Samantha smiled, it was a smile that you might typically see as you passed someone on the street but paid no attention to. Just an everyday smile. But behind her crinkled green eyes and pleasant expression, turmoil churned. She was emotional, anxious, exhausted, overwhelmed, and tired from being held hostage by her inner traumas. She was constantly using more energy than she had just to manage her daily life, her stress levels, her physical health, her feelings and emotions.
To the outside world, Samantha’s life appeared to be just fine. But inside she felt uneasy, unfocused and oversensitive. She couldn’t shake the sadness, the inner anxiety, or the recurring feeling that something was missing, that something wasn’t quite right. She found herself searching for it in every way she knew how. She sought what was missing through others, through relationships. She researched articles online and took yoga classes when all she really wanted to do was simply curl up in a corner and hide from the world.
Little did Samantha know that in her desperate search for something – or someone – to fill the void she struggled with, she would discover that she already had everything she needed.
Our tendency to rely on others for the things we need begins in childhood. When we are young, we depend on others to meet our needs, especially our emotional ones – comfort, love, validation, support. And because our parents and families provide these needs for us out of love, we often don’t develop the skills we need as children to be self-reliant emotionally.
And then, we grow up. We mature into adults, and we may do so deprived of having acquired this emotional self-reliance. And so we find ourselves looking to others to fulfill our emotional needs. We search for the picture-perfect partner with the misguided mentality that one exists. But instead, along the way, we typically experience a few heartbreaks. Why? Because we never learned to be emotionally independent, and so we do things that wound a relationship – we’re needy, jealous, and insecure. And the reality is, our picture-perfect partner is in all probability the same way.
Pain and Blame
When someone hurts us, we blame them for our pain. When someone lets us down or isn’t there when we want them to be, we blame them. We become the victim in these situations and it’s our own doing. And when we feel we have been victimized, we often can’t just move on with our lives because we have been looking to that someone to meet our needs.
This was Samantha’s story. She had a need, a want, and a lacking for truly knowing positive love. Something deep inside caused her to fear moving forward with her life after she ended yet another failed relationship, was laid off from her job, and found herself in California looking for answers. She embarked on a two-month retreat, hoping to make herself into what she considered a whole person again. She was searching. Searching for worthiness. Yearning for that positive love and a feeling of full self-expression.
Through that time, Samantha did reconnect with herself through meditation. She was able to tap in to her body, her feelings, and her emotions and express herself and let those feelings and emotions flow. However, in doing so, Samantha increased her self-awareness without yet having discovered a path for transformation. This left Samantha with all of the intensity of those emotions, but without the actual shift she needed.
One of the things we learn as babies and children is to basically tamp down, deny, or suppress our emotions. Because for babies, every aspect of life is intense. A baby’s mentality is that “I need this right now or I’m going to die” and, to a degree, that is the reality of life for a child. If they aren’t fed by another being, they could die. So to a baby, hunger or needing a diaper change or having stomach pains truly are serious issues. And because this is the case for us from birth, this extreme intensity exists within us. However, we aren’t meant to maintain that intensity throughout life. If we did, we could never function in society. With such intensity, there would be times we’d collapse on the street yelling when we needed food, or screaming when we experienced minor pain.
Samantha had achieved the valuable objective of reconnecting but found herself in limbo with all of the intensity of reconnection to the emotional intensity of a baby but with no actual transformation release of her pain.
From early in life, she had created a core pattern of reaching outside of herself for help rather than finding it within. And it isn’t uncommon. The downside of this pattern is that in doing so we have to intensify our painful feelings in an unconscious attempt to acquire attention. It’s an unintentional pattern of intensifying pain to attract attention, all while our conscious belief is that we are simply trying to “feel our feelings” in order to release them. However, the more we intensify the pattern with the intent of getting attention we instead foster more and more intensity. It was a limbo that Samantha had been stuck in for years.
Samantha was baffled as to why she was doing so much to “feel” but still getting no relief from the pain she experienced. Samantha’s shift came when she realized that she was trapped in this recurring pattern – that she was actually accentuating her pain when she thought she was trying to release it.
Samantha’s breakthrough occurred when she found the resources inside herself. This took place through a guided meditation I created specifically for her in a one-on-one consultation. It was through this session she was able to recognize she had all the love she needed within herself.
I’ll publish that guided meditation in an upcoming article.
This process of connecting and reconnecting with that part of ourselves that needs nurturing can be found in the guided meditations of the Abundance Program, a program that is a journey from neediness, fear, anger and resentment…to joy, happiness and inner peace. In a sense, this journey is literally a rewriting of history. Your history. Literal history will not change, but the effects your history has had on your mind and emotions do change, because you have access to that core resource that now knows what it is like to feel nurtured, loved and cared for… and that changes everything.
Looking to others for happiness isn’t a reliable source. People will come and go in our lives, or they will be inaccessible emotionally for their own personal reasons. And that’s okay, because it’s not their job to fulfill us emotionally. They are battling to meet their own emotional needs. To be truly happy, we have to find our own place of self-reliance, independence and wholeness, and love from there. Not because we want others to love us back, not because we want others to need us, but because loving others is simply an incredible feeling.
So instead of searching for happiness from someone else, realize that it isn’t out there. It’s within us.