Healing the Motherwound: The Pain of Unrequited Love

love Sep 14, 2022

... If this love cannot be shared, and given away, it will start to rot inside our heart. If our heart stays closed, we will not be able to fully give or receive love, and this will cause much emotional pain, and we will feel miserable, alone, sad, abandoned and more. And this emotional pain can then lead to other more serious physical issues, because what happens in the body at an emotional level WILL translate into physical consequences..."

Many years ago, one of my first Qigong teachers told us a story about fruit trees:

He explained how if the fruit on a fruit tree is not picked, the tree will eventually die.

Why?

Because the purpose of a fruit tree is to bear gifts and for those gifts to be received.

This is why it's essential that if a fruit tree is full and ripe with fruit, that fruit needs to be picked of the tree and used.

If the fruit remains on the tree, the fruit will eventually rot, and eventually the tree will die too, from not being able to bear its gifts.

Ever since then, every time I drive past someone's house and I see trees brimming with fruit not being picked, I feel sad. 

And so it is with humans.

We must be able to give our gifts away, and for those gifts to be received, or we will metaphorically die.

And what is the gift that humans have to bear?

LOVE.

We are here to give (and receive) love.

It is our nature, and within our nature, to give love to others.

It is our need and right to receive this love.

If we can neither give or receive love, our heart withers and closes, like a plum turning into a prune, and inside we 'die'.

Childhood Learning

As a child, we naturally want to give and receive love. It is our natural wish and birthright.

But if we grow up with parents, who due to their own unresolved childhood trauma, cannot give or receive love, this turns into a trauma for the child, not just during their childhood, but for the rest of their life, until this trauma is healed.

For years I thought the reason I was in so much emotional pain from having grown up in an emotionally dysfunctional family was due to the fact that I had not received demonstrable love. And this was true. I never once remember being hugged... or told 'I love you'... or repeating those words back to my parents. Not once. I often try to seek in my mind some memory which will prove me wrong, but to date I have not yet found one. 

I do however remember being hit and punished for seemingly inconsequential mistakes, such as asking a school friend over to play, or breaking a packet of crisps open in the car after my brother and I were playing 'catch' with them while my Mother was shopping. I was so terrified of the criticism and punishment that would inevitably come from the incident being discovered, that I hastily scooped the offending crisps up into a pile and covered them with a jumper. I knew sooner or later my error would be discovered, but at least I was deferring the inevitable punishment, which of course did arrive when the mess was discovered after arriving home, and I was as expected walloped, and sent to my room without dinner.

So for years it was clear to me that much of my pain, and difficulty in relationships, was due to not having experienced (received) a sense of caring love from my caregivers as a child.

But it wasn't until recently that I had a lightbulb moment of seeing that a big part of the reason for my emotional pain was due to not being able to GIVE love. In other words, I had always believed it was due to not receiving love that I had so many problems, but had never seen how the pain of not being able to give love is equally damaging.

And the way I came to understand this was suddently seeing how as a child, I had had SO much love to give (as children naturally do) but that I had not been able to give it to my parents, because I had unconsciously learned it's not safe to show love. I had learned that it's not OK to touch people lovingly, or tell them you love them, because as children we learn how to behave by how others behave towards us. And I had trained myself to fear showing love. 

So whilst I learned very well how to criticize, and be tidy, and be a 'good girl', I never learned how to give or show love. In other words, I stopped my natural habit of giving or showing love to others, without even knowing I had even done that until many years (decades) later. 

So the main point of what I'm trying to share here is that much of the reason we experience a lack of love as an adult, is not just due to the fact we didn't receive it as a child, but due to the fact that we learned to withhold it as a child, and then ongoingly do this as an adult.... because we're afraid to give it away.

But the truth is, we ARE love. Our heart is naturally full of love. And if this love cannot be shared, and given away, it will start to rot inside our heart, just like that fruit on the tree. If our heart stays closed, we will not be able to fully give or receive love, and this will cause much emotional pain, (as the saying goes, 'the pain of unrequited love'), and we will feel miserable, alone, sad, abandoned and more. And this emotional pain can then lead to other more serious physical issues, because what happens in the body at an emotional level WILL translate into physical consequences. 

So one of the most important things we can learn, if we are still healing ourselves from a childhood of abuse and trauma, is that the reason for our pain is not only due to not receiving enough love. It's due to the fact that we unconsciously closed our hearts off to protect ourselves, and in so doing stopped giving our own love away to others, and THIS is the cause of much of our unresolved pain.

Re-opening the Heart

The solution then?

Well, of course with any emotional pain, we need to firstly recognize it is there, and acknowledge it without judgement (which I explain in detail in the '5 steps to resolving emotional pain' free mini training), and then do any necessary work to heal and clear the unresolved emotions (which is taught in detail in many of my Emotional Alchemy self-help courses).

And then we must start to practice OPENING OUR HEARTS and GIVING our love away.

We have an infinite amount of love inside our hearts. Quite literally infinite. And this love MUST be given away and shared, or we will suffer.

It's not enough just to receive love if we want to feel good. We must GIVE love away. It must come and go, flow in and out, it's a two-way door.

In Ren Xue Yuan Gong we learn to 'open the gate of our heart