Love is a strange emotion. We all need love and connection in our lives. Usually in long term relationships we take our partners for granted and don’t show love. Why is that so? This is because our cups are half full, thus we cannot love fully.
This blog talks about how love, the most overrated word, actually works. All of us at some time, abandon ourselves in a certain way and when we get into relationships we are coming in with our cups only half full. How do we have fulfilling relationships when we aren’t fulfilled ourselves? Only when I know how to love myself and my cup is full will I attract a partner on the same vibrational frequency.
3.1 What is love?
Love, the four letter, often misused, word. What exactly is love? A lot of us use this word meaninglessly. What is love? Haruki Murakami in Kafta by the shore described love as “searching for the missing pieces of themselves” while Paulo Coelho in Zahir described it as “an untamed force, which when you try to control, it destroys you, when you try to imprison it, it enslaves you and when we try to understand it, it leaves you feeling lost and confused. It is one of the most perplexing of all human experiences and it is truly a blessing to feel loved and be loved.”
Neuroscience explains some common behavioural patterns people display when they are in love. When in love, neurochemicals like dopamine and oxytocin flood our brains in areas associated with pleasure. There are many benefits – both physical and psychological when one is in love. Everyone needs love and connection. It is a biological human need. We all want to be loved and appreciated and we get into relationships for this reason alone – to fill our empty cups. We want and deserve amazing relationships. Yet in today’s world finding someone to love has never been harder. Why is that so?
3.2 It is in your DNA
First of all I want to assure you, you are not alone. Many people find themselves feeling lost and confused about how to cultivate lasting romantic relationships and feel challenged, uncomfortable and utterly pained within the dynamics of their relationship. Through decades women have gotten empowered. We have achieved success in our careers, we’ve embraced our sexuality and spirituality and we’ve deepened our bonds of sisterhood with each other. The freedom and liberation we have today is exponentially different from even our grandmothers era, which is only 100 years back. Now we are a force to be reckoned with in every part of our lives — except our relationships. Why is that so? Why are women still struggling when it comes to being empowered in our relationship and are often choosing to give up their power. A woman’s role till today has very much been confined to being “feminine”. As long as it is that, she will be exploitable . She will keep trying to nurture, no matter what, because she cares. If she can embrace her masculine side more, which is slowly but surely happening more so now than ever, she will find her voice and empowerment in society and her relationships.
Women are desperate to hold on to their men and let them get away with bad behaviour. We are not happy being treated like second class citizens, we feel depleted giving and giving. We want a deeper connection and more understanding but value our relationship status more than the state of our happiness. Thus we tolerate unfulfilling, frustrating and even abusive relationships and do nothing about it. We are more confused than ever about how to relate with our partners and feel disempowered when things don’t work. We misinterpret our partners intentions, words and actions, simply because we don’t understand them. Unconsciously we expect our partners to behave like us and we try to control them. As a result, our partners can become defensive, and we become unhappy. And when women are unhappy, we hurt on every level. We thrive less. We complain more. We feel stressed and unsexy. Our entire wellbeing gets compromised.
3.3. Deeper darker problem
This is the problem you see on the surface – women being in relationships which are unsatisfying and unfulfilling. There is a deeper problem here. Let us take a pause for a moment. You feel unhappy in your relationship. You think it is because you feel disempowered in your relationship. You think it is because he doesn’t understand you and you want to control him. You don’t understand why such things happen again and again in all your relationships. Now let me dig deeper with you. I am nearly there.
The root cause of the problem is not disempowerment. It isn’t the fact you don’t understand men as they are from Mars and you are from Venus. It isn’t because he doesn’t listen and you can’t control or change him. The main reasons for your frustration and unhappiness is that you essentially lack a fundamental understanding of why this happens to you. The number one (underlying) reason why your relationship fails time and again is self-abandonment. What does that exactly mean?
We attract each other at our common level of vibrational frequency and our common level of pain, and people often match our level of vibrational frequency and our level of pain. That is the level at which we abandon ourselves. In any given relationship, the way each partner abandons him or herself may be different, but how much they each abandon themselves within the primary relationship is similar.
