January 2024 Overcoming heartache



Romanticism is everywhere around the Christmas and New Year period.  It is present everywhere - on screen and in print.  Many of us grow up believing this is the ideal.  I have also heard that sexual attraction is God’s way of complicating this further to ensure the survival of our species.

Last month we noted that we cannot be blamed or feel guilty for who we fall for because our reasoning and emotional systems are separately organised.  This can lead to an imbalance of power in relationships where the emotionally smitten individual is taken advantage of by a more callous, devious or narcissistic other.

Indeed, the imbalance of power can be tragic in many ways and the result is so often a trauma that one half of a relationship never gets over without professional help.

Of course, any relationship can sail close to and then founder on the rocks of emotional distance and the reluctance to face some difficult heart to heart conversations.  Besides being risky, such honesty between couples can be too exhausting and difficult for some.  When this is the case, relationship counsellors deal with such conversations with skill, patience and without judgement.

But when a relationship has no chance of survival or is broken beyond repair, how does a wounded individual limit damage that is both mental and physical? How can a lifetime of scepticism or even cynicism about love be avoided?  If emotions are more powerful than reason, what is the answer?

The answer to these questions is another even more powerful emotion that we often forget.  IT IS OUR SELF RESPECT…..OUR SELF-LOVE. It gives birth to our personal values and one of these is that OTHER PEOPLE NEED THEIR OWN SELF-LOVE TOO.

For us counsellors these two principles are enshrined in our ethical framework.  They are an imperative for us.  It is my contention that these two emotional principles are so important that they should even be taught in school and we should be reminded of them when love seems to have deserted us.  With these thoughts in mind it seems appropriate to offer them to everyone at the start of the New Year to any and everyone reading this.


In my monthly blogs, book extracts will be shown in italics.  This particular subject suggested itself and follows on from previous blogs.


©James Grant Counselling Services

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