I must admit, I was addicted.
It was a humbling moment when I realized that I had been spending the last 10 years addicted to attractions to emotionally unavailable ‘avoidant’ men.
I thought I had wanted love
But essentially I had been addicted situations that affirmed the feeling that I was NOT loved! So instead of attracting affirming and loving relationships, I was attracting connections that took me straight into a big emotional romantic drama!
The dysfunctional intimacy pattern that I was playing out was the classic 'anxious- avoidant' drama.
The anxious - avoidant drama
You know it well ; you meet, it’s amazing you have a great shared connection, then… one of you pulls away to avoid deeper intimacy (avoidant) and the other one freaks out (anxious) and leans out towards the other in his or her efforts to get the feeling of love back.
I guess I am directing this mostly to the anxious types out there, who know what it’s like to feel ‘the love being withdrawn’ and the torrent of unbearable feelings that get activated by this pattern. But this is also for the 'avoidant types' who are shit scared of intimacy and create their own kind of drama to avoid it...
First of all I want to say,
There is nothing wrong with you!
We all have our different dysfunctional intimacy patterns......
Most of us were raised by parents who did not know how to love themselves.
Few of us were modelled healthy examples of balanced self connected, drama free (secure) love. So if you are resonating with this, first of all, give yourself a break, whatever pattern you play out -it’s just a pattern, and one that you can learn from and graduate from. (No need to add shame on top of your need for love!)
When these patterns rise up it can be a great opportunity to check out what is really going on and learn more empowering ways to navigate drama-free intimacy.
The sad truth is that most of us are driven by unconscious urges to experience or avoid certain painful, but familiar emotions, you could call these our ‘pain bodies’ (Eckart Tolle speaks to this beautifully).
The experiences and resulting issues we had in our intimate relationships as children tend to come up again in our adult relationships.
These feelings such as a sense of unworthiness, inadequacy, unlovability, resistance and avoidance of intimacy, emptiness, abandonment, neediness are unpleasant to say the least …
But it is almost like some part of ourselves CREATES SITUATIONS THAT TRIGGER THESE FEELINGS AGAIN.
What is going on with that???
Perhaps these situations we are attracting serve to confirm self-believes that we hold dear (I am unworthy of love, I am denied love, i don't need love etc).
Could your romantic drama really be a way to feed your pain bodies and keep the old patterns alive?
A massive shift occurred in me when I realized that when I am pouring my energy into maintaining a romantic relationship drama, I am actually leaning out of connection with myself.
When I am wrapped up in that head fuck, I am not really ‘here’, in my body, where the love really is....
We have all heard it a million times…We have to find the love within before we can receive it...... Guess what, the thing is that that it is actually true.
Most of us were not given a good grounding in the experience of being deeply connected and centered in our own bodies, in a nourishing way (creating this incredibly strong urge to find ‘the love’ from outside).
So although it is possible to attract someone who embodies secure love, and who can help us to find that within ourselves…
Often we need to do some inner work in order
to be even open to attract this kind of love ( or get over our fear of intimacy if avoidance is your thing)
Note: If we get it from outside before finding our own way IN to this experience there is a possibility that we will not be able to FULLY receive it. We might not be able to recognize or allow these new feelings in. Our pain bodies will probably freak out upon feeling this new frequency, perhaps we get scared and shut down and go back to the familiar and safe patterns of unworthiness.
YET ESSENTIALLY WE ARE ALL INNATELY CONNECTED TO SECURE LOVE - OR AT LEAST HAVE A WAY TO GET THERE…
#1 Cultivate a connection to Secure
Love in your body
It’s really simple , and it’s a discipline; if we have been spending decades cultivating our pain bodies and playing out dysfunctional relating patterns, no doubt it will take time and dedication to create a connection to our ‘secure love bodies’.
Essentially it involves spending time creating
a safe space in your own body.
This can be as easy as laying down with one hand on your heart and the other on your belly, and breathing in a deep relaxed way. Try it. Do it everyday! My clients generally report that this simple practice does wonders for them.
#2 Know the difference between
drama and reality
Get to know your familiar patterns. Study yourself, notice when you are ‘abandoning yourself’ in your efforts to get love from your partner. Be super-duper compassionate with yourself, be quite vigilant too and notice when you are creating/playing out the same old story.
Remember to check back into your love body again (do this over and over again - it’s a discipline remember).
In the last couple of years I have played out THE biggest romantic drama fantasy situations - yikes!!
BUT I was determined to use what was happening and break the old pattern. So instead of feeling ashamed of how hooked in I was, and hiding it all in the darkest resources of my soul, I tried something new; I let the guy know what was happening. I owned it and let him know what was coming up for me. I shared my exploration with him.
(Ok so there is an art to doing this; if you blurt it all out at once he might run.)
The key to communicating your experience is to make it NOT
about him (cause it isn’t) and to consciously own, explore and accept everything that is coming up for you.
#4 Choose something different
If it looks and feels like the same old story…use the opportunity to REFLECT and ask some important questions;
- ARE YOU CHOOSING THIS?
- Do you feel loved/met/nourished/fulfilled in this situation
- How do you WANT TO FEEL?
- How can YOU offer this feeling experience to YOURSELF?
Ultimately, when you begin to approach what is coming up
for you in intimate relationships as an exploration, an opportunity to know yourself, to learn, to transform, and love yourself like never before, everything changes.
How can I help you now!