What is it about love that “makes us” feel so many different emotions? Well, first of all, there are many different aspects to “love”. We as humans love a plethora of different ways and for different reasons. Think about being a child and needing love from our parents/caregivers. It's in our childhood where bonds are created through nurture and having our basic needs met. We start the bonding process as infants, which helps overall development. Bonding with a newborn ie: cuddling, talking, interacting,bathing etc., release hormones which produce natural chemicals that play a vital factor in all functions of development. By nurturing a newborn you instill a sense of trust to show your child they are safe and loved.
Our sense of love begins before we even understand the concept of “love”, thus plants seeds of feelings and emotions in response to outside stimulus like a hug, or when we are given food (bottle), a diaper change and so on. This is the beginning of a type of dependance on seeking gratification. We are born dependent on another which is part of our human experience. Not everyone had the necessary nurturing from childhood which in turn, leaves us seeking “love” as we get older. People look to others to “make them” feel loved as it is an inherent and persistent feeling of “lack”, regardless whether we are aware of it or not. Look at life as a puzzle and as we move along our journey, we seek pieces of our life puzzle. We generally don't even know what we are searching for until much later in life and that is generally only for those who become self aware, mindful and go within. Our healing journey is a much more accepted “practice” than the generations before, as they were raised in a 3D material world. Very much focused on a hierarchy modality, more material wealth gave you more status in a community and a misguided sense of respect. So, unfortunately much of the older generations didn't have the accessibility, support or opportunity to build healing tools. This is one of the reasons I teach my clients about the power of forgiveness (which will be discussed in a January blog about the empowerment in forgiveness), we each do the best we can according to who we are in each moment and our life experiences.
As we age and engage in different types of relationships (family, friends, lovers, co-workers), we learn that love is felt and experienced in many different ways. We adapt as we go and are challenged in different ways as we try to feel our way through these relationships. I'm sure everyone has experienced the ups and downs of relationships whether a friend or romantic, we are still filled with emotion regardless of the dynamics. The love you have for a friend can be as deep as the ocean, same with the relationships we develop with others in our lives. How would you describe the love you have for a friend in comparison to the love you feel for a sibling/cousin?
When we talk about love, we generally are speaking of the human aspects of love, which are conditional. I say conditional because our human love has been conditioned to be conditional, hence why we walk away from relationships. Most people have had a “breakup” with a friend, family member and or course a romantic partner, which can feel life altering regardless of the dynamics of the relationship. We love someone until they do something that we perceive as hurtful, disrespectful, harmful etc., which is the natural progression of being human. We can tend to attach our happiness to another, which in turn, causes us to feel a sense of loss when a relationship breaks down. Our “love” can be based on attachments, expectations, codependency, trauma bonds, toxic comfort/familiarity, which is important for us to understand. Taking stock of the relationships we have in our lives and understanding the depth and truth of those relationships gives us a higher perspective. Taking a step back and allowing yourself to see the core of your relationships will give you freedom in being able to love unconditionally. This does not mean keeping unhealthy relationships in your life, but does allow you to assess and understand them. If you have relationships in your life that bring you more constant stress, hurt, sadness, anger etc., then they do peace, happiness, security, harmony etc., then it is important to reassess those. Every relationship must have a balance of give and take, period.
Healthy boundaries are a vital part of any relationship, they are part of self love/self care, and without them it leaves room for the lower vibrational energies to infest the relationship. Being able to speak your authentic truth to those you love is part of the core of a healthy relationship. When we speak our authentic truth, it comes from our inner Source, from unconditional love for self and others. Speaking our authentic truth never comes from a place of anger, spite, hostility, manipulation, bitterness or with intent to cause harm. When we say “I’m just speaking my truth” and we say it with any kind of venom, that is not our authentic truth, that is our unhealed ego/shadow/inner child speaking. When we utilize our experiences as ways to empower rather disempower ourselves we gain the wisdom and ability to speak though our authentic selves, our Source self.
