Love and attention. It’s astounding how so many women I work with crave exactly this.
And you know what they say, “You teach what you most need to learn.”
So, I got to remembering and I wanted to share. I’m an avid believer that when we share our own stories, we empower others. As such, my intention here is to inspire you to look inward and see if you have a habit of seeking love and attention. I want to help you pinpoint the root of this behavior and grasp what it may be costing you.
I can trace my pattern all the way back to age four. I remember not wanting to come out of the bathroom to go to kindergarten one morning because I wasn't teacher's pet. I wanted to be her special pupil. I wanted her focus, which was what I equated with love and attention.
For me the pattern, when I reflect on it now, is as clear as a summer sky. Year after year, throughout school, I found and attached to a teacher (often he or she wasn’t even aware) as I lived out my fantasy of being loved.
Growing up, I never experienced parental love and attention. This is absolutely not to say that my parents didn’t give it – their love just wasn’t given in a way that I could feel.
I emphasize this point because many of us trap ourselves in "victim mode" of blaming others and think we need them to take action in order to free ourselves.
My parents were simply unavailable to me in the way I needed. Craving love and attention became a symptom of my feelings.
Can you identify anyone who you might be blaming, even on an unconscious level, for your feelings of rejection or abandonment? Are you willing to forgive that person, knowing that he or she was probably doing the best they could at the time?
Forgiveness is one of the crucial aspects of healing. It allows us to step out of a place of victimization. It allows us to release anger and resentment, poisons that compromise our happiness and our Self.
Breathe deeply and ask yourself, “Am I ready to forgive __________ knowing that he or she was doing his or her very best at the time? Can I accept that holding onto anger and blame keeps me a prisoner of the past?
Your power is in how you choose to react to circumstances. If you are ready to release and heal, you may want to get support via a coach, counselor, or therapist as you let go of old belief systems and pain.
This is my passion, my life purpose. Trust me. There is a glowing, warm, loving light on the other side of this work. I see it with the courageous, magnificent women I work with and I know it from myself.
Very often, when we have this deep sense of longing for love and attention, it is coupled with a deep sense of unworthiness. How this manifests in adulthood is that we attract unavailable partners into our lives and fixate on them. Whether he or she is married or simply tied up with other commitments, the reasons don’t matter. The pattern is that they are unable to show up and soothe your wound. They are unable to bathe your ache for love and attention.
In my experience, the motivations have fluctuated between (a) Reinforcing my belief of not being good enough. See, another person won’t prioritize me. I’m just not good enough to get their attention or (b) Creating an opportunity to rewrite the script. If I can get him to make me the priority, then I am special.
Either way, and I’m writing from intense personal experience, you are feeding pain and growing negative self-beliefs and experiences.
So, once again, I ask you to breathe and lovingly explore how craving love and attention is manifesting for you, today. How are your relationships re-enacting and reinforcing primal, unmet, often childhood needs?
When you become a detective, inquiring without judgment, observing with self-love, these patterns in your life, you begin to transfer the reigns of your life from an aching wounded Inner Child to the hands of a whole, healthy adult.
Ultimately, we are all responsible for loving ourselves and showering ourselves with attention.
I will not lie to you and tell you that what I’ve shared with you is all that needs to be done. But I promise that when you do take on this Journey (well supported) everything will shift as you begin to love, value and appreciate your Self.
As with anything, find the gift in your current pain, it offers you yet another doorway to the path of your Wholeness.