I recently returned from Iceland where I did a workshop on Love Addiction. The people were gracious and very eager to learn more on the subject. As always, I learn too. When I encouraged the workshop participants to say “I love you” to all of the important people in their life—children, parents, siblings, friends, etc., I learned that in Iceland the word love has a heavy meaning and is reserved for a few. When “I love you” is expressed it means a person is ready for a commitment. “I care about you” is the phrase used for others.
Thinking about the above, I realize that in our culture many people are stingy when it comes to saying “I love you” for fear it obligates them or makes them vulnerable. We must not confuse the power of love with sentimentality or physical love. It is far greater. Like food, it nourishes us and others. In fact it is the most cost-effective medical insurance there is and there is no end to its supply. It has been proven to strengthen the immune system, increase life expectancy, produce zestful children, and induce feelings of calm. And there is increasing evidence that what we often pass off as love—Addictive Love—is bad for our health.
Is It Love or Is It Addiction? How do you know the difference?