Tuesday 30th May, 2023
I’m not scientist, but one of the few things I remember from high school physics is the law of the conservation of energy. Science tells us that energy cannot be destroyed, it can only be transferred or converted from one form of energy to another.
In this blog post I suggested that love is not merely an emotion (and 1 Corinthians 13 surely shows us that) but that love is an energy, or a force. I would argue then that this is why it never ends. More than that, love is not just any old force, it is our very life force, breathed into us, by our creator, it is life itself, and it is God themself. Love then, is eternal.
This can feel like a problem for Domestic Abuse survivors. Many of us experience a lack of understanding of how we can still love someone who abused us, and for many of us we can’t understand it ourselves, we can’t understand why we’re drawn to him, and if love never ends does that mean that feeling will never go away?
No, although we mistake it for love, what we feel for our abuser is attachment, and unhealthy attachment at that. Psychologists refer to it as trauma bonding. If we’ve been in love before we will recognise that our feelings for our abuser may be more intense, may be more obsessive, like an addiction. This happens because when we experience a traumatic event we need to attach to someone, to bond with them, in order to cope with the trauma. In an abusive relationship the only person we have to bond with is our abuser. This causes us to feel a deeper level of connection, but it also causes confusion because we know that person is the one who hurt us, this results in those emotional highs and lows that can make our abuser feel like a dose of heroin.
The good news is, this doesn’t last forever, with work to recover, with support, we can sever those bonds. It takes time, imagine trying to cut a bungee cord with a pair of scissors, you wouldn’t be able to get them through in one cut, but a bungee cord is made up of hundreds of individual strands, with work, you could cut a strand at a time. In the process the bungee cord might pull you back to where you started, but you keep going, and with perseverance, eventually you are free. You can do this!
Love on the other hand, I firmly believe, cannot be killed off. And it may be that as well as being bonded by trauma to your abuser you also loved him. You will still be filled with that love, with that energy. Trying to kill it off, or convert it into hatred only makes us bitter. Rather, transfer that love; remember, love is good, it is always good, it is divine. Focus that energy then on someone deserving of it, your friends, your family, your children, your creator. Love is not simply a feeling that takes control of us, it is a gift, given to us, to use as we choose. Take control of that love, use it to do something amazing. Love is wonderful, and it never ends.