Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. What you seek is seeking you. ~ Rumi
Getting to the Spiritual Root of Love Addiction
One day a few years ago, I woke up from sleep and as I dragged myself to the bathroom, I realized that I felt a hunger inside me that was coming from somewhere deep within. I sat with the feeling and eventually understood that I was feeling so empty and starved because I was starving for love. At this time I was in an unhealthy relationship in which I was totally addicted to my partner. I focused all my time, energy and attention on him because I wanted him to fill up the void I was feeling. I was desperate and depressed because I felt like I wasn’t getting what I wanted from him. Yet, somewhere within me I knew that no matter what he did, it wouldn’t make me feel less empty.
Does any of this sound familiar to you? Have you ever been in a situation where you are with a person who no matter how hard you try, you cannot seem to get close to? You think about them day and night, you plan your life according to their needs and requirements, yet they keep pushing you away? Yet somehow, you can’t seem to stop. You feel an intense need to be with them and love them. And all you want is for them to love you with the same intensity. Sometimes when you get exhausted and pull away, they come closer, but just close enough to make you think something has changed. But the moment you start moving towards them emotionally, they get overwhelmed and walk away. You are stuck in a loop of chasing and being chased, never actually being able to get the intimacy you crave? If this describes one or more of your relationships, you are in what Pia Mellody, author of ‘Facing Love Addiction’ calls the ‘Co-Addictive Tango’. Pia’s model of love addiction is one in which there are two parties, the love addict and the love avoidant, both of whom are inevitably drawn to each other thereby creating a co-addictive, never ending dance.
According to Pia, all love addiction stems from fear of abandonment. In her very personal research of love addicted, and hence toxic relationships, she found that both parties shared the common element of childhood trauma (overt or unintentional), which leads to the cycle of love addiction where both parties have unhealthy intimacy issues stemming from deep feelings of inadequacy. When I first read Pia’s book, I saw myself in it, mostly as the love addict. At this time my relationship had broken up and I was looking for ways to heal what felt like the most painful thing I had experienced in my life. Step one was admitting that the relationship I so badly wanted was toxic. Step two was being willing to get to the root of it through taking responsibility for my own healing. This is where Western psychology, although useful, had its limitations for me. Don’t get me wrong, I think therapy can be effective. But I knew that in order to get to the core of things, I would need to dive deeper than the psychological realm. Everything that manifests in the material world, has it’s roots in the spiritual world. Love addiction, at the root of it, stems from a deep feeling of separation from our own spiritual selves, our souls.
Love is the Soul's Light ~ Rumi.
Each and every one of us have within us a connection to the spiritual dimension, to Source, God, Universe. When we feel cut off from this dimension, we feel restless, we feel like something is missing. The truth is that the only thing that can create the illusion of separation from our souls is our ego. When our ego is driving the show, our mind will convince us that there is something innately wrong with us. And without our connection to Source, we feel a deep, deep emptiness. When this happens, our ego will drive us towards trying to fill this emptiness from the external world. This is when we can get confused and look to others for the love that we are seeking. The emptier we feel, the more desperate we will be to find someone who can fill the void within us and make us feel whole again.
The interesting thing is that true love doesn’t exist in relationship in which someone is addicted to their partners. In a love addicted relationship, it is not a relationship between two people, but rather a relationship between their egos.
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One person’s ego is seeking to expand itself through suffering and giving away power, while the other person’s ego is seeking to expand itself by feeling important enough to be someone’s object of obsession while never really giving any of their true selves to their partner. True love is free and needs air to breathe. Love is freedom and Joy. If you are spending a relationship feeling anxious and upset because you are clinging to your partner for dear life, you are not in love, you are addicted.
What you need to realize is that the void you are trying to fill with your partner can only be filled through you reconnecting with your true self, your soul. Within you there is all the love you could possibly need to have a life of happiness and joy. And the way to embrace this love is to be willing to look at what’s in the way. To be willing to look at the false reality your ego is creating based on your past traumas and heartache. The way you can do this is by cultivating a spiritual practice. One of the best and easiest ways to do this is to start a meditation practice and to read spiritual and positive books. Meditation helps you delve into yourself and to discover the patterns within that are keeping you blocked and stagnated. The books are to assist you in switching the channel in your mind, which might just be obsessing over your partner or your relationship and how unhappy you are.
Of course when you’re in the thick of things, it might be difficult to get started on your own.
If you need assistance or guidance, please Schedule a Healing Session with me to get you started on your path.
Releasing yourself from love addiction might seem difficult or overwhelming, and like any good addict, you might experience withdrawal symptoms as you detach yourself from your past relationship patterns. You might even find yourself relapsing. I know I did. But if you remember that the answers you are looking for, the sense of peace you are looking for, can only come through your own connection to yourself, you can take comfort in that. In this way, your obstacle becomes the catalyst for self growth and empowerment, and that right there is real transformation. And this transformation will lead you into real love. The kind of love that never leads you and is not dependent on you being in a partnership. This is the love that connects you to everything and will embrace every part of you that you thought was unlovable. This kind of transcendental love is something that is already a part of you. One of my favorite yoga teachers once said that God for her was ‘the mystical loving force of the Universe’. You are a part and parcel of this mystical loving force, and once you realize your connection to it, you will never be wanting or empty ever again..