Case Study 2 – Mary and Steven
My client Mary met Steven and there was an instant attraction. They were happy for a year and then they both started feeling unhappy and felt a lack in the relationship. She contacted me and her “problem” was, “He doesn’t understand me. I am tired of doing things for him and not being appreciated.” Steven was abandoning himself by ignoring his own feelings and was using Mary to fill him up with attention, approval and sex. Mary on the other hand was abandoning herself by being the perfect caretaker – tending to his feelings while ignoring her own. Their common level of pain was the degree at which they both ignored their own feelings and avoided responsibility for themselves. They tried to use each other to fill the emptiness within them. We all have a certain level of self-abandonment which we don’t even know exists.,
3.4 Self abandonment
Growing up, very few of us learn how to take responsibility for our fullness, happiness, peace and joy. We aren’t taught. Imagine you tell a child I won’t love you until someone else can love you first. You are giving yourself up into the hands of the other person to decide how to love you.” It’s like saying I’m not important to me. I don’t know my value. Can you make me important to you. Can you decide what’s my value?” We abandon ourselves and do not take responsibility for our experience, rather we expect our partner to do it for us. We come into relationships expecting to get love rather than share love.
Mary was doing exactly this. Instead of taking responsibility for feeling love, she tried to make Steven love her the way she wanted. She got angry and blamed him for not doing enough. He on the other hand dealt with this by withdrawing and shutting down. Both methods they used had negative effects on their relationship and Steven finally decided he didn’t want a relationship. He said he was commitment phobic and didn’t understand women. The real problem for the lack in their relationship was self-abandonment. What does self-abandonment even mean?
Self-abandonment is a strange concept. How can you abandon yourself when you are always with you? Essentially self- abandonment is when you reject, suppress, or ignore a part of yourself in real-time. In other words, you have a need or desire you want to meet. In your mind, you believe your needs and desires cannot be met by you. This belief leads to a continuous process of detachment, and you repeatedly make decisions to ignore, repress and condemn your needs. Over time, you forget and lose your ability to identify your own needs. This takes you far away from who you are you find yourselves in a pattern of people-pleasing, settling or neglecting yourselves and your personal identities start feeling hazy. At its core, self-abandonment arises from a lack of self-trust.
3.5 The 5 signs Of self abandonment
3.5.1 Ignoring your feelings
Do you ignore your feelings of loneliness, anxiety, anger, jealousy, fear, guilt, shame and shame? Do you ignore the pain of loneliness, heartbreak and stay focused in your head rather than your body? How many times have you simply ignored how you want to be treated in the relationship in an attempt to please your partner or avoid a conflict? Ignoring our feelings is the most common way we abandon ourselves as we haven’t been taught to accept our feelings and ourselves.
3.5.2 Eggshell relationships
Are you in an eggshell relationship? These are relationships where you have to tread lightly—each day you wake up you are figuratively walking on eggshells because your partner behaves or acts all too frequently with traits that are just simply toxic – so toxic that you have to be careful around them lest they lash out at you. You are afraid to be yourself and give your opinions for the fear he will “abandon” you. Sometimes the roles gets reversed. You are at your wits ends at all times and any small comment made by your partner can make you flustered and you simply burst into sobs. You are sensitive to his words and actions and everything sounds like criticism to you.
When you feel intense anxious, depressed, angry or hurt as a result of your self-abandonment, you further abandon yourself by turning to various addictions to numb out the pain and avoid responsibility for your actions. You do nothing about loving your inner wounded self but instead turn to addictive ways of avoiding pain, such as junk food, nicotine, drugs or alcohol, or even sometimes activities like excessive TV, work and shopping. These cause temporary pain relief and some distraction but because they are all temporary fixes, they only lead to more pain in the long run.
3.5.4 Shirking Responsibility
Rather than loving yourself and finding ways to deal with this self abandonment, you resort to needing your partner’s attention or approval all the time. Do you try to get into a relationship so that you still feel wanted and attractive? Do you leave it to your partner to make it all perfect for you? Do you get angry and use blame as a form of trying to have control over him to give you the love you are not giving to yourself in the first place? Remember you are responsible for your relationship experience. It is not your partner’s job to be responsible for your happiness.
3.5.5 Self Judgement
Telling yourself lies and judging yourself is like telling your wounded inner self she is not good enough. Do you tell yourself things like – “I am not good enough” “I am a failure.” “I am so ugly, who would want me?” “I am destined to be alone all my life.” “I am selfish when I take care of myself.” “No one will ever love me.” Imagine telling a small child this? Do you know how sad and depressing that is? And do you realise you are doing this to yourself? Your inner child stores all your memories of your self-esteem, body-image, family trauma, shame and secrets. When you abandon yourself and criticise yourself by self doubt and self loathing, your inner child sinks deeper down into this pool of shame. What is your first response when someone blames you for something? Do you judge yourself or judge the other person, or both? What happens when you judge yourself or the other person? The chances are that the interaction is not a healthy one.
