Controversial Love Drugs

Many love songs croon “I can’t live without you” and “you’re everything to me.” Love can sure be overwhelming! When we are newly in love, we think about our sweetheart all the time, imagining the next time we will be with them and reliving the best moments. We can get kind of obsessive, and as long as we aren’t stalking someone who doesn’t like us back, it’s all good. That obsessiveness normally fades over time and we develop a nice, balanced relationship. When we spend a lot of time with someone, we get used to having them around, but lately I’ve noticed it is more than that.

I’ve been learning a lot about the human energy field; we each emit an energy field that extends out a little ways from our bodies. When we are close to someone — physically and/or emotionally — our energy fields overlap and interact. When you spend a lot of time around someone, your body literally becomes accustomed to that other person’s energy field, and when you are then apart, you can feel their absence.

I know, a large part of “missing someone” is psychological. We want to see their smile, feel supported by them or be an encourager to them. There is, however, evidence that there is an energetic reason for “missing someone” and I have experienced this phenomena myself. It is very noticeable for me when I spend a lot of time with one person, visiting them, and then go back home again. My energy field feels different because it hasn’t touched that person’s in a while. The effect seems to wear off in a week or so, and my energy adapts to my new location and the people around me there. I don’t think it really matters what emotions I have for the people involved — love, admiration or just toleration — the energy fields will interact no matter what.

I say all this in order to discuss the new “love drugs” that are being studied. There are two in question: one is intended to boost the feelings of being in love for couples who have lost the spark, and one is to help people stop feeling in love. The love-booster does not seem overly strange to me. I can see why someone might manufacture the chemicals that make one feel in love — it is such a high! I can see why couples that logically want to stay together would want to renew their amorous feelings. The drug that is designed to kill feelings of love did surprise me a bit.

I listened to an interview on CBC Radio (the Q show) where the host, Jian Ghomeshi interviewed an ethicist, Brian Earp, about the use of love- and anti-love drugs. The doctor advocated the anti-love drug in particular for people who are trying to leave an abusive relationship and they are “addicted to the other person” and keep going back to the abuser, even though they know how unhealthy the relationship is. If they took the anti-love drug, it would stop their feelings of love (or addiction) for that person and make it easier to end the relationship and start a new life.

In my role as a Victim Support Unit volunteer, I counselled several women who were leaving abusive men, and I’m not sure how much a love-killer drug would help. Overcoming abuse takes time, work, and a support network to help the abused woman grow her self-esteem. The love-drug is such an artificial solution to this problem, and I can easily see the drug being misused in many other situations. The radio host, Jian talked about just taking it to get over a bad break-up, which isn’t so horrible, I suppose, but imagine someone slipping this drug into another’s food in order to manipulate them into a divorce, or the drug being added to an antidepressant to help people be even more “numb” to the world. If I took a little of this drug, would I still love cheezies, sunsets, starry nights, or hiking in the woods? Would I be able to enjoy a nice meal or a good movie with a friend?

I don’t think the love-booster drug is any better. Do we really need to chemically induce every feeling to feel? I think there are some science fiction novels about societies doing that, and it never ends well! Have we become so removed from simple pleasures that we can’t just feel good when we do something we enjoy? Whenever I spend more time being aware of what is going on — what my body is doing, breathing, coming back to the present moment — I am so much more responsive and I am never far away from feeling good. Maybe not ecstatic or elated, but good. Content. Happy.

avocadoOn the other hand, one could argue that food itself is a drug. Have a hot chocolate or mocha and feel the boost it gives you! Enjoy a perfectly-ripe avocado and notice how clear your mind feels afterwards. Eat a big meal of turkey and stuffing and feel the sedative effects. How do donuts make you feel? What about a nice, fresh salad? Steak? Notice any change in the biological feelings in your gut? Besides the obvious fact that food is fuel for your body, every thing you eat is fuel for your mind as well. You can choose to alter your feelings by what you eat. You can alter your feelings by what you think. It all starts with taking ownership of how you feel, and not blaming anyone or anything else. And isn’t it interesting how it can also be explained by energy?!

What do you think of the love-drugs? Would you want to take them to help you through a situation? Do you think there’s a place for them or do you think they should never be approved? I know this is a big topic, so forgive me if I summarized a lot!

One last thing: if you are missing someone, or trying to get over someone, give it time. Try to get yourself in a new environment, with some new friends, and see if you can get your energy field sorted out.

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