What are “Love Objects” and How do They Affect Our Lives?

I became a baseball and football fan in Maryland when I was 9 years old. So, I have firsthand experience of the amazing influence sports teams can have on kids! I was giddy when the Orioles or Colts won, and depressed when they lost!!
More recently, when I moved out to Seattle 15 years ago, I transferred my “allegiance” to the Mariners and Seahawks. And, while I KNOW that it is absurd to love a uniform – players come and go but the allegiance remains the same – I still find myself engrossed in what these teams do.
This raises the question: Why do I and so many people live and die with their sports teams? An interesting question! Here is my theory/hypothesis – grounded in my own experience:
In order to survive a life that has little love in it, the child finds whatever object he can to project his love upon and thus to feel love. He mistakenly makes the object the source, and does not know that the source is within himself, being projected outwardly. These objects can be a sports team, a parent, a friend, toys & dolls/teddy bears, pets, cars, etc. These objects then become the source of love.
It is perhaps the most viable way a confused, love-starved child can feel love. As such, it is a brilliant strategy to get through a distressing childhood and keep the connection to the heart and love open. Without it, my feeling is that the child could either die or become dangerously disturbed psychologically.
At the very least children have to find ways to divert from the pain of feeling disconnected from their heart. Often those diversionary patterns are modeled after what their parents/caretakers did to divert from their pain and to feel love. As a criminal lawyer, I was shocked at how many alcoholics and drug takers referred to their choice of diversion with love…!
The first step in releasing this projection is just to become aware of it!
And the second step is to find as many ways as possible to reconnect with the real source – within ourselves. That includes finding what makes your heart sing…and pursuing it, exploring meditation, connecting with mystics and supportive people, attending effective workshops, and doing some counseling around this issue.
They all can help us refocus on the real source within.

Dealing With Anger

When I am able to step back and experience my own anger, I see that it comes from a deeper feeling of being hurt. The anger protects me from feeling a sadness underneath. It gives me a feeling of being big, not small. So the anger is really a protection and a diversion from feeling the hurt and sorrow and smallness underneath! What a powerful understanding!
I have heard Osho say that anger is just active sadness and sadness is passive anger! So when I am aware of this, I connect with the deeper experience and allow it to surface. Then, I respond very differently to my own anger.
It’s clear to me that as a child, I had a lot to be justifiably angry about! Knowing this, I can empathize with the part of me that angrily lashes out. I can invite the sadness underneath to surface and feel it and give it space.
And, when I remember that understanding for myself, I can extend that right to others! Then, rather than reacting to their anger, I can see the pain just under the surface; and I can actually empathize with them, remembering my own pain and anger. That empathy is the connection with my heart…and with peace inside.

On Avoiding Struggles and Pain

For much of my life, I sought to avoid struggles. I found ways to divert from situations and people that were difficult. What I didn’t know then was that the diversion produced as much if not more pain than dealing with the situation.
And then, somewhere I began to understand this. Maybe I had gotten enough of the pain; maybe meditation gave me a clearer view of what I was doing. I realized that going INTO the situation not only was less painful than I had imagined, but it actually helped RESOLVE it!
What I know now is that the struggles I have hung in there with, as well as those I avoided, have given me an amazing foundation of understanding. They were essential for me to be the present ME! And when I remember this, it produces an amazing feeling of gratitude for my life and what has happened in it so far…

The Sufi mystic, Rumi has said this so beautifully:

If God said,

Rumi, pay homage to everything that has helped you enter my arms,

there would not be one experience of my life,

not one thought,

not one feeling,

not any act,

I would not bow to.