I feel depressed even thinking of how abandoned your inner self feels. The inner self is stuck in this swamp of self abandonment. She gets more sucked in over the eyes and she can’t find her way out. She feels a new relationship will help her and her partner will throw in a rope and get her out, clean her up and leave her feeling clean and spotless. Remember no one can do this for you but YOU.
Going back to my client Mary. If she took responsibility for her feelings, was connected with her inner child and operated with self love she would not even be attracted to Steven. She would immediately feel his inner emptiness and neediness and his energy would feel like the repelling end of a magnet. Likewise, if Steven was operating as a loving being with himself, he would not be attracted to Mary either. Instead he would feel put off by her obsessive care taking and the inner neediness from which it stems from. He would feel her insecurity, her fears of rejection, and the anxiety that goes along with inner abandonment. No matter how beautiful Mary is, he would not be attracted to her vibrational frequency. They both attracted each other as they were both self abandoning each other at the same vibrational frequency, albeit in different ways.
3.6 Ways we abandon ourselves
- We do not notice or acknowledge our painful feelings of loneliness, helplessness, sorrow or grief.
- We do not acknowledge our fear and insecurities.
- We do not stand up for ourselves in the face of our partner’s anger, blaming or disrespectful behaviour toward us.
- We believe lies our wounded inner self tells us about ourselves.
- We continue to abandon ourselves and judge ourselves for our protective behaviour.
- We expect our partner to take care of our feelings and needs, rather than take full responsibility for them.
- We blame our partners when they don’t take care of us in the way we want.
- We make his feelings and needs more important than our own.
- We numb ourselves with food, alcohol, drugs and TV.
- We emotionally withdraw and stay in our head rather that acknowledge our inner experience and tend to our feelings.
3.7 Help me !
I know it sounds overwhelming. I know I have painted a bleak picture. I see these repeating patterns in all my clients. Most of them are trying so hard to get rid of this mud. They use detergent after detergent, I mean therapy and healing of different kinds. They invest in ropes and mud wrestling skills, reiki and chakra healings. And they still can’t get the dirt off. Nothing works. Quick fix methods to deal with relationship problems, without knowing self abandonment is the real culprit, simply don’t work. How can you solve an issue when you don’t even know what the issue is?
3.8 Self -love
The flip side of self-abandonment is self love. You need to learn how to love yourself. What is self love? Self love is a feeling of kindness, caring, tenderness and gentleness to one self. Most of us have love and compassion toward others, but what about toward ourselves? What if, when you are aware of your wounded feelings , you choose to feel kindness and gentleness toward yourself? When you make this choice, you open the door to these feelings moving through you, rather than getting stuck in the mud.
Moving to self love and choosing to be kind and gentle with yourself is the key to healing your self abandonment, tapping into your personal power and becoming emotionally free.
How do you do that? People treat you the way you allow them to. This is something you really need to learn. Your partner is going to treat you the way you allow him to treat you. So if you’re going to have respect and self love for yourself, that’s where he will vibrate too. You can’t come into a relationship with half a cup to give. If you only have half a cup to give, you’re not able to share the love. You need to make sure that you are coming in with a full cup. Remember your relationship is a partnership, not a codependent situation. You should be getting into a relationship because you can partner up and create interdependency rather than being codependent. Remember you are responsible for your relationship experience. If you are not happy, then you need to do something about it.
3.9 Ways to self-love
- Stop judging yourself.
- Stop ignoring your feelings.
- Stop shutting your feelings and filling the emptiness with food, alcohol, drugs, TV, spending, blame, anger, caretaking, or any other addiction.
- Stop waiting for your partner to show you love and kindness.
- Stop blaming him, judging him, ignoring him and rejecting him?
- Choose kindness over reactivity
3.10 The 2 kinds of love
Most love these days is eros. It’s the “What Is In It For Me” (WIIIFM) kind of love. Most people love based on what they can benefit from the other person and they love to either give themselves pleasure or take away their pain. Their love depends on the qualities of the other person and external circumstances. The other kind of love is agape. This is the spontaneous, unconditional love. You love because it is in your nature, not because of any external qualities or circumstances. You genuinely want to connect and create value in your partner’s life and in return you don’t expect anything. Agape love comes from an internal and external state of true happiness and living in the present moment. This is our natural state of being but due to “stress” we have forgotten our true nature and most love these days is eros.
