It’s one of the biggest a-ha moments for my clients.
It’s the shift that shifts everything in love and relationship.
And it’s this: Men (others) do not love us in the way we’re loving them.
They love us in a way that mirrors the way we’re loving ourselves.
So let’s be real.
At first this can seem like a spiritual riddle—and easier peasier said than lived. After all, the lived experience is often one of deep confusion. We’re taught that it’s good and spiritual to be unconditionally loving. Nevertheless unconditional love and, say, the misguided absence of truth-telling and healthy boundary-setting are not the same. In the name of being loving, we may even find ourselves excusing away the poor behavior of others which translates into—not love—but self-abandonment in its many (Hey, I thought this was me being loving) disguises.
However, causing this shift that shifts everything is possible when we make the conscious choice to never, ever, love anyone more than we’re loving ourselves.
It’s awakening to the self in our minds who is adult, co-creative, wise and resourcefully developed and the self in our body who is, usually, a developmentally younger consciousness seeking love, presence and—above all—unconditional relational safety. It’s this younger self who “loves” herself away into perpetual heartbreak only to hope next time will be different.
Yet a different experience requires us to become the source of the love, care and connection we are seeking. This means bringing our adult self (devoted to developing the actual skills of authentic love and quality partnership) and the younger self in our body (seeking a false center fantasy fix-it future) into deep and authentic relationship.
Get curious. What’s the false belief being held by a younger somatic self? It may be “I’m alone” or “I’m not valuable” or “I’m invisible.” Behind every decision to love in a way that feels depleting, fake or even painful is false meaning and stunted development. As we dig deeper, we realize the self holding this false belief is aged 2 or 4 or 7 or 12. So the quickest reality-check is then, from the adult wise self, to imagine a little girl who isn’t you declaring these false beliefs as true and, therefore, fixing them is her primary motivation for love and relationship.
Needless to say, the adult you would stage a major intervention. Yes the adult self knows, automatically actually, how to guide and mentor a 4-year-old trying to give love for all the wrong reasons. It’s vital to become very clear about the meaning she’s making. As missing development becomes engaged, evolution beyond painful glass-ceiling patterns in relationship becomes not only possible but inevitable.
Taking first attention off the other person and turning it toward this younger self in our body is the key. (This is profoundly different from only attention on self which, of course, is selfishness) From your own deeper wider center, begin to lovingly guide this underdeveloped consciousness trying so hard to love. Cultivating this beautiful and corrective internal presence creates a literal shift in the relational field. The big question is no longer, “How do I get him to love me?” Rather it becomes, “Am I inspired by this man’s capacity for love and relationship?” If the answer is “No,” the healthy response is always simple: Lose (yawn) interest.
Your best possible partner already loves you for it.