Sometimes Valentine’s Day is the worst. It’s a reminder of all you do not have in the love department. Sometimes it’s the best. It’s a time to celebrate the love you are enjoying in your relationship and in your life. And sometimes it’s confusing. It’s very confusing when you are in a relationship and are told you are loved, but don’t really feel loved. Is this the fault of the person who is professing their love for you in a way you cannot feel? Or is this your fault for not accepting their love just as it is demonstrated?
Actually, neither answer holds the whole truth. First of all, the need to shame and blame another for your feelings results in a self-renewing pit of hopelessness, disappointment, and despair from which there is no escape. In other words, let’s move out of the fault finding and find a more constructive way of solving a dilemma I hear about day in and day out in my office from my patients. Why do we not feel consistently loved in just the way we want to feel loved by the partners we choose to love us?
Let me begin by saying, “It’s not your fault.”
Let me next say, “It’s not his or her fault either.”
It’s actually the pattern we are taught at a very young age to seek approval from our caregivers, teachers, and people in authority that imprints us with the need to seek that lovely feeling of being rewarded, accepted, validated, and loved by someone outside of ourselves.
The good news is, this need for outside sources of approval, acceptance, validation, and love not only can change in adulthood once your brain is fully developed, but to attain true happiness, it must change.
There is no one on this planet that knows the EXACT scripting required to make you feel loved and approved of…except for you. You alone know how you would have wanted to be treated in childhood. You alone know what you expect from your significant others and family members and friends in terms of how they express their admiration and validation of you as a human being. Why does no one else know it quite as well as you do? Because you wrote it. They can make attempts at memorizing the script once you have shared it with them, but they too have their own script that they are busy trying to share with everyone in their lives.
So let me end by saying that you must approve of, validate, accept, admire, and love yourself in just the ways you are seeking from others. Let love begin with you. Use the very words you would like to hear from your loved ones and speak to your inner child self who is starving for those words. Create the experiences you are wanting your loved ones to create for you and share them with the inner child who is longing to connect with a well attuned, grounded, and loving adult. Be that adult. If you have trouble accessing your own wise adult mind, you can close your eyes and imagine what your older wiser self would look like.
- What do his or her eyes look like?
- What expression is on her or his face?
- What is the vibe you get from them?
- What message do they have for you right now?
This inner connecting to your younger and your older selves is essential for finding a sustainable resource that is in fact an infinite supply of love, approval, acceptance, validation, and support.
This is the ultimate form of self-care. It will take you from a nervous system overload of fight, flight, or freeze, and put you into the life-supporting rest and digest or feed and breed state. It will connect you with your Divine inner spark.
Just how difficult it is to do this process, depends on the level of development you were in when emotionally wounded. (And every child has some level of trauma by the time they enter adulthood.) If you find it too hard, it’s time to make an appointment with me to do some trauma healing and brain re-wiring and body/mind/heart/spirit reconnecting. This is called soul retrieval. It means some part of you got left behind and now you are left seeking to fill the void you feel within through other people. This void is often filled with shopping, gambling, porn, sex, food, binge watching Netflix, alcohol, pot, and other variations of numbing out. It eventually leads to autoimmune disease, because you are essentially at war with yourself, and a body/heart/mind/spirit at war with themselves means there can be no winner.
A chronic state of anxiety, depression, over-scheduling, staying busy, pain, insomnia, and hormone imbalance can be attributed to this pattern of not taking care of yourself. You are worth more than that. You want others to tell you this so now it’s time to look into the mirror and tell yourself how much love, health, and energy you deserve… and then give it to yourself. Let love begin with you. When that happens, others will line up to love you and you will be able to feel it now. Love from others needs to be like a cherry on top of a coconut milk ice cream sundae… not the foundation of your sundae.
Self-care is a buzz word that is often talked about. I agree with the need for you to indulge in self-care as a daily practice. But I don’t mean massage, getting your nails done, meeting girlfriends at the mall, or exercise. All of these activities are fabulous and fun. However true self-care means actually caring for the little child self in there who is asking for your attention. You alone know just what she needs to hear in any instance and at any given moment. Why? Because she is you…please give her what she needs.
Let love begin with you.
Happy Valentine’s Day!