When someone we love crosses or pushes at your healthy boundaries, without thought to you trying to maintain those boundaries, that is a direct sign of an unhealthy relationship. When we are triggered or feel deflated, unheard, disrespected and don't feel confident in the dynamics of the relationship, it is up to you to take the steps to walk away. We as humans, tend to make the ending of something dramatic, hostile, and play the blame game in order to justify ourselves and our choice. In truth, when you feel it is time to end a relationship, the majority of the time the other party knows what they've done to cause the demise or disconnect. When you have communicated clearly, honestly and openly with the person and they have continued to show you, (through their behavior, attitude, choices), that they have chosen to disregard you and your boundaries, it is not your responsibility to “make them”understand. Remember, actions scream, words whisper. We make a choice to accept how someone treats us through allowing them to repeatedly show us they do not have the capacity to respect boundaries.
It is not your responsibility to “make” someone show you respect or to comprehend what you have told them. We all have choices, everything we do in life is a choice. What you put on when you get dressed, what direction you drive, what tea you drink, the people you associate with, etc., everything is a choice. We cannot blame others for being who they are, especially when they have continuously shown you through their actions. We all live our lives according to who we are which is developed through our life experiences. People cannot give you what they do not give themselves or what they have not experienced. We tend to attract what we need in order to grow and expand, this is not easy to understand or accept. Relationships can be multifaceted with many complexities, which cause a number of feelings and emotions. When we end a relationship we go through a grieving period and it is important to allow yourself to grieve in order to feel, deal, heal and release. Regardless of why you end a relationship, whether it was due to an abusive partner or an untrustworthy friend or simply because you have outgrown each other, you still have a grieving process.
I worked with a client** for an extended time who had been working towards leaving a toxic romantic relationship (a narcissistic spouse). They left a number of times leaving on good terms, hostile terms, heartbroken terms, fight or flight basically, and nothing freed them from this toxic bond. It took them going within, delving into the depths of their Soul, seeing the truth of themselves as well as their partner (which took significant time), before they were able to be truly free. They discovered what within them held them in this misguided sense of connection, which took a spiritual death of the parts of themselves that had attachments. It took working with the unhealed ego, shadow and inner child for them to heal and release the aspects of themself that needed unconditional love. An inner child who desperately seeked nurturing and to feel safe; a shadow who fed off the dysfunction, toxic passion and chaos, as that is all they had experienced in relationships; an ego that sought external validation, a desire to prove themselves as well as a savior complex. Our unhealed aspects are all fear based and need to be seen, heard, valued and loved in order to heal and be released.
An unhealed inner child seeks to feel safe, loved, nurtured, hugged, heard, valued, respected, emotionally stable, and to be understood. When we seek that in unhealthy relationships (of any kind), we lack healthy boundaries (among other things) as we live in a sense of lack and insecurity. Many who have a deeply wounded inner child seek solace through promiscuity, abusive relationships, dominant partners, which can stem from a place of needing, a misguided sense of security and validation from someone who they have given authority over them, too. Our unhealed inner child doesn't know unconditional love, as they have never experienced it. If they were criticized, abused (in any way), neglected, unheard, lacked a feeling of being safe and secure, didn't have their basic needs provided, then they will seek out the same dysfunction as that is all they know. Our unhealed inner child lives in fear, fear of rejection, fear of suffering, fear of judgment, fear of being unlovable, fear of being seen, fear of failure and so much more. People often say things like “they have daddy/mommy issues” which is directly related to our inner child who is seeking an authority figure (in a negative sense), a safe haven which they tend to do by giving their power away, seeking to please (people pleasing), so they feel cared for regardless of how unhealthy. This also plays into hyper independence ( a trauma response), as there is a substantial lack of trust in others, not having others you could rely on growing up. We must take time to show our inner wounded child the love, compassion, respect and give them a safe place to be. Avoiding inner child healing leads to/continues destructive patterns/behaviors, being highly reactive, destructive coping traits, depression, unhealthy sleep patterns, avoidant behaviors, abandonment issues, self sabotaging, unconscious self loathing, impulsiveness, self-centered, manipulative, attachments, codependency, self harming and much more. I teach my clients ways to re-parent their inner child in order to empower themselves and show love where it had lacked in the past. Doing things to nurture your creativity, practicing mindfulness, speak to your inner child lovingly, write a letter to your inner child, reparent your inner child, express yourself through a form or art (painting, poetry, dancing, swing on the swings, making snow angels, building sandcastles), set healthy boundaries, journal, be present, see strength in your vulnerability, do mirror work, engage in self love/self care daily, say 3 empowerment messages to your inner child a few times a day). By meeting the needs of your inner child and healing their wounds you open a connection to being able to identify your needs, you honor, value and respect yourself, you allow your authentic self to emerge, you allow yourself to feel joy and trust in yourself and others, and so much more. Where is your inner child seeking attention? (from family, friends, lovers etc.)
