How to Identify Counterfeit Love
by Linda Meredith
#complexptsd saw me ending up in a seemingly endless cycle of choosing the wrong partners. I had zero clues that I had zero ideas on not only how to choose a healthy partner but also how to be the best version of me. The good news was that I've been growing in knowledge of my personal process since age 19, the not so good news was that I didn't have enough information to choose wisely in the past.
Coming out of a multigenerational family of multiple divorces on both sides of my family, i.e. my great grandmother left her 4 girls on a farm whilst their dad was off droving (herding cattle on horseback). I can only imagine the sense of abandonment my grandmother and her sisters must have felt, plus the lack of protection. The fallout from this one incident can be traced into the following generations.
For me, I've learnt this quote from John Bradshaw is incredibly wise and true. Not only do we need to be in recovery for our Complex Ptsd, we need to be around those who love with a genuine form of love. Counterfeit people attempt to do love in their own strength, and eventually, they have no strength left to face the challenges life inevitably brings along.
Genuine love comes from a place and space far stronger and bigger than our own minds. Individuals on the path of pursuing genuine love focus on their divine centre, the pure truth, and are able to draw on this truth through the good times and the challenging times. You'll find these individuals pursue an awareness of divine love in order to increase their personal growth all of their life. For me, I look to a relationship with God for answers the world doesn't have, answers that are unique to my life's journey.
You will come across plenty of counterfeit love, and it will look good on the outside, but when examined you'll find that it doesn't have any substance or depth. The individual doesn't have a strong character you can rely on, the truth they talk about is subjective to the emotion or the events of the day. You will notice that their words and actions do not marry up all of the time. They will have healthy, supportive friends. Healthy is not perfect. Healthy is flourishing in their lives through all the challenges.
How else will you know this counterfeit love? Take time to get to know the person's character, experience how they treat others and how they talk about other people, does their life show increased personal and spiritual growth, how do they treat you during times of stress? The good times are the easy times, but can they communicate without demeaning you when they are angry. Can they hold space as you process your own challenges or are they trying to control and change who you are as an individual? Genuine love allows you to grow.
Above and beyond everything else, give time time. Genuine love impacts your own spiritual growth. When an individual loves you from the deepest space of spiritual love it does affect your spiritual growth too. It's an experience that will see you pursue your recovery even more fully, and you will indeed feel the difference as you return to your own power.