We are born with two strong impulses within us: love and freedom. However, these impulses are attacked across the course of our lives and become obstacles for our relationships with others, especially romantic ones.
Our wounds and experiences can affect the way we view life and prevent us from seeing what’s happening to ourselves and others. We perceive our relationships through a lens that’s been tainted by our experiences. We lose ourselves in conflicts and a continual power struggle, getting further and further from the love and intimacy that we so desire and need. We also find ourselves further from true freedom, which is a product of a higher level of consciousness, not of the strategies that we adopt to feel “independent.”
When we start a significant relationship, we bring to it (whether we realize it or not) emotional immaturity that many now refer to as our “inner child” and which bears all of our childhood wounds. Often, we are not aware of this and do not know how to confront and handle its implications. Our wounds have been buried under layers and layers of defenses. But, when we fall in love, we let our guard down and those walls that we’ve put up to defend ourselves from our vulnerabilities come crumbling down. This can be very painful, and it’s part of the reason that it’s so hard to open up in new relationships. However, if we understand this process, our relationships can become a great tool for growth.
When we open ourselves up to love, we open the door to our subconscious and our deep childhood wounds therein. This is a perfect time to address them and start healing. If we choose to look away from what is happening inside of us and blame and complain, there is no healing or growth, just stagnancy. But, if we try to confront what’s going on inside of us, a relationship can be a source of healing.
Two very important sources of pain, when we open ourselves up to someone else, are:
Abandonment and Repression
Often, one is more present than the other, but we always have both inside of us.
Abandonment is the feeling of not getting what we need: connection, appreciation, closeness, physical touch, safety. Something is missing. Love is missing. We all need to know that we are loved, or we become deeply wounded. This leaves us with a hunger, a thirst. This trauma from our first years of life can be the result of neglect or our parents’ emotional immaturity, and it generates within us an extreme dependence on others. Our inner children need support and love, and in an environment of emotional immaturity, we will turn to outsiders and become dependent on them.
The second type of wound also starts in childhood. It’s a trauma that comes from not being respected or from being controlled by overprotective parents and caretakers. It makes us feel like someone is interfering with our freedom. Then, whenever someone who’s experienced this hears “I love you,” what they really hear is “I want to control you. I want to possess you. I want to repress you.” This starts by having a mother or father figure that uses a child to satisfy their own emotional needs. Overprotective parents, or ones that are emotionally dependent or addicts, create an environment of fear, in which there are lots of hard and fast rules and traditions set in stone around morality, religion, and guilt. Also, when someone is given lots of responsibilities as a child, this trauma can lead them to be fiercely or falsely independent.
It’s important to do the deep questioning that therapy implies in order to heal these wounds and break these patterns. We must confront our fears and learn to open up, bit by bit, in a healthy, mature relationship.
Aura Medina de Vit
Find workshops and classes at : www.aura-medina.com