Are you sometimes mystified when you believe you have been loving to your children, to a partner, to friends and family, and they don’t feel loved by you, or they disconnect from you? Discover the underlying reason others might not feel your love and what to do about it.
Many of us believe that we are loving with the people important to us – our partner, children, friends, and other family members – yet often they don’t feel loved by us.
There is a very good reason for this.
When you are not loving yourself, you need love from others, so what you give to others has an agenda. Any actions with others that have an agenda isn’t love – it’s control. So when you think you are giving love, others might feel controlled by you.
In addition, you won’t feel others’ love, even if they are truly loving you, when you are abandoning yourself, because when your heart is closed due to being in your ego wounded self, you can’t feel others’ love for you.
And, when you are resisting loving yourself, you are likely also resisting others’ love for fear of being controlled by others. The wounded self is always fearful of being rejected or controlled, yet it will often feel rejected and controlled due to rejecting yourself, which the wounded self is a master at.
Understanding your intent is the key to understanding your resistance to loving yourself and others. When you resist opening to spirit and resist doing Inner Bonding, it’s because your highest priority in that moment is to control and avoid being controlled, and to avoid being hurt, in order to avoid the very difficult existential feelings of life, such as helplessness over others and outcomes, loneliness, grief and heartbreak.
At that moment, controlling and not being controlled becomes your highest priority, much more important than loving yourself.
When trying to control to avoid feeling helpless over a person or situation, or avoiding other painful feelings, is your highest priority, you will not open to learning and loving. You may believe that if you open you will be too vulnerable to being hurt, rejected, dominated. In that moment, it becomes more important to you to avoid the pain of what you fear than it is to be loving to yourself and share your love with others. And then, of course, they can’t feel your love for them, and you can’t feel their love for you. You might think you are being loving when you are sacrificing yourself for them, but I assure you that your caretaking will feel controlling to them rather than loving.
I work with many parents who feel rejected by their adult children. Most of these parents tried very hard to be loving to their children, yet their children didn’t feel loved. Many of these parents were abused by their parents – physically, emotionally, and/or sexually, and vowed to be better parents to their children than their parents were to them. And they were. But what they didn’t know as they were raising their children – as I didn’t know with my children, that half of good parenting is being there for their children and the other half is being a role model of taking loving care of their own feelings and taking responsibility for the other important areas of life.
So the parents who tried hard to be good parents are confused when their children reject them. But these parents were abandoning themselves. They were not connecting with their guidance with an intent to learn about loving themselves. They were not filling themselves up with love from their Source to share with their loved ones. Because they were abandoning themselves, they were giving to their children to get their love, and their children didn’t feel their love. And their children grew up abandoning themselves because they had no role models for self-love and self-responsibility.
What would you have given as you were growing up to have had parents who role-modeled taking loving care of their feelings, their health, their finances, their environment? What would you have given to have had joyful, healthy parents who showed you how to manage their conflicts in loving ways, who were fulfilled in their work, relationships, friendships, and parenting? What might your life be like today if your parents were role models of taking personal responsibility in all areas of their lives?
If they were loving themselves, then you likely would have felt their love. But most of us had parents who role modeled self-abandonment, and we absorbed their wounded selves into our wounded self. Do you treat yourself the way your parents treated you or themselves? If you do, then it’s likely that your friends and family don’t feel loved by you, and you don’t feel loved by them, and also that they might be treating you the way you are treating yourself.
Becoming happy, healthy role models is one of the greatest gifts we can give to our families and friends.
I’ve read many parenting books over the years that offer wonderful suggestions regarding how to lovingly parent children. Yet, in order to really implement most of the suggestions, parents need to also be focused on loving themselves, rather than only focusing on their children. And how many parents ARE focused on what’s loving to themselves?
The problem with most parenting books is they don’t deal with INTENT. I remember years ago taking a class in Parent Effectiveness Training. It was a terrific class, except that it never mentioned intent. So when I tried to implement the suggestions, my children ended up feeling manipulated by my ‘I messages.’ And they were right. At that time, I didn’t understand the difference between the intent to learn to take loving care of myself, and the intent to control them, so my ‘I messages’ were just another way of trying to control them.
I see this over and over with different parenting techniques.
Children are very sensitive to intent, so when a parent’s intent is to control the child, it doesn’t matter how correct the technique, it will backfire. And most people are also sensitive to intent, so when your intent is to control them in any way, they will not feel loved by you.
What this means is that, in order to be a truly loving parent, partner, or friend, you need to be operating in connection with your Guidance, so that you know what is loving to both you and to them. Without connection with your Guidance, you will be operating from your programmed ego wounded self, and you likely will continue to do what you learned to do as you were growing up, or you might go the other way and do the opposite in an effort to not parent or treat others as you were treated. If your parents were authoritarian, then you might also be authoritarian – overtly trying to control, or you might be permissive and caretaking, giving yourself up to try to not do what your parents did. But neither is loving to yourself or to others.
It was only when I shifted my focus away from trying so hard to be a loving parent to my children, my parents, my husband, my friends, and my clients, and began to be a loving parent to myself, that I truly became a loving person with others in my life. I wish I had known Inner Bonding when my children were little, but it’s never too late to become a loving role model for whoever might be available for your role-modeling.