Remember this is on an unconscious level as our unhealed inner child is an energetic aspect of us. Inner child work and healing leads to a place of youthfulness, playfulness and unimaginable creativity, feeding our Soul in a nourishing and fulfilling way. Part of this aspect is within our human mind as it is programmable and can be damaged through not only physical but emotional experiences. Our human brain has a central processing center which includes the amygdala and hippocampus. Our emotions influence a variety of cognitive processes. The amygdala inputs and processes emotions and the hippocampus has a major role in learning and memory. Experiencing trauma (physical and emotional) can significantly affect decision making, judgment and cognition which also causes impulse control, emotional instability and other issues with our overall brain function. While the amygdala produces fear, anxiety, emotional regulation and behavior, and is also responsible for our fight or flight reactions, it is linked with the hippocampus which plays a role in contributing to forming and storing memories and spatial navigation (a complex cognitive process/cognitive map). Our brain is programmable which is part of the reason people are the way they are and see themselves and the world around them according to their life experiences.
Our unhealed shadow has links to the brain as well in a similar way. Although shadow work is part of our spiritual healing and growth it also is linked to the function of our brains central processing system. Working with our shadow taps into our repressed selves to unmask the aspects we are ashamed of, feel guilt through and hold fear of a dark perceived truth. Many will speak of “the dark night of the soul” , considered a phenomenon, when doing shadow work. We all are born with a Soul but don't always figure out how to integrate them into the physical 3D world. This is something every human has struggled with and why our healing journey is such a vital part of our existence. Shadow work is confronting our inner demons, darkness, unhealed wounds/trauma and all the emotions/feelings we bury deep within our psyche. It's those dark thoughts that we all have at times, the vengeful and spiteful thoughts/feelings, the unresolved emotions buried deep within. Shadow work is facing the darkest corners of yourself and lovingly witnessing them in order to heal and release. Many hold guild, shame, escapism and unexpressed suffering, which feeds the unhealed shadow and creates a void within us we try to feed with exterior sources. The unhealed shadow is conditioned from childhood and is where unhealthy behaviors/actions like emotional manipulation, withdrawing, stifling emotions, strive to fit in (not being your authentic self), projecting, deflecting, escapism, codependency, trauma bonding and where many other traits are born from. By doing shadow work we are able to integrate the benefits of our healed shadow feeding our authentic self, having compassion for self and others, healthy relationships, unconditional self love, emotional stability, mindfulness, self awareness, creativity, clarity, confidence, alignment with your gifts and Spirit team, feeling worthy of the life your heart truly desires and a sense of unity with body, mind and Soul. Shadow work will trigger you in many ways and I always encourage people to prepare, seek support, research and don't jump into it blindly, you must be ready. What do you hide from and why? (shame, guilt, anger, hurt)
Our unhealed ego is a part of our energetic self, the part of us who is again fear based. The ego cannot create new thoughts as it has attachments to the past, what it has already experienced and what it sees in the outer world. The unhealed ego is that whisper of fear in your mind of a future that doesn't exist as it draws from the experiences it has already encountered. It is through our unhealed ego we are drawn back to past events and experiences, rehashing old traumas, hurts, triggers, etc., which keep us in a perpetual state of irrational fear. The ego tends to be vilified which gives even more power to stay in a destructive pattern. The unhealed ego holds onto unhealed wounds to keep us hostage in a place of disempowerment, as the ego does not like change and sees any kind of change as danger. Our ego mind is judge, juror and executioner as it has been programmed by every negative experience in life. The unhealed ego is a filter of sorts, it demands and controls like a spoiled child having a temper tantrum to achieve its desire to keep you in a perverbail jail. Our ego lacks creativity and