hear the words, “I love you”. I’m lucky enough to be around family and friends that really mean it. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there that hardly ever hear those words. Claire, good point, let’s just love wholeheartedly, you may be surprised about how much joy you can instantly bring.

  7. I think your point about people having different ideologies of love is key. This concept applies to much more than just love; it applies to everything! Just because someone else has a different opinion, that does not make it the “right” opinion nor does that mean that your opinion has to be the same.

  8. I agree wholeheartedly that even when we’ve been hurt by someone we have loved, it should not stop us from loving again. True love doesn’t require, it gives. That doesn’t mean we become doormats and allow others to intentionally hurt us. Love sometimes means I must let you go in order to protect myself or others.

    Thanks for opening up and sharing your heart.


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