There are many wonderful programs available to help us be better parents and better communicators in all our relationships, but without understanding intent, they can easily become just another way to manipulate. Any system can be used to control, when that is the intent. Being aware of choosing the intent to learn is the key for all systems to work.
What are you role modeling for your children or others? Are you being the person you want to be and you want others to be?
Many people today do want to be more loving than their parents were. They attempt to be there for their children and others in caring ways and are then surprised when others seem to just take from them and don’t give back to them. They often don’t realize that others may be treating them the way they are treating themselves, and that their giving doesn’t feel loving to them because of the agenda to get others’ love or approval. We cannot expect to feel deeply loved and valued by our children and others when we are not seeing, loving, and valuing ourselves.
How are you treating yourself and what might you be role modeling for others?
- Do you following your passions, or do you spend your spare time watching TV?
- Do you take good care of your health, or do you smoke cigarettes, eat processed junk food, or get little exercise?
- Do you have a spiritual practice that is meaningful to you and that moves you into your heart, or do you stay mostly in your head?
- Do you have a process for managing your conflicts with others, or do you tend to withdraw, get angry, resist, or comply as ways to control or avoid conflict?
- Do you avoid life’s difficulties with alcohol, drugs, gambling, spending, TV, or other addictive behavior, or are you learning from life’s challenges?
- Are you connected with yourself, with others and with a source of guidance, or are you disconnected?
- Are you boring, because you just try to be safe and maintain the status quo, or do you extend yourself and take appropriate risks, resulting in aliveness and vitality?
A client of mine was recently struggling with the lack of passion in her life. I asked her if her parents were passionate about anything. “No,” she said. “They smoked constantly, drank beer and watched TV. They were nice to me, but they were both sick a lot, and both died at young ages. I never saw either of them excited about anything.” This woman, in her late forties, had no idea how to discover her passions, and her life felt dead to her. Her husband had expressed a lack of interest in her because he actually found her to be boring and was no longer sexually interested in her. This is what brought her to want to work with me. She said that she loves her husband, but there was no way that he felt loved by her when she was so disconnected from herself.
Are you taking loving care of yourself or abandoning yourself with your loved ones?
- Are you honest, or do you withhold the truth, or even lie outright?
- Do you act with integrity, or do you behave in ways that you would not want anyone to know about?
- Do you stand up for yourself, or do you let others walk all over you?
- Do you tolerate abusive situations, or do you take loving actions on your own behalf and on behalf of others?
It wonderful to be there for others, but if you want others to feel your love, you need to be there for yourself with honesty, courage, and integrity. It’s not enough to treat others with love. You need to treat yourself with love as well, if you want your friends and family to feel loved by you.
If your parents did not role-model treating themselves lovingly, chances are you don’t know how to do it for yourself. Treating yourself lovingly is a learned skill. The Inner Bonding process was developed specifically for this purpose. The best thing you can do for yourself and for your family and friends is to learn these six powerful steps and practice them daily.
Sometimes others don’t feel your love because you are afraid to love.
If you are not loving yourself, then loving others might feel too scary and vulnerable. With no loving adult to manage the fears of rejection and engulfment, and the fear of being used and taken advantage of, you might not be willing to open your heart to love. Then, of course, others won’t feel your love and you won’t feel theirs. Are you aware of being afraid to love?
This question was asked by Jillian in one of my webinars:
“I really want to learn how to love my boyfriend, who has been showing care and love toward me. However I have fears of being taken advantage of and of being subjected to his unloving behaviors. So I feel very tight at my chest when these fears come up and I act out unlovingly. Is it possible to learn how to love him in the presence of these fears, or do I need to ‘get rid of’ these fears first before I can really love someone?”
Jillian’s fear of being taken advantage of and of being at the other end of her boyfriend’s unloving behavior results from her inner child not trusting that she knows how to show up as a loving adult for herself. If she had a well-developed spiritually connected loving adult self, devoted to taking loving care of herself when her boyfriend was unloving, she wouldn’t allow herself to be taken advantage of, and she wouldn’t take personally his or others’ unloving behavior. And because she is operating from fear rather than from love, her boyfriend can’t feel her love.
When we are focused on loving ourselves, we feel safe inside and are able to keep our heart open to loving others.
I would say to Jillian…
“These fears won’t go away until you learn and practice Inner Bonding, which is what develops your loving adult self. It’s not about getting rid of the fears, but of learning to love yourself, which is what will resolve your fears. Instead of focusing on loving your boyfriend, focus on learning to love yourself. When you know how to fill yourself with love and take loving care of yourself around your boyfriend and others, your fears will naturally go away. And until you learn to love yourself and fill yourself with love to share, you have no love to share with your boyfriend.”
We all have a choice each moment between fear and love. Our ego wounded self is fear-based, so when our intent is to control and avoid, we activate the false beliefs that cause our fear. When our intent is to love ourselves and others, our heart opens to the love, wisdom and guidance of Spirit coming through us.
