Looking for Love
The Johnny Lee song Looking for Love (In All the Wrong Places) made its debut In the 1980 John Travolta-led movie Urban Cowboy. While the one-hit-wonder tune has hung around in the minds of people old enough to remember it, the message of the song has remained relevant for more than 35 years. As another Valentine’s Day comes and goes, too many of us are waking up to find out that we’ve been looking for love in all the wrong places and finding poor relationships and broken hearts. If the trend of love searches falling flat has held study for more than three decades, is there any reason to believe that things could change for lonely hearts in today’s world of speed dating, online dating, and “hooking up?”
A lot has change in our world since 1980. One thing that hasn’t changed in 35 years since Urban Cowboy and Looking for Love (In All the Wrong Places) arrived on the scene is… Hollywood. Our movies and culture remain filled with the theory that love is found when we find someone to give it to us.
Pretty Woman had the downtrodden-yet-beautiful prostitute being ‘rescued’ by the handsome billionaire, “and she rescued him right back.” The 1996 Tom Cruise film Jerry Macguirebrought us the famous line, “you complete me!” – and left us feeling like we might all have missing parts that only someone else can give us to make us whole. Even today’s movies, like 2014’s Winter’s Tale, leave the moviegoer looking for miracles – especially when a main character like Beverly Penn says, “Each baby born carries a miracle inside. A unique purpose and that miracle is promised to one person and one person alone.” It gets sort of depressing if you think you’ve missed the one person who has your miracle, doesn’t it?
There is, however, good news if you step out of the theater and step into your own mind. Researchers including behavioralists, sociologists, and even neurologists are finding that love and other emotions aren’t things we need others to trigger but rather feelings that we can trigger from inside of ourselves.
We see many clients who have fallen into the trap of believing that they have to seek out and find some special person who has love for them,” explains hypnotherapist Beverly Craddock of Hawaii Hypnosis Center. “It’s almost as if they forget how to feel love independent of others. It often happens when a relationship fails and they feel without love in the absence of that other person. It’s a false belief – that other person didn’t provide the love, they just helped you generate it.”
Hypnosis is one common method for overcoming heartbreak or getting rid of barriers to healthy relationships. Some experts also recommend adding meditation if you’ve forgotten what love feels like or if you think you’ve fallen out of love in your current relationship.
Dr. Marsha Lucas, a Washington D.C.-based psychologist and author of the book Rewire Your Brain for Love, says that the practice of mindfullness “produces real, measurable changes in the brain in key places so that deeper connections, better love, and healthier relationships can really take hold.”
Lucas recommends spending 20 minutes a day really focused on that feeling of love – not the one on the silver screen but the one on the inside of your own mind. She contends that this kind of meditative work can not only help you feel your own love inside but can help you attract new love or even heal a current relationships that has lost its zing.
If all those Hollywood love stories have you feeling frustrated because you haven’t found that one perfect person or you’re not sure if the one person your with is the right one, you will generally find that you’re better off working on yourself and not trying to find or fix someone else.
And while modern science is studying the brain and finding out how love is processed, they’re really just confirming what a lot of experts on the mind have known for a long time – that love isn’t found by working on the search or the relationship but rather by working on you. After all, it was 13th century Turkish mystic Rumi who offered: “Your task is not to seek for Love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
Looking inward doesn’t really make for compelling 90 minute Hollywood love stories – and that’s okay, you aren’t living one of those. You’re living a life. And it’s full of love if you just let yourself feel it from the inside.
I guess Johnny Lee was sort of right. We have been looking for love in all the wrong places.
A team of local relationship experts say that past relationship failures provide critical clues for making sure that you’re attracting the right kind of partner this Valentine’s Day. “When a relationship fails, we often blame the other person,” explains Beverly Craddock, a Honolulu-based relationship coach at Hawaii Hypnosis Center. “But when there is a pattern of relationship failures - bad boyfriend after bad boyfriend - it’s often time to take a look at the kind of relationship programming that WE have. What are we doing that is attracting these kind of relationships?”
Craddock, and her husband Randy Hampton, also a master hypnotist at Hawaii Hypnosis Center, have found that internal, subconscious programming leads a person to attract the wrong kind of person to them. “If you’re sending out signals of desperation, sadness, or hurt, you’re likely to attract people who will take advantage,” explains Hampton. “It’s a complex dynamic involving the electrical signals produced by the human body and the emotions that we feel and send. By understanding your own inner programming, you can begin to change the signals you send and in return attract the kind of people you want to attract.”
Craddock and Hampton help clients find and change faulty programming. By adjusting the way the mind is processing self-worth and past emotional pain, the mind begins to work from a position of emotional strength.“Love is an emotion. So is fear and sadness,” explains Hampton. “If your mind is constantly expressing the fear and sadness intermixed with love, then your relationships will end up with as much fear and sadness as they do love. It becomes the viscous cycle of emotional pain.”
Craddock knows that “real love” is out there for everyone but it’s beyond just finding it. “You’ve got to be available to attract it,” she concludes.
Looking for Mr. Wrong
If I had a dollar for every person who asked me to help them forget a person from their past, I’d be a retired hypnotherapist by now. And it would be a valuable trick if I could make it happen. I’m sure I could charge many thousands of dollars for a good memory erasing session that would turn “Mr. Wrong” into “Mr. Who is that Guy.” The line of people out my door would stretch around the block if I could stop a hurting heart just by getting out an eraser on the client’s memory in a quick forty-five minute session. And while we can help with heartbreak and loss, hypnosis can’t erase a past love or make you forget about the person who divorced you, broke up with you or left you standing at the altar.
What hypnosis can do is help you change your reaction to the events of the past. It can help you put those hurtful words from the last fight into the right perspective. It can help you repair the damage and recognize the valuable lessons in the relationship. Hypnosis can help you find the things you want in the next relationship and help you heal enough to even imagine that next relationship. Hypnosis can help you find and fill all the holes in your own life so that a complete and powerful you can move on, move forward and thrive.
Keep the past in the past. We can help you properly assess the past, put it away and focus your attention on the future. That’s where your life is going to occur. Nothing more will happen in the past and hypnosis can help you stop living in it – especially if it has a lot of pain for you in it. You have a purpose. You have a future. And neither your purpose nor your future should be weighed down from your baggage from the past. No, hypnosis can’t make you forget. It can just help you move on. And that’s worth lining up for.