The #1 question I get from clients is about love. “Does s/he love me?” or “Do you see me meeting anyone?” or “Can I get what I need in this relationship?” are typical themes.
The #1 question I get when I teach intuitive development and meditation/ self-awareness is “How can I protect myself from negative energy?” “How can I get my (mother/ father/ partner/ _____) out of my space?”
How can we reconcile this yearning to feel the overflowing fullness of love with the desire for space and spiritual freedom? Why is it that the people that struggle with getting the love they want also have trouble maintaining their space around others?
I work with sensitive people. Usually those of us who are the most sensitive feel the most of everything. That means if we eat an amazingly fresh strawberry or piece of chocolate, it actually tastes better to us than to the average person. Conversely, if we get a bad vibe off someone, it is absolutely intolerable whereas for many people it’s just something to live with.
To a sensitive soul, love too feels more incredible and therefore brings up more stuff, for love brings up anything unlike itself. And there’s nothing wrong with sensitivity. It is both a gift and a challenge, which we can learn to manage.
Last month I shared how I excited I was to sneak kale into my mother’s dinner. After many years of learning to manage my nature as a healer (i.e. not healing people who did not ask for it!), I had to take a look at why I was so compelled to do this.
I also shared last month how I grew up on a diet of Velveeta “cheese” and other imitation-foods, and since learning about nutrition I have been clearing a lot of anger about not being more properly nourished. And it’s not just food, obviously, it’s whatever my parents did that I wish they hadn’t, that I as a vulnerable little one endured.
Of course, if it were simply my judgments about things they did, I could just notice from a neutral space. It’s been the way those things have affected me that have made me mad.
If they weren’t my parents, if they were strangers on the street, there wouldn’t have been a problem. But because at the time they seemed like my main source for love and support, I became affected simply because I wanted love.
It seems so simple, but I have noticed that this desire for love causes us to do so many things we normally would never do. Consider the woman who stays in an unhealthy relationship, because it seems like there’s no one else to love her. What about a man who works himself to death trying to prove how successful he is in the hopes of pleasing his family or impressing his friends?
In close relationships, often one person takes on the other’s emotions, beliefs, or habits. Why do we do this?
I feel we do it to feel close. We do it if the other person is suffering in the hopes we can make them feel better. We do it if we want something (love, money, security, approval) that we think only they can give us.
Much of this happens unconsciously, when we are too young to realize or when we as adults are in too much pain to be fully present as we make our choices. But once we act out of these emotions, habits or beliefs that aren’t ours, we suffer the consequences.
This brings much confusion. For example a father will say to his daughter, or a man to his wife, “You’re just like your mother!”
I see this type of comment thrown around as a great insult. And it hurts so much not because it is true. It hurts because it’s a lie, and especially because the recipient has believed and even chosen the lie, but doesn’t understand why or what to do about it.
Yes, maybe she was acting like her mother. But those actions were never reflective of her truth, just something she tried on one day in pain while longing for love.
Hearing that insult brings up the initial pain, and confusion, and unconsciousness from the moment of taking on her mother’s stuff. And, on top of that, it brings up the feeling that there is something wrong with her that needs to be “fixed,” which perpetuates the feelings of lack that started the whole mess to begin with.
Now, I believe children choose their parents, and partners or friends choose each other, because there is something to learn from those relationships. But as I see it, the way to healing is not to analyze to death why we are like them and what’s “wrong” with us that needs fixed.
Go straight to the initial desire for love. Whenever stuck in an unconscious, unhealthy pattern, just assume that the desire for love was behind it from the beginning, and look for how that played out.
From this space, we can have compassion for ourselves and the others involved. From this space of having compassion, suddenly there is no feeling that something is wrong or lacking.
The love that we seek IS our truth, but as soon as we seek it we repel it. If you are pushing and pulling your lover/ family/ friends/ work associates/ life itself… try instead to take 10 deep breaths and consider just HAVING those relationships and yourself and your life as they are right now… for 10 breaths.
In this having, all wanting is ceased, and having both the fullness of love and the spaciousness of freedom is obvious and effortless.
Enjoy, and please let me know if I can support you in this process.
copyright 2009 Ann O’Brien- All Rights Reserved.