Let Love In
Have you ever had the experience of letting someone into your life in a romantic way and later on saying to yourself, What the heck was I thinking? He might have been a great person – loving, kind and caring – but you absolutely knew he was not “the one” for you. Maybe you even feel that you stayed in that relationship way longer than you should have. And then you look back at that relationship and question: Why did I waste my time? I knew it wasn’t going to work out. I wasn’t treated the way I would have loved to be treated. How come I didn’t cut it off earlier?
When we find ourselves in mediocre relationships, or even unhealthy relationships, why do we keep moving forward when we hear our gut saying, I don’t think this is “the one” loud and clear? The biggest reason is that we are absolutely terrified of being alone.
Whether single or in a committed relationship, most of us yearn to be loved, supported and to have a relationship where you feel passionate and secure. And when we find ourselves in situations where not all of our needs are being met, we feel awfully alone in the world.
However, having someone in your life has nothing to do with how alone you feel. You could be married, single or widowed, and feel completely, utterly alone. And this alone feeling can sabotage your relationships. If you’re single, it can sabotage how quickly you find the partner of your dreams. It can attract relationships that are unhealthy, abusive and mediocre. And we stay in those sub-par relationships for much, much longer that we’d like because the alternative is being alone. And no one wants that.
And the more intense that feeling is of being alone, the longer you will stay in a relationship that doesn’t feel good, or you’ll focus on how impossible it is for you to find true love.
So how can we feel more connected?What you may not know is that the intensity level of how alone you feel is directly correlated to how much you allow your parents – yes, your mom and dad – to love and support you. What does that mean?
Here’s an example. Say a 40-year-old woman – let’s call her Maya – with two kids and a husband goes to her parents’ house for dinner. Maya forgets something in the car, but there’s snow on the ground and it’s cold outside. Maya says she’s going to run outside and get the thing she left in the car. Her mom says, “Make sure you put on your sweater or coat before you go outside! It’s cold and you could get sick!”
Maya can react in two ways. She could say, “Mom, I am a 40-year-old mother myself. I know it is cold outside. I am just running out to the car for two minutes! I don’t need my coat and I don’t need to be told what to do all the time.” Or Maya could say, “Mom, thank you for loving me enough to mention that I need my coat. I know you don’t want me to get sick. I will put on my coat.”
In the first scenario, Maya is totally rejecting the love and support her parents are trying to give her. In the second, she is taking it in. And the more you take in the love, guess what happens? The feeling of being alone gets less and less intense.
When we feel that we cannot connect with our parents – the people who created us, brought us into the world, and hold only happiness and love in their hearts for us – the effect is that we feel we are in a boxing ring with no one watching over us, and no one to go to for water and encouragement. We are out there in life without a lifeline.
And it might be hard to see at times that our parents only hold love for us, but that only goes back to the beliefs our parents hold from their upbringing, which can get in the way of us feeling their love.
Letting Love InWhen we look back at our childhoods, we sometimes think that our parents should have been better, given more, hugged more, listened more, or just understood more. These feelings are totally understandable. But I want to challenge you on this: How much of your parents’ story do you really understand? What shaped them into who they are today? Can you understand their struggles?
Your relationship with your parents – whether they are alive or passed away – is crucial in telling you how you’ll be in your own relationships. This is one of the primary areas I work on with my clients – to bring healing in their relationships with their parents. Because if you can’t see or allow in the love from the people who created you, then what does that say about allowing in love from others?
The gap between what we feel towards our parents and what they have been through in their lives is huge. It is their life experiences that constitute why they are the way they are. And bridging this gap between your translations of who your parents are and the reality of who they are, is the secret to attracting in your ideal loving partner, or allowing your current partner to really love you. This will allow you to begin to judge less, to have more compassion, and really let love in from everyone in your life.
Kavita J Patel is a relationship expert and love coach and is the founder of Outrageously Happy Relationships. She specializes in helping women to single-handedly transform their love lives through the powers of releasing trapped beliefs, breaking through love blocks, and opening their hearts to love in a brand-new way. www.kavitajpatel.com.
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BY: KAVITA PATEL / PUBLISHED IN THE HEALTH & WELLNESS ISSUE, SUMMER 2012