SURVIVING THE COMFORT ZONE
 
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Introduction

LOVE. It is one of the most commonly used words in the English language -- and one of the most powerful. From childhood we yearn for love because it holds such great promise of happiness, fulfillment, and permanence. As we get older, the popular culture tells us "love is all you need," but we soon learn the "needing" never really stops. The emptiness in our lives that we keep trying to fill never really gets filled--not by spouse, lover, friend, career, possession, pet, or whatever else we turn to for comfort.

Sometimes, we think we've found something that will make us happy, but then the pain of longing comes back stronger than ever. No matter what we do, the "hot and cold" moods of desire and frustration seem to haunt us, until we start to think it's the normal way to be. But we know it's not.

The braver ones of us can face this, and start looking for real answers, but most people try to soothe the pain any way they can. And there are plenty of people ready to help -- for a price. Drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes are the usual methods, but for all the public focus on these, there are more common escapes -- possibly more dangerous -- like movies, television, sex, and even music if used the wrong way. And when it comes to surviving the comfort zone, there is no greater temptation than food.

All these things supply love -- not true love, but a kind of comfort love, or ego support. We are vulnerable to this substitute for the real thing because most of us don't know what the real thing is. So, we reach out for what's available. And we're miserable.

After years of pain, however, more and more people are starting to realize there's something wrong with what is commonly called "love." Family lives that are supposed to be filled with love are often living nightmares that leave children feeling helpless, fearful, and alone in the world. Fathers and mothers have forgotten who they are -- to their children and to each other. Most marriages have more to do with sex than love, and so, the divorce rate skyrockets.

After years of following the popular culture, people are lost, and growing numbers are desperate to understand where they went wrong. Today's youth, increasingly damaged by premature sexual relationships and misguided attitudes, are quietly asking themselves, "If this is love, why does it feel like dying?"

Anyone who hungers for answers to that question may find it within these pages.

-Robert Just

 
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