This is the first of a five-part series on love, what’ you’ve learned is not okay in love, and why what you’ve learned is wrong.
Relationships sometimes feel like life and death.
Breakups can be physically painful.
When you are in a relationship and can’t connect to your partner, it can feel like you’re drowning.
Quicksand, falling off a cliff, the rug pulled from beneath you, swept under by a tidal wave or into a tornado…these are the kinds of metaphors people use when they’re lost in love.
We’re talking life and death here.
Social pain registers in the same part of your brain as physical pain (the anterior cingulate, to my nerds).
When we FEEL social pain – like a disconnect from our partners – our brains literally go into red alert. And it can feel like life or death.
You’ve felt it, I’m sure.
And maybe you’ve doubted yourself. Like, “why am I taking this so seriously? I need to get over myself.”
But the red alert is there for a reason: It’s a warning sign.
Get connected, lest you be cut off from the tribe, because if you get cut off?
Hence, life and death.
When I led a group with college students about how to finally get relationships right, based on Dr. Sue Johnson’s workshop, “Hold Me Tight,” this made total sense to them. It was a relief, to be told that their emotions all over the place when it came to love, were okay, and made sense.
I’m racking my brain trying to remember the vampire stories that were big at the time (circa 2011 or 2012), but I recall one young woman making sense of why the main character would injure herself over her unrequited vampire love when she learned that relationships literally do register as life & death in our brains sometimes…
Ever wonder why some people cut themselves?
Social pain and physical pain register in the same part of the brain.
Both are DANGEROUS and our brain’s job is to tell us that something is wrong, therefore, REPAIR the injury, whether emotional or physical.
Sticks and stones break our bones, but names hurt too.
Where do you think the saying “broken hearted” came from?
Cheers to thriving in business & love,