Ask yourself this question – what do you want more than anything else right now in your relationship? Think about this carefully – the answer has to be honest. Don’t filter it and don’t try and justify your answer to make it socially acceptable. If you don’t know what you want or won’t admit what you truly want, it won’t work. There are 2 rules here. Rule 1 is you only have one wish. Rule 2 is you can’t wish for something that takes away the free will of someone else. If your answer is anything but an internal state of mind you got the wrong answer. We should all want to either feel joy, happiness, peace, comfort and safety in our relationships.
So how do we achieve this internal state of joy, peace and love? There are 5 simple rules.
- Give up expectations from your partner and the relationship.
- Do things from an inward state of love and kindness.
- Focus on the present moment.
- Have the faith to receive it and believe you deserve it.
- Contemplate, meditate and pray daily.
Once you work on that internal feeling of joy or peace within you, you will feel warm, excited and peaceful. You will have a lightness in your being. There will be no worry and fear. Your thoughts, beliefs and actions will automatically change, and that vibrational feeling will flow in all your relationships.
3.11 Three-step blueprint for failure
This is what traditional coaching models teach you. Most coaches will teach you to do these three things to get the perfect relationship.
- Focus on what you want to achieve.
- Figure out how to get there.
- Put your plan into action.
Steps 1 and 2 focus on the end results, which is the expectation. As I have told you before, expectation is a killer. Expectation puts you in a state of stress and lack. When the body is stressed, it creates negative feelings, drains energy, stops blood flow and causes distress in the body. Step 3 on the other hand relies on willpower. Willpower alone is not enough to make goals happen. When we have the willpower but our heart is not in it, we never achieve anything. For example if I want to be with a loving partner but deep in my subconscious I have experiences with an abusive dad, as much as you try (willpower) it won’t work in your favour to have a loving relationship.
Our minds have a pain and pleasure programming mechanism. The pleasure part is good and is based on safety and good memories. The pain part is based on bad experiences. Every time you are faced with a bad experience, you either freeze, fight, run or stop due to the stress and shock mechanism that gets activated. The logical mind and the willpower cease to work. That is why when we are “programmed” to abandon ourselves since young, any form of therapy, hypnosis or regression therapy simply won’t work.
3.12 Physics of true love
As I have explained, will power and affirmations don’t work if your subconscious doesn’t believe it. As we grow up we generate three types of beliefs:-
- Placebo Beliefs – this is believing a positive untruth. It is fear based and temporary and works 32% of the time. For example, I am with a kind and loving man. This belief or affirmation isn’t based on truth or love and won’t work for you. It will create a temporary positive effect.
- Nocebo Beliefs – this is believing a negative untruth. These are splinters or misinterpretations in our programming. These are also fear based and cause problems 30-40% of the time. For example, you have found a kind and loving man, but you have doubts and don’t trust him or your good luck. What if he harms me or cheats on me? Even if you have found the ideal man, there are blocks in your mind and you will self sabotage the relationship.
- Defacto Beliefs – this is believing the whole truth and understanding it. It works 100% of the time and it is love based. When I truly believe in something and it comes from a place of love, that belief works. I allow myself to find a kind and loving man. That’s a great affirmation, you need to see it, taste it, feel it and know it.
So how do we move from placebo and nocebo to defacto beliefs? By changing our current programming. Our current programming is based on life experiences, our DNA and all the “truth and lies” we have told ourselves in our mind. All these are based on our fear-based experiences which developed in our brain from 1-6 years old and they are related to issues of self-worth and identity. Guilt, shame, living up to our elders expectations, judging, and non forgiving ourselves cause this fear based programming in our minds to grow and thus we can’t ever find love.
3.13 Emotional TV screen
This is an effective way to remove the negative programming in our subconscious. Close your eyes and think about your last meal. See it, tase it, smell it, feel it. Who was there when you were eating it? What conversations did you have? If you can’t imagine this, most likely you have brain damage or you have numbed your brain our by too much pain. Now to heal your painful memories, do this.
- Imagine a blank screen, the bigger the better. The top half are the good memories and the bottom half are the bad memories.
- Take your emotional temperature. What are you experiencing right now vs what you want to experience? Let’s say the emotion is anger.
- See the anger on the TV. It could be feelings, emotions, words, images, people.
- If you can’t see anything, see the word anger on the TV and just relax and see what happens.
- Let the light and love shine on the anger on the heart TV. Picture this light and love on the screen.
Do this once or twice a day, as long as you like. Be transported into your inner world. If you feel scared, take your partner with you. This isn’t meditation or about emptying your mind. It is the opposite. The solution is not to disengage but to engage and heal the source of your internal fear. Practice this more and more.