Love is who we are in our essence, and love is what God is, so when our intent is to learn about loving ourselves, we become open to experiencing the love that is God and the truth that is always available to us from our spiritual guidance. Then we have real love to share with others and that’s when they feel our love. and we feel theirs when they are also being loving.
The fact that Jillian’s chest tightens when her fears come up is her inner guidance – her inner child – letting her know that her wounded self is in charge, telling her programmed lies. Her wounded self is telling her that she shouldn’t love because she will get hurt by being taking advantage of and treated unlovingly, and the more she thinks these negative thoughts, the more she manifests them. So if her boyfriend responds unlovingly – from his own fears – to her unloving behavior that results from her choice to protect herself from being hurt, her wounded self might then say, “See! I told you not to open your heart! I told you that you would get hurt!” She has brought about the very thing she fears with her own unloving behavior.
If Jillian develops her loving adult self and her boyfriend were to act unlovingly, she would be able to say to herself, “He must be having a hard time today, so I will send him compassion. And if he wants my help, I will do my best to help him. But if he stays closed and continues to treat me unlovingly, I will lovingly disengage until he is back into an open loving place.”
Jillian wouldn’t get her feelings hurt because she wouldn’t take his behavior personally and she would take loving care of the loneliness, heartache, and helplessness over him that she has when he is disconnected from her.
Sometimes people can’t receive others’ love, even when others are being loving, which also results from not loving themselves. The wounded self is incapable of receiving love, so you won’t feel others’ love when you are abandoning yourself, even if they are loving you.
Lindsay wrote this during one of my webinars:
“I can’t receive love. Physically, not even a kiss or stroke of kindness. I was never told ‘you’re awesome, great job, you’re beautiful, you can do anything.’ Therefore it’s hard for me to receive love and feel worthy.”
Of course, it’s very hard to grow up with no love. Lindsay is certainly not alone in this experience. Growing up without any physical affection or emotional support is a very sad and lonely thing.
However, her conclusion – that she can’t receive love because she wasn’t loved – is false. I work with many people who were not only not loved, but who were very badly abused, and yet they are still capable of giving and receiving love.
Many of my clients believe that their past determines their present.
Do you see yourself as a victim of your childhood? Do you believe that your current inability to receive love and feel worthy is caused by what your childhood caregivers did, rather than by how you are currently treating yourself? This is a major false belief.
While low self-worth generally starts as a child, the fact that it may continue now is because of your own self-abandonment – of treating yourself the way you were treated as a child.
You have the opportunity right now to learn to love and value your true soul self, the little child within you who is desperate for love – for your love. You will not feel worthy of other’s love or love from your guidance, nor be able to give and receive love from others, until you decide to learn to be the loving parent to yourself that you never had.
You will not be able to open to and trust others’ love until you become a trustworthy loving adult to the child within you. Only when you learn to love and value yourself will you be able to open your heart to others and risk being hurt.
Our heart can be hurt by others’ unloving behavior toward us, or by someone we love leaving or dying. The only way we can fully risk loving with an open heart is to know that we can manage the pain of heartbreak, grief, and helplessness over others’ unloving behavior and over painful events.
I would say to Lindsay, who asked about not receiving love, “It is not that you can’t receive love but that you won’t. You are choosing to protect yourself against pain rather than choosing to love yourself and share your love with others.”
You do not have to remain a victim of your past. Even if you experienced a lot of pain as a child, you can heal. If you want to be able to give and receive love now, and if you want others to be able to feel your love, you need to be willing to learn, as an adult, how to compassionately feel those painful feelings and learn to manage them, rather than continue to avoid them.
It takes courage to be willing to risk feeling our deeper existential pain.
It takes courage to open yourself to feeling – with the utmost compassion, kindness, tenderness, caring, gentleness and understanding – your core painful feelings of life, such as the loneliness, heartbreak, grief and helplessness concerning others that you felt as a child, and that you may feel now if you open your heart, In childhood, you shut yourself off from these old deeply painful feelings, because you were too little then to manage them. Once you learn that now, as an adult, you can manage your painful feelings, you will be able to allow yourself to open to love and to loving, even though that involves the risk of being hurt.
To fully give and receive love, and for others to feel our love, we need to know that we can manage the heartbreak of loss – that we have a strong connection with our spiritual guidance who will be here to comfort us through loss, and that we have a strong loving adult self who wants to take responsibility for all of our feelings.
I assure you that when you practice Inner Bonding and learn to do this for yourself, you will be able to give and receive love – which is the greatest experience life has to offer us. And when you are loving yourself, others will feel loved by you
You can Learn how to be a loving adult through my workbook, “The Inner Bonding Workbook: Six Steps to Healing Yourself and Connecting With Your Divine Guidance.”
And with my 30-Day at-home Course: “Love Yourself: An Inner Bonding Experience to Heal Anxiety, Depression, Shame, Addictions and Relationships.”
You can learn how to heal your relationships with my 30-Day online video relationship course: Wildly, Deeply, Joyously in Love.
And, of course, we have much to offer you at our website at https:www.innerbonding.com
I’m sending you my love and my blessings.