The Obsessiveness of Love

I came across a question that has sort of developed into this answer. It has to do with “desiring” someone… or something. Originally, it came across as one person pursuing another, and then being rejected by said second person. I responded to that original question, and then this second question was posed. Here’s how it went:

Here’s her question (I’ve paraphrased it, in order to protect the author of the thought):

Love Presents Choices**”How can people get themselves out of the cycle of obsessive thinking? To get out of that way of thinking or feeling? We just can’t tell someone that I’m not going to be loving you or thinking about you, and have it stop, all of the sudden. Do you know of some effective way to get past this?**

Here’s my answer:

I would normally give my “one answer covers everything” thought, which is: “It depends.”  A lot of things would have to be covered, in order to give any sort of valid answer for an individual. There are many variables that affect each person, and those variables affect each person differently. There is the internal part of the equation with each person (nature), and then there is the external part of the equation with each person (environment). Each one affects the other.

It cannot be said to not focus on someone or something else, in order to alleviate the symptoms of that desire. Quite often that will bring about hyper-reflection. If I tell you not to think about a pink elephant, suddenly that pink elephant is right there in the forefront of your thinking, and you can’t get rid of it. The harder one tries not to think about it, the worse it gets. Hyper-intention will also bring about problems. Along with thinking too hard about something, going overboard and trying to do something about it to an excessive degree will do just as much damage. So, thinking too hard and doing too much is a problem. This is where addictions come from.

Dereflection can help here. Dereflection is nothing more than simply detaching one’s self from a situation and using certain principles to help accomplish this. I really, really like this part of it all. Self-distancing and self-transcendence help in reaching the goal.

If I take myself out of an environment wherein I am reminded of the thing I am having a problem with, then I have accomplished the first step in “getting better.” If this is all that I do, though, then the thoughts that I was having a problem with, previously, simply catch up to me. This is where self-transcendence comes in at. If I focus on something outside of myself (that is, my feelings), then I can begin to change the neural networking and balance of chemicals in my brain.

By self-transcendence, I mean simply focusing on something, other than myself. How can I do this? I, personally, begin to look at things and wonder about their potential. If I can find something that I consider as having great potential (whatever that potential is for), and I can contribute to that thing’s potential (whether a human being or a cause), then I am pulled away from the thing I was having a problem with and am drawn more closely to the thing that I choose to associate myself with. In other words, I go outside of myself in order to change my focus.

With self-detachment (from the “problem”) and self-transcendence (forgetting about one’s self and focusing on something else), one can actually change the neural networking in his or her brain. Also, with that change comes a change in the balance of chemicals in the brain.

The greatest thing about all of this is that we all have the choices before us, and none of us are mastered by our feelings… or rather, should I say, we can choose to not be mastered by our feelings. There are those, though, who allow themselves to be ruled by emotion. Those who are not ruled by emotions go through the same pains and problems that the emotional group goes through, but the outcomes are very much different. One group says, “I am…” (thereby inhibiting themselves) while the other group questions, “Am I?…” (thereby strengthening themselves).

“I am in love/lust/desiring… oh…. curses… darn… drat! I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, I am so totally obsessive…”

“Am I really in love/lust/desiring? Well, let’s just see how much. Wow, that’s not as bad as I thought it was.”

Ok, I’ll stop rambling, for now. I just want to say this last several thoughts. First, we choose how we feel in any given situation, although many would disagree with this thought. Second, the choices we make affect out brains, and, thereby, our minds. Third, depending on the severity/intensity of the things we open ourselves up to, the longer/shorter, the more difficult/less difficult it will be to separate ourselves from.

We can, indeed, separate ourselves from anything (intellectually/spiritually) we choose, if we simply understand that we can do so. Whereas we cannot escape our environment, we can take charge of how we think about it.

Chocolate helps!

Also… Love… TRUE LOVE… never ends.

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