DARING TO LOVE
Daring to Love explains why and how people often, without awareness, act contrary to their best interests by reacting against love. It also reveals how their habits of emotional self-defense interfere with their ability to give and receive love. When people are hurt or suffer psychological pain or trauma in growing up, they develop suspicious and distrustful, even fearful, attitudes about love and relationships. They attempt to protect themselves from getting hurt again by developing a series of defensive strategies. Daring to Love will help readers understand how these underlying defenses drive their actions, and it will offer a method for challenging them. By understanding defenses and developing the ability to challenge them, people will be able to overcome their psychological obstacles to love.
This book pushes the reader to take a hard look at their internal barriers to love and at their fear of getting free of them. All ten chapters include constructive suggestions for countering defenses. The first three chapters introduce fundamental information that lays the groundwork for the subjects covered later on. The next six chapters prompt the reader to examine their reactions when specific defenses are threatened by love. The last chapter offers some final advice that will help a person maintain a loving relationship going forward.
A major element of using this book is journaling. Every chapter includes journal exercises that enable the reader to take the provocative information they are learning and make it personal by applying it to themselves and their relationship. The exercises also show them how to identify the behavior that keeps them defended, and how to challenge the critical inner voice that supports that behavior. There are exercises that assist them in planning and taking action to confront their defenses and sustain their romantic relationship. Specific exercises support their vulnerability and their positive identity. Others help them recognize and resist the formation of a fantasy bond in their relationship. Still others show them how to deal with guilt, accept sadness, and maintain intimacy in spite of the possibility of loss and the reality of death. In other words, the journal exercises, through direct and straightforward questions and prompts that help them investigate how and why they push love away, will stimulate them to engage in a deep and demanding process of personal discovery.