Love: When is it real, when is it an illusion?

February 23, 2012


Real love, on the other hand, seeks the person beyond the images, the masks and outer appearance. Real love seeks the inner person and then shows that person unconditional love and acceptance.

by Austin Vickers — 

Lots of illusions about love exist. I know that I am often confused. Someone tells me they love me, but then acts in a way that clearly does not have my best interests at heart. Sometimes I am the one doing the talking and then notice that my actions do not support my words “I love you.”

No wonder we can get a little crazy contemplating whether or not someone loves us, or vice versa. But I have noticed as I have gotten older that when real love is present, there is no confusion. I see it, smell it, hear it and feel it, and complete alignment exists between the loving action and my intuition about it.

So rather than merely listening to someone tell me they love me, I have learned to trust my intuition. And this is what my intuition over the years has taught me about love and the illusions of love.

Like most human values, love has a counterfeit currency — the ego — and it is found in abundance in our culture. Unlike real love, which is centered in the heart, the illusion of love is a product of the mind and ego.

The differences between illusionary love and real love are myriad. Illusionary love wants our partner to be a certain way, to fulfill some of our needs and bolster our ego through certain attributes he or she brings to the relationship. Illusionary love is often pleased by partners who are famous or wealthy. Illusionary love believes that a relationship is good when our partner is totally committed to us and does not express emotions or feelings that might be destructive to the relationship.

Illusionary love makes us feel confused when we begin to see our partner’s weaknesses, and it cares how acceptable he is to our friends and family. Illusionary love can make us feel embarrassed to be with this person at times and in some circumstances. Illusionary love hides behind dishonesty and does not share real feelings or disclose certain actions out of fear that they could hurt the relationship.

Illusionary love feels intense jealousy when others are involved in our life. Illusionary love remains in the relationship out of need, despite our destructive actions and beliefs that we must do a lot for our partner to justify loving us. Illusionary love may do a lot for us, but in the long run, it always expects something in return.

Real love, on the other hand, looks for the person beyond the images, the masks and the outer appearance. Real love seeks the inner person and then shows that person unconditional love and acceptance. It says, “I like and respect who you are inside.” Real love understands why you do things that are not always in your or our best interest and feels compassionate towards you.

Real love wants to help you overcome your weaknesses, although sometimes that means letting go — for love does not always mean involvement. Real love believes that outer images are not necessary for me to feel close to you or to want to give you my love. Real love says that it is OK — indeed preferable — for me to see your weaknesses so I can help support you. Real love does not care if you are wealthy, smart, well dressed, socially acceptable or always emotionally strong.

Real love does not react to others in your life with jealousy, but rather, it allows you the space to decide whom you want to be friends with. Real love gives to you and feels good about giving to you, regardless of whether or how much you give back. Real love acts honestly and forthrightly, even if that means the relationship may suffer or end.

Real love never attempts to control you. It says that you always deserve my love, for you are as worthy as anyone to receive it. In the end, real love loves you for love’s sake, not mine.

So the next time you are in a relationship and are told “I love you,” but you sense or feel confusion, pay attention to your impression. Stop seeking external confirmation or validation of what you are hearing, for this is simply an unconscious attempt by the ego to maintain a state of illusion.

Rather, ask yourself this question: If it were truly love, would I be feeling what I am feeling? Real love does not exist in a state of illusion or confusion. And then ask yourself another question: What is love seeking in this situation?

If you pay careful attention to the answer, it is in such moments that you will begin to see what life really has in mind for you. Life is all about love, and it is through love that the paths of our souls unfold. Look past illusion, and make real love your priority and choice.

In the end, love is everything — the all. The sum value of our lives will not be counted by the degree to which we succeed at work, the level of education we achieve or the amount of money or possessions we accumulate. All of these are simply temporal indicators that only demonstrate our commitment to their acquisition.

The real value of our lives is the measure by which we have learned to love and be loved.


Austin Vickers is the author of Stepping Up to a Life of Vision, Passion and Authentic Power, and recently wrote and produced People v The State of Illusion®, a new docudrama on the science and power of perception and imagination. or

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 30, Number 4, Aug/Sept 2011.



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