I grew up in a dysfunctional family where love was something I had to prove worthy of by behaving according to what was expected of me. My parents would say something like “being a good student,” but then show that it was something else through their attitudes, actions, and reactions. They really expected me to take responsibility for others.
So I learned from an early age that my role in the family was that of the caretaker: it was the price of love. I had to be good, useful, supportive, and responsible. Funny how the same didn’t apply to my older siblings, and the parental love that was supposed to be my reward was never really there. What was clear was that they would try to make me feel guilty if I deviated from my role by say, having fun with my teenager friends.
Can you relate? Perhaps your duties were different than mine and you became an overachiever or a perfectionist, or had to prove how smart or helpful or caring you were. No matter what roles you assumed, you were probably trapped in codependent dynamics where someone else gave you the validation you translated as love. Why? Because you were seeking love; you needed love, so whatever was given in return for your behavior was interpreted as love—even if it wasn’t.
We all do this because there is nothing more painful than to realize that for whatever reason, there is not enough love for you; you’ll do anything to avoid touching the pain of that truth. The thing is, when it comes to love, what others do has nothing to do with you and everything with their own wounds. I’m not saying that others are heartless; it’s just that their love is distorted by their unresolved issues and often loses its luster. It gets tainted with expectations and a sense of obligation that create fear and guilt in you.
The unconscious self-talk goes something like, “If I’m not loved, it’s because there is something wrong with me.” “If I behave the way I’m expected, someone will love me.” “If I make myself useful, they will need me (as much as I need them), and if they need me, they will love me (as much as I love them).” The need to be loved becomes the need to be needed.
However, a need comes from a wounded place. It points to something that is missing or lacking, and the more energy you put into it, the bigger it becomes. The Universe can only give you what you give yourself: that’s all you’re really willing and open to receive. So if instead of satisfying your need for love with love, you create new “needs” trying to compensate for it, you’ll end up perpetuating the lack and the wound.
If you turn things around and look within for the love you’ve been seeking, rather than making yourself useful and needed, you’ll see all your “needs” fade away and a stronger sense of self emerge, supported by your own loving energy and guiding you to become one-in-yourself. So if you’re ready to break free from your codependent patterns and dynamics, to fully express who you are and what you want without feeling guilty or “selfish,” contact me now and start creating the life you desire and deserve—one that’s in alignment with your soul!
© 2014 Yol Swan. All rights reserved.