Loving and Being Loved: Emotional Footprints

November 3, 2016

In today’s society, there is a very widespread idea that trauma is the only thing that leaves its mark on us. We are overlooking the importance of other events, like loving and being loved. We have the idea that only negative things leave a trace, a mark, a scar, or trauma, pushing love and other possible emotional footprints far away from this.

Generally speaking and basing our thoughts on television, cinema, and books, we may venture to say that society thinks that an emotional footprint is that change that takes place in a person who has gone through a traumatic situation. Normally this change is quite radical.

Therefore, as we saw at the start, apparently everything related to emotional footprints is bad or painful. It is certainly true that trauma creates real pain. But what happens with positive events? What about loving and being loved?

In search of love

The question has been asked: what happens with positive events? Do they leave their mark on us? The answer is yes.

For starters, let us ask the right questions. Can positive events have an influence on our behavior, our emotions, and our thoughts? If something good happens to us, e.g. we get good news or we are given a good job, will we notice changes?

Train Passing Woman

Our personality is made up of behaviors, emotions, and thought patterns over time. So if we experience positive events for a long enough time, wouldn’t this leave its mark on us?

And finally, could we say that loving or being loved is, if not the most, one of the most beautiful and pure positive events that can appear in our lives? In short, maybe this is one of the most powerful engines that the human being has within him. It is strange to think that with the number of neurons, hormones, behaviors, thoughts, and feelings tied to love, our personality could be absolutely impervious to it.

If we love or are loved for a long enough time (something extremely personal and variable), our personality can change. Is love an emotional footprint if it is expressed correctly?

An example of loving and being loved

Psychology has had a lot to say about love and the bond created between people, cataloguing various types and employing a wide variety of terms. But maybe we are capable of better understanding how loving or being loved influences us through a mundane example.

We have had a partner now for a while. It has been a while since we had a relationship, until this person shows up, slightly disrupting our world. Or at least, they are fighting to do this, because obviously we, too, have our scars. It is hard for us to believe that we are falling in love again. With everything we have suffered! Moreover, we are no longer schoolboys and schoolgirls.

As the relationship moves along, without wanting to, we start forgetting everything that held back our impulse to enjoy, to cannonball into the pool. So while that person is working on secretly filling that pool, they are making us want to jump in more and more. And we end up doing it, time and time again, with ever greater pleasure.

Finally, filled with hope, we try to find a place for them in our life. That person turns into a part of our mental outline, our standard of happiness, and our life expectation. We go back to being ourselves, without deceit or secrets. If we are living together, there are arguments, stupid fights, silliness, and habits that, being more or less uncomfortable, we end up playing down and accepting.

But also, as part of the magic, we discover aspects of ourselves that we considered lies, over and forgotten. Empathy for someone we love. Concern for their well being. That impossible stutter in us, where we used to have nerves of steel. That desire to share and enjoy. And most of all, that kindness in us that we considered impossible and too much like a movie to be true.

We find ourselves changing, in short. We change, not because of that person, to whom everything may seem fine, but because of that created and given feeling in our mind and heart. In fact, we change and embrace the change, with happiness and thankfulness, forgetting fear and overcoming our scars and trauma. We leave a much deeper footprint than in the past, more visible, and from then on, much more beautiful.

Why so much effort?

This whole article, we have made an effort to convince ourselves that love can have a much greater strength on our psyche and our personality than negative events. Obviously this may or may not be true; we have to consider all the factors of both types of events. So why so much effort?

Couple About to Kiss

Well, honestly out of justice. Justice to that emotion, to healthy relationships and positive feelings. Every day, we see situations where negative emotions, clichés, and stereotypes are created based around loving and being loved, arguments that discourage us from throwing ourselves into the pool again, latent fears, limits on our ability to be happy in a relationship.

For this reason, for all those who doubt jumping in, for those who tend to focus on scars and cannot see where a mark will be left, or for those who know they want to jump in and are afraid to, this is an encouraging message. At the end of the day, why not stamp in a few more emotional footprints? But this time, let them be good ones.

So that we can not only feel grateful and proud of our feelings and emotional footprints, but also for what we have become by experiencing these footprints, being aware of them, and understanding them. The result of basing ourselves on loving and being loved.