Deepening Course-The Innocence of Love Addiction: exploring our need to be loved
Like many of us, I started altering my behaviors to please others- to get their attention and love- from a young age. I routinely didn’t have someone to support me when experiencing strong feelings. My emotions were often discounted, and my discomforts were usually treated with medication. I quickly learned to suppress what I felt, and I behaved in such a way as to not cause problems, or push people away. If I did that, I was rewarded with positivity and attention- perhaps what we commonly call love.
Human beings are hard wired for love (or at the very least, attention). When it’s not given and received freely, we innately feel that gap- and we can literally spend the rest of our lives innocently trying to figure out how “to get it,” or figuring out how to cope in its absence. As we try to figure out how to get it, cope in its absence, or deny our needs for it, we often turn to all kinds of addictive behaviors and substances.
Beneath that is an innocent addiction, which fuels all addiction: the want and need to be loved/feel love. Accompanying this is often a fear of being alone/feelings of separation- resulting in the subconscious dance of trying to avoid/fearing rejection, fearing/avoiding intimacy and/or anxiously craving intimacy weaving its innocent way through our lives.
As I matured into adulthood I realized that there was another way to be than trying to figure out how to get love, cope in its absence, or deny the need for it. I discovered that there were other options than numbing myself out, or altering who I was. I discovered that I had the capacity to use mindfulness and inquiry to study my relationship to “the gap” and even to see through that illusive gap altogether I discovered that love, and ultimately wholeness, was (in) me all along, whether I was in relationship or not.
Join me in this course as we explore barriers to feeling and experiencing love. I will compassionately and gently journey with you as you get to know your innocently developed strategies, core beliefs, and blockages which have contributed to harmful behaviors in an attempt to feel and experience love, but which ultimately yield a sense of separation and pain.
This course will utilize the Living Inquiries, the N.O.W. practice, natural rest, breathing techniques, and some gentle body movement to explore your various experiences- shame, trauma, depression, anxiety, compulsions, identities, body contractions, debilitating thoughts and/or memories and more. You will also become familiar with the nervous system, vigilance centers, the fight-flight-freeze responses, attachment theory, and learn about ways to support and be kind and loving with your self. Lastly, you will get to experience the different inquiries first hand, and be able to practice skills for learning how to self-inquire.