I was 13 years of age when I declared, quietly to myself, that I was born, to learn about love. I knew that love was the source of all life. I knew this because I had always felt its power pulsating through my young body, and through my innocent heart. Being an “empath” gave me an extra sensory jump above my siblings and the adults I was around. An emotional leg-up, so to speak, when it came to perceiving emotions.
Experiencing love was easy; I felt happy, worthwhile, and safe when it washed over me, purifying me from within. The other emotions were more difficult to experience; fear, sadness, anger, and shame are all powerful emotions with a great deal of important information to embrace for greater revelation and understanding, but the expansiveness of love was the most attractive to me.
As I grew emotionally, and experienced the personal texture and significance of my love, inside my relationships, I learned more about the shadow side of love, also called the shadow side of the heart. I learned that hatred, jealousy, and malice also came from my heart, as they are the shadow side of that energy center sometimes called the heart chakra.
Determined to look deeply at the quality of my relationships, I recognized a common, but disturbing thread winding through my friendships and love partnerships. I saw that I was attracting the same type of people, men and women who were unavailable to me emotionally. Attracting people who were emotionally distant or emotionally dwarfed was frustratingly familiar to me. I learned to choose emotionally stunted people, unconsciously of course, from my parents who were of that category, emotionally unavailable. They didn’t mean to be, but having grown up in their families with their emotionally unavailable parents, sealed the patterning for yet another generation. I absorbed every detail of that abandonment, that emotional shortage was deeply rooted in my subconscious and therefore, my conscious choices followed suit.
I was caught in a subconscious groove; a behavioral rut that meant no matter how much I wanted to experience loving emotional connections, and I desperately wanted to, I could not choose them. I didn’t know how to over-ride the unconscious emotionally empty magnet that I was riveted to. I intended to choose the right connections but intention wasn’t enough. I had to learn new ways of behaving, seeing, and perceiving. I had to learn new ways of inviting connections, which meant I had to uncover the automatic behaviors that were inhibiting me.
A beautiful young woman came to me for a session. Annie, married to a wonderful man who loved her deeply, was conflicted because she loved Louis, but she also loved another man. Annie had a secret relationship with someone she found to be exciting. She was mesmerized by seductive attention. She was mesmerized by romance and flowery poetry. Her lover was a charming artist type who lavished her with complements, telling her how beautiful she was, how talented she was before he’d leave town on his extensive trips.
When he was away Annie withdrew feeling lonely and hopeless. She longed to see her lover while she counted on her husband to be there for her. Regardless of that fact, she snapped at her husband and criticized his every move. Annie was living in a fantasy world of her own making. I looked deeply at Annie and I saw that, as a child, she had been ignored by her flamboyant, artistic, mother who was traveling most of the time. She had internalized the loss of loving attention and unwittingly acted it out on her husband (and herself) by not loving him directly or honestly. Annie internalized her abandonment by her mother. It was recorded in her subconscious as love. Annie verified all this information and added that her dad was also gone most of the time. She was raised by nannies.
Clearly Annie was unavailable emotionally to herself and her husband. She was married to a man she said she loved, but didn’t find exciting. Her charming lover, a man who she said she loved more than her husband, was also emotionally unavailable, just like her parents were. I relayed all this to Annie who thanked me profusely for the session. Months later I learned that Annie was pregnant. Several years later I learned that Annie divorced her husband and gave him custody of their child.
Annie’s husband loved her dearly but didn’t realize how emotionally unavailable she was. Louis was also unavailable to himself, but he learned to accept Annie’s limited attentions as love. The session with Annie illustrates mostly the shallowness of the shadow side of the heart.
As I said earlier, I am most attracted to the expansiveness of love. Annie had read about this expansiveness as did Louis, but neither were emotionally developed enough to come from the loving side of their hearts. I too had difficulty with this until, during 10 years of therapy, I built a greater emotional foundation within.
Consequently, after building my foundational stability, and learning how to come from my loving heart, I developed discernment. In retrospect, I recognized all the signals I missed or avoided acknowledging, that would have revealed the truth to me in my previous relations. I had learned to value myself enough to scope out those who could reciprocate, and show up emotionally, as I had learned to do. How loving that is to be emotionally present with one’s self and others.
My relationships continue to challenge me to come from my loving heart. It is much easier in these later years to do so, I no longer need to be right, and I like people as they are even if we have nothing in common. Still, I like them as they are, I can appreciate our differences. Love is considerate. Love is discerning. Love exists first within each of us, and then it can be shared, but not before.
Lezah Young is a life intuitive and ordained minister.
Call me for a session at 530.413.9416