Love & Relationships

Published on December 4th, 2011 | by thevyne


To Love or Not to Love is the Question

By Dominica F. McBride, PhD

Relationships can be the bane of our existence or the light in our days. We all yearn for the comfort of a quality and truly intimate relationship and yet so often our relationships fall short of our desires. We either lie to one another, put on a little (or a lot) of “make up” on our personality – not just our face, put each other down instead of lift the other up, and fail to see the “God” (aka beauty, love, spirit, goodness) in our “beloved.” This subpar relating often has roots in our own selves (or lack of) – the dearth of self reflection, self love, self care, and self connection.

A couple months ago, I attended a social and emotional intelligence workshop. Many there were surprised to hear that I have my doctorate in Psychology. They asked questions like, “what are you doing here? Don’t you know all this stuff already?” I answered, “there’s always more to learn.” And this thought was right, although I have to admit that underneath the veil of wisdom, there was an underlying thought that I really wouldn’t learn anything new. However, a whole new world was opened to me – the world of emotion. Of course as a trained Psychologist, I “knew” the value of emotion, but as Ekart Tolle poignantly and prudently conveys, knowing is in the being and doing, not left behind mental bars. After this workshop, I began to truly know – the knowledge became being and continues to seep into my doing, guiding motion and action. In dance, it guides the hips; in prayer, it guides the spirit; in relationship, it guides the love (verb). In this workshop, they guided the audience to fall into emotion, identify each emotion – anger, fear, hurt, sadness, and joy – and feel it. This simple act of identification and feeling opened up doors of the heart and mind, and thus, the spirit. These doors are often locked by our society and Eurocentric culture – the messages “be happy”, “big girls don’t cry”, “let it go”, “Work! Work! Work!” This socialization leaves many forsaking the sacred truth and potential of emotion for capitalism, overworking, forgoing the self, and numbing the mind with television, alcohol, and/or spiritless sex. After testing this refurbished emotional intelligence, I became more in touch with myself and this enhanced self connection honed my relationship. For instance, I became more aware of my anger and saw the ways that this anger seeps into my relationship, guiding my sharp tongue in cutting my partner. This is not to say that anger is “bad.” It is the opposite. Anger, when manifested in a way that matches its purpose (protection, motivation to change a situation), can be used as a guide for betterment. In this case with my partner, the awareness of my underlying anger allowed me to see that my untoward actions were a result of me and not him. This realization directed me to more introspection and then to a better quality relationship and, thus, to more love – which we all yearn for because it is a key ingredient to life.

Becoming more in tune with our emotions can guide us in self love, which is the key ingredient to quality relationship. Fear can indicate a limiting belief in us. Feeling the hurt and sadness can release pent up energy that is conducive to self destructive behavior, like binge eating, getting drunk, or avoiding life. I’m finding that connecting with myself and my emotions has released an inner power and reignited life within me. Now, I love myself more, resonate with my inner strength, and more frequently tap into the beauty that is within me – and within all of us. Each day, take some time to feel yourself out. Do an internal scan to see what you’re feeling and where…and just feel it. Sit with that feeling, whatever it is. Feel the sensation of fear or sadness or joy. And allow it to pass when it does, as all emotions and everything else in this world do. You may want to even write it down in a journal and express your experience. In this process – and it is a process – of self connection, I wish you much love, light, patience, and consciousness.


About the Author

9 Responses to To Love or Not to Love is the Question

  1. Arlester Mcbride says:

    This is beautiful sweetheart, I am sharing it with others. Will give more feedback when we talk.

    I love you


  2. Beth says:

    Too often we are trapped in the cycle of hiding our true selves from the world because we are afraid of being condemned. We are even unaware that people around us can love us for who we are yet we still hide in both shame and fear that we will be ‘found out’ and that our ‘true self’ will not be loved by those who we perceive to know only part of ourselves. True, we sometimes must keep some things to ourselves as there will be people who cannot and will not accept ALL of who we are, but it is important to open the door to let others know us and to find a way to seek acceptance from ourselves first of all that we are worthy to be loved, then we can be loved thusly by others. It is not an easy path, it takes a long time and alot of discernment to know what it means to feel worthy in a world that promotes worth is ‘things, looks, and being famous for being famous.’ The culture we live in is contrary to the way we need to live in order to feel happy and wealthy in a deeper sense than money can ever provide.

    Until then, we will be stuck in a cycle of poverty of the soul that traps us. To get out of that circular behavior may take months, years, decades but it is worth it to discover our true selves so we can be released to the world and free to be the person we were created to be, regardless of how the world perceives (or does or does not accept) us.

  3. Ming says:

    Yes, the root of relationship is the self love and self connection. I heard about, “The way you treat yourself is the way how others treat you”. Love ourselves and find a way to communicate with ourselves would make ourselves more open to the relationship and outside world.

  4. Janice says:

    I continue to be more amazed by the depth of talent and gifts the Lord has provided you. Now an author and a deep thinker of thoughts.

    The journey you are on will not be an easy one, but it is one that will provide you grace, mercy and truth. My prayers are with you, my friend.

  5. Megan says:

    This…is exactly what I needed to be reading today. Everyday, probably. As someone who has grown up in a rather disfunctional family where expressing emotions was highly frowned upon, I’m still learning how to identify and just sit with emotions. Thank you for putting this out there-knowing it’s not a fruitless effort helps me in terms of practicing this important skill!

  6. Audrey says:

    Very awe inspiring article!! Really enjoyed it and a definite must share with anyone and everyone!! Thank you!

  7. Janice Walker says:

    This is a great work of art. You have many, many talents and gifts and are highly blessed. Merry Christmas and be well over the season of renewal and rebirth in so many ways.


  8. Karma says:

    This was a very thought provoking article. When reading the statement about Eckhart Tolle, “knowing is in the being and doing, not left behind mental bars,” I had to take a quick inventory of my own actions and emotions. I totally agree with you. Once we learn more about ourselves, the better we are outwardly to any of the relationships that we are in. In my own personal journey with introspection, I have recognized that there has been a lot of use of “emotion for capitalism”. It’s quite sad when you open your eyes to it. We grew up watching fairytales and today our children have cartoons and television shows that promote violence and sexuality. I am an example of how becoming a more in tune with our emotions can guide us in self love. I can say that I have never had so much confidence in myself in my life nor have I ever been able to look in the mirror and see that beautiful person that I grew up thinking that no one else saw.. until now.. I really enjoyed your article! I’m going to have to tweet this. 🙂 Have a beautiful day Love.

  9. Dominica, this is not only beautifully written its a wonderful journey you are taking us on toward self-love, which is the pathway toward truly receiving love from another. It must be published to a wider audience and I will do all I can to make that happen. Thank you for loving others enough to share!

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