How much of your life is spent searching for love -- searching to feel special, to feel important to someone, to feel worthy in someone's eyes? I spent the first 45 years of my life in this fruitless search.
Many of us did not receive the love we needed as we were growing up. Often, we were not seen or valued by the adults in our life. My parents, unable to see and value themselves, often projected their self-judgments onto me and criticized me for being me. Rather than feeling loved by them, I felt anxious and shamed much of the time. I learned to be a very good girl in the hopes of getting the love I needed -- from them or others.
We all need love to thrive. We need air, food and water to survive, and most of us have heard of the babies who died in orphanages from causes including a lack of love -- from the failure to thrive.
When I got married, I was still searching for love. I married in the hope of getting the love I hadn't received as a child. Since we all come together at our common level of woundedness -- which I now understand as our common level of self-abandonment -- I married a man also searching for love. I tried to give him the love he was seeking in the hopes he would give me the love I was seeking, not realizing that the act of giving to get love is not loving. I thought I was being loving, but instead I was caretaking -- giving to get. No matter how much "love" I gave, I still never felt loved. What was wrong?
It took me many years to understand what I needed to do to feel seen, valued, important -- to feel loved. Until then, I believed that someone else needed to give me what I didn't receive as a child, and that until someone loved me in the way I needed to be loved, I would not heal and feel whole inside.
The Search Was Over
The search was over when I discovered that it's not the getting of love from another that makes me feel full and loved, but rather receiving love from my Source and sharing it with others, with no agenda to get anything back. I had it mixed up for so many painful years. I finally realized it was my responsibility to give myself the love I didn't receive as a child. It was my responsibility to see and value myself. But how to do this?
Love is abundant. We live in a universe of unconditional love, which I now understand as spirit or God. Love is as plentiful as the air we breathe and just as accessible -- when you know how to access it.
My life changed when I finally understood how to access the unconditional love that is always available to all of us. What I came to understand is that love, like the air we breathe, enters our heart by invitation only. Air doesn't come into your lungs by itself. You have to take a breath, and your taking the breath is the invitation. The invitation for love to enter your heart is very specific: You have to consciously choose the intention to learn about truth and about loving yourself and others.
In the Inner Bonding process that we teach, there are only two intentions available at any given moment:
- The intention to protect against pain with some form of controlling behavior -- such as turning to various addictions or blaming others.
- The intention to learn about love and truth -- starting with learning to love yourself.
Intention is incredibly powerful. All your actions follow from your intention. When your intention is to protect against pain, your heart automatically closes, which means you are closed off from the unconditional love of the universe. All the years I was trying to have control over getting love, I was actually closing my heart to love.
Opening to Love
When your intention is to learn to love yourself and share your love with others, your heart automatically opens and love enters. When your intent is to love and value yourself, you can learn how to bring that love down inside your soul, filling yourself with love. This is what the Inner Bonding process teaches you how to do.
I went from desperately trying to get love by giving myself up, and by protecting against my aloneness with food, to filling myself so full of love that my addictions to caretaking and food gradually healed.
When you decide to open to learning about loving yourself, you will discover how magical this is. This wisdom, just like love, is abundant, and you will access this guidance when you shift from protecting/avoiding/controlling to learning about love and truth. When you learn to love yourself and fill yourself up with love, you can then experience the greatest joy in life -- the sharing of love.
To begin learning how to love and connect with yourself so that you can connect with others, take advantage of our free Inner Bonding eCourse, receive Free Help, and take our 12-Week eCourse, "The Intimate Relationship Toolbox" - the first two weeks are free!
See http://www.innerbonding.com/welcome for a free Inner Bonding eCourse.
Connect with Margaret on Facebook.
For more by Margaret Paul, Ph.D., click here.
For more on love, click here.