The Journey of Surviving & Healing from a Lack of Love
It wasn’t your fault your family couldn’t love you the way you needed to be loved. As children, we perceive the danger of a lack of love, even though we can’t quite put words to it. It simply does not feel safe, so we attempt to shape-shift ourselves to caretaker, even energetically, our mothers and those around us, in order to get the belonging, love, or nourishment we need.
It’s too much for a little child brain to make sense of the fact that mom is in an emotional pain and cannot do anything about it, because it is dangerous to the survival of a child. So, the psyche kicks in and the child figures out what it is about her/him that triggers mom and sets about to change it.
Eventually, this translates into being an adult who feels disconnected from love, unable to feel loved or worthy of it. We carry this mutation down the line, carrying out relationships and contracts like vows to love as this kind of void of soul nutrition that we can’t find our way out of. It ends up being how we treat ourselves, and we turn tools into weapons, we flog our psyches to whip us up into the shape of some mythical perfection where we will be loved, safe, and belong.
Unfortunately, this trauma is weaponized against us in spiritual capitalism and wellness. We are sold the magical five steps, that if you just work on yourself enough you will have the life you want. Protestant work ethic turned into spiritual practice.
The underlying pervasive message in many of these kinds of teachings is that you aren’t worthy of love as you are, that if you don’t have what you want, then you aren’t “working” on yourself hard enough. Only those who work hard enough get the gold at the end of the rainbow.
We end up treating ourselves, and each other, like garbage. We emotionally abuse ourselves, and others, believing this is normal, and use all our tools and practice like an arsenal rather than a place to seek loving refuge. In fact, it’s hard to know what an actual loving refuge is or feels like.
We are skilled in understanding what it looks like. Building something that looks like a thing but is empty on the inside, without the soul of love and refuge, perpetuates this cycle of scarcity in a culture that taps more into the bad milk of the death mother than the devotion of the nourishing one. It lacks the feeling of love itself, so we don’t trust love—but what we really don’t trust is the lack of its presence.
Psyche and soma, mind and body, are deeply disconnected when we do not grow up in an environment—not just home, but school and work and media and our culture at large—that feeds us love, nourishment, and the nutrients we need to grow our roots down into something that is reliable, sustainable, and mirrors back to us our steady magic, strength, and resilience to grow through love.
If we try to solve the problem of pain from our mental body, we are forever caught in this hamster wheel of attacking ourselves or treating ourselves like broken “fix it” projects forever under construction. It’s really no wonder that we are in a feeding frenzy of addiction, whether substances, people, shopping, or consuming so much information that we aren’t able to actually take in, metabolize, or digest things into our systems.
There is only so much we can take. But there is something we can do about it… This is when something dense is transformed into something light and more useful. It can be messy, for we feel the things in our body we have been running away from. We find aspects of ourselves that have never been loved before that we do not yet know how to love.
We grieve. This grief is the love that carries us back toward our North Star. We realize we aren’t sure how to love the parts of us we are afraid of, that we’ve been punishing or trying to fix. We don’t know how to tune in to our woundedness and learn what it is deeply needed in our system to restore the flow of love.
We can bring this golden light into our hearts and support us in healing the inner mother so we no longer betray ourselves, hurt ourselves, or try to fix ourselves with outmoded psychological or spiritual tools that are disconnected from the spirit of real nurturance, nutrients, and safety.
In drawing on mother’s love, we’ll know the difference between weapons and tools needed to tend, mend, and heal our hungry hearts.
We’ll learn that trauma is only 1/100th of our wholeness and offers a path back home.
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