can create a sense of self according to the external world, what society dictates and how others perceive us. When we are envious, jealous, judgemental, cruel, reactive, bitter, irrational, depressed, fearful. withdrawn etc., that is because our ego has created an internal dialect based in the 3D world. An unhealthy attachment to the superficial, materialistic, hierarchy of society in order to be the perceived “best”. The part of you that feels envy because your neighbor has a bigger house, or a friend bought the shoes you wanted or someone got the promotion at work that you wanted, that's our unhealed ego sending messages to your consciousness that you lack because of how others are living their lives. The unhealed ego wants to be seen as the best in the outer world, the ego based mentality where it seeks validation. The unhealed ego seeks attention, lacks a sense of wholeness, harmony, is self centered and the misery loves company vibration. When you work to heal your ego and work with it, you find a balance and learn to be present, self aware and transcend all that is not your truth. Our healed ego is confident, present, self aware and mindful of thoughts and actions. Our healed ego takes nothing personally, treats every experience as an opportunity to empower and process. Do you often judge yourself and others?
All healing takes deep transformative inner work and a responsibility to yourself to want to be a higher vibration of yourself. Each aspect of us including our inner child, shadow and ego has a blueprint to our past lives. It is up to us to work with all aspects of self to lovingly feel, deal, heal and release everything that is not aligned with our authentic self. Our healing journey is directly related to each of these aspects of self as we need to go within in order to understand what love truly means. When you think of love, what comes to mind, what do you feel?
We must remember one crucial thing when it comes to love; I can only love you to the capacity of how I love myself.
When we “expect” someone to love us the way we love them, that is an unrealistic expectation. We learn to love through our personal experience and none are the exact same. If someone has not done any inner work and has their unhealed parts upfront and center, how can they love without knowing what that is; it would be like asking someone to speak a language they have never heard of. As humans we love to the capacity of what we know of love. We cannot love someone enough to force them to love themselves in a way that is completely foreign to them. I have witnessed many people lose themselves in trying to make a relationship work with someone who simply doesn't have the capacity to offer the love they expect.
Love is freeing. Love is boundless, Love is unconditional. Love is infinite. Source love that is.
When we do our inner work through all the darkness, hurt, suffering, and allow ourselves to return to that place that is within, that place that is our inner Source, we then understand the meaning of unconditional love. We are able to see from a higher perspective, to free ourselves from the expectation of the other and how we feel they need to be. We are all on our own journey and we are only to understand our own. The more we choose to do the inner work and get raw with ourselves the more we clear space for love to enter. We have a choice in every relationship we are engaged with, a choice to stay, distance or end it. Not an easy choice when we are so conditioned to have attachments and to put our happiness in another.
If we choose to place our happiness in anything outside of us, then our happiness is not truly ours and can be taken away.
Happiness comes from within, it's simply the way it was meant to be. Coming home to that place within, where you have the ability to love without condition, to love yourself unconditionally, it gives you the freedom to truly love without attachments. We as humans love through our emotions, our feelings, our thoughts. We say things like I love my car, I love my dog, I love my outfit, I love my partner, I love my parent, I love my child, I love my friend… these are all different aspects of how we love, which can easily turn into attachment. If you love shoes and your dog chews them, will you then be unhappy or simply disappointed; If you love your partner and you break up, will you then be miserable and ward off any future love interests or take time to heal and create space for new love. We hold ourselves back out of fear of being hurt, when in truth every heartache came to help you to direct you to the home that is within you.
Love has nothing to do with possession, jealousy, ownership, dependance (codependency), attachment, trauma bonding, control or anything on that lower vibration. Love is freedom to love, freedom to build and grow, to expand and learn. No one wants to lose someone they love, but when we learn to love unconditionally, we have the capacity and power to know when we are in a disempowering relationship.
What are some aspects of a healthy relationship: Mutual,
- self love
- communication and comprehension
- equal give and take
- healthy boundaries
- understanding each others needs, desires, triggers, love language
- you help ground each other/ have a calming effect to support your partner when they are struggling
- feel safe body mind and soul
Some aspects of an unhealthy relationship:
- any form of abuse (emotional, physical, mental)
- lack of trust
- disrespectful behavior towards the other
- lack of healthy boundaries
- neglecting your own needs and putting your partners 1st
- loss of self
- love bombing/gas lighting
- emotional warfare (holding another emotionally hostage, using emotional triggers against the other, emotional manipulation etc.)
- excessive stress
- holding resentment
- controlling behaviors
- loss of other healthy relationships
- walking on eggshells
- feeling drained
- unable to rely on your partner for support
- frequent negativity
- narcissistic behaviors (sense of entitlement, need for attention/validation, blaming, deflecting, emotional, addictions, reasoning, diminish your self esteem (feed your insecurities)
- they have a victimhood mentality (why does this always happen to me, self centeredness)
- codependency/trauma bond
- they are unstable (emotionally, struggles to keep a job, lashes out, unreasonable, temper tantrums)
A healthy relationship starts with the relationship you have with yourself. When we have a healthy relationship with ourselves we have done the inner work (doing the inner work), we have healthy boundaries, we love ourselves unconditionally (doing the work to heal your ego, shadow and inner child), you are happy (inner happiness), you know your worth, you understand you cannot put your happiness in anything outside of yourself but that others can add to your happiness. The healthy traits of relationships expand through you.
When we understand enlightenment and know that we are oneness and that each of us has our own journey to walk, we gain a higher perspective of life in general. Yes, we all want love and deserve love, but knowing that love starts from within, opening your heart to all that love can offer, allows you to love without condition or attachment. We are here to experience different aspects of love, to feel the various ways in which we as humans love. If you allow yourself to delve deep within yourself, you will gain an intrinsic understanding of love. Our inner Source loves all, has love for all, without judgment, attachment or expectation; our inner Source is unity and oneness. That is where we gain wisdom, are able to forgive, have the capacity to remember who we are.
When we learn we have the ability to lovingly release others, without remorse, hostility, bitterness etc., and that it is possible to love others from a distance through our higher selves and inner Source, we free ourselves. We no longer bring the past into new relationships, we no longer carry baggage from past hurts, we no longer hold ourselves hostage in suffering, we no longer fear love or getting hurt. Fear has no place in love. If you allow yourself to do the inner work and take the time to invest in yourself for your highest good, you will free yourself from what no longer serves you. Once you stop taking responsibility for others behaviors, actions and choices; stop taking things personally, you will raise a whole new vibration. How others choose to be, how they choose to live, act, behave is a reflection of them and as hard as it is to understand, has nothing to do with you. A friend betrays your trust, that was their choice and they acted accordingly as to who they are and where their vibrational energy is, same with a partner that cheats. The only thing you have control of is how you choose to deal with whatever the situation is. You control your emotions, thoughts, actions, response/reaction, feelings, and that is where your empowerment is. Allow others to show you who they are and allow yourself to act accordingly.
Take time to do what's best for you, which is feel, deal, heal and rise.
Remember, you are a Divine being, you are Source in skin, you are an extension of the Universe, you are a co-creator, so decide how you wish to live your life and release everything that is not in alignment with that life. You are a magnetic being, what you feel about yourself and the world around you matters. We cannot lie to our Spirit team or our higher self, so what you feel, (truly) feel about yourself and the world around you will attract more of the same energy as you vibrate out that truth. Your healing matters more than you know. Your birthright is to live a blissful life, but that has to come through your inner work and remembering the infinite being you are. Come home to love, walk the path through the darkness and give yourself permission to be your intrinsic self.
Allison Shaw, Spiritual Practitioner