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.

Childhood Survival Strategies and How They Worked!

Q. As a child, I often played the role of being a “good” child which I now regret. Sometimes I would say or do things that I now see as manipulative and self-serving. Rather than being authentic, I was a coward who tried to make everything nice. Is there any way for me to resolve my feelings of disgust for what I did.

Subhan: We are unaware how intelligent and courageous we were as children.
Because we have a very strong judging mind inside, we have come to accept its view that the child was “manipulative” or a “coward” in what he did. What is missing is the understanding that every adult owes that child a large measure of gratitude for his ability to create strategies that effectively got him through difficult and painful times. By being “good,” you were probably getting some kind of reward, or at least diminishing punishment. Isn’t this an intelligent thing for a small child to do? And choosing to try to make everything nice, that child was able to find some control over the chaos of the moment. Remember, children who were unable to do this had grave difficulty in surviving. Many of them either left the planet in some fashion or escaped below the mind and became what we call “mentally ill.” They were in fact too sensitive and unable to adapt to the challenges that they were confronted with. So it is important for each of us to inquire into our childhood to see and experience how remarkable it was in the way we used our intelligence then to deal with pain, fear, shock, shame and anxiety that felt like it could destroy us. As “surviving” adults, we are living proof of the effectiveness of our childhood decisions.

The judging part within us does not consider any of this. For most of us, this judge sees little value in what we did as a child and much to be improved upon. Not only is this myopic, it serves as a continuous distraction from the wisdom of the adult within us who is growing up! If we can find gratitude for the child’s actions, then perhaps we can minimize the judge’s role, and we will be able to see new possibilities.

One understanding that can arise is that while these actions were brilliant for a 5-year old, they are no longer effective for a grown adult. It is like building a boat to get across a swollen river: once it gets you across, there is no need to carry it on your head on the other side. If we are identified with the child’s mind and continue to implement the decisions it made long ago, we will be unaware of the adult part within us that is able to cope with present situations. Instead we will continue to see the world through the eyes of that child, even though the situation has drastically changed; and we will react the same way the child did. Thus, we are adults experiencing the world as a 5 – year old and dealing with it the same way that the child did.

So give your child some credit for surviving the obstacles in his life. This will help keep the judge in tow. And now put some energy into bringing forth the grownup within who can make effective, intelligent decisions based upon this moment!