The phrase "love hurts" subcontiously conditions us to accept abusive love. If you were abused as a child, this is your only learned reality. As a global collective, we have come to accept this falsity as normalcy.
We have to start by understanding what healthy love is including recognizing the need for boundaries and when they should be applied even in the name of unconditional love.
When we reach adulthood, we are taught that love is patience, kindness, slow to anger, selflessness, forgiveness, compassion, empathy and all of the qualities we are taught are virtuous. Love is all of those things and more. However, when you aren't taught what healthy love is or even how to recognize it...that's when you choose a trauma bond that hurts.
When you start to practice self love and care as inner joy, peace and wellbeing over all else, you start to understand unconditional love. Where there is inner joy, peace and wellbeing, there is healthy love and the ability to attract it.
When our desire for love does not come from a healed place of joy, peace and wellbeing within ourselves, we attract unhealthy love and trauma bonds that cause us familiar pain, (usually from childhood), short term highs and a false sense of safety. This is what we have grown to accept as love. It is a false mirror that reflects and repeats until we break the cycle by practicing self love and care.
What is healthy love? Healthy love is automatically understood when an individual was provided with a healthy childhood. A healthy home filled with a child's basic needs, adequate emotional support from parents and guidance. It builds trust in yourself and others, a healthy sense of self love and care, the ability to recognize the same healthy qualities of love in others and a sense of self worth.
What is unhealthy love? Unhealthy love is automatically understood when an individual had an unhealthy childhood. An unhealthy home neglects a child's basic needs, physically, emotionally and spiritually. It builds mistrust in yourself and others, an unhealthy desire to be validated by outside sources, co-dependency, it can also cause self loathing, depression, various personality disorders, addictive habits and behaviors, and a feeling of unworthiness.
How do I break free from the cycle?
Take care of you first. There is nothing healthy about the love you are participating in if you aren't giving yourself the love you deserve. You can not heal whilst in a trauma bond. Find the strength and opportunity to leave it behind no matter the difficulty surrounding the separation. Creating space in order to heal is the most important boundary to implement and the boundary to start with if you have to heal from trauma. (If you are in imminent danger because of a violent partnership please use your local emergency and legal services).
It is not an easy process but once you face your deepest traumas head on and feel the emotional turmoil and move through it, your frequency will ultimately shift to a higher vibration which changes your experienced reality.
The unconditional love you give to yourself is dealing with the root causes of your trauma and learning your personal boundaries. Sometimes working through the trauma takes therapy, alone time and often meditation and solitude. Don't be afraid to ask for help, nor to seek it and don't be ashamed to receive the assistance.
Love is the highest vibration. It creates, it inspires, it heals us. It is divinity in motion and has nothing to do with pain and suffering... except when the lessons of pain and suffering eventually lead us back to unconditionally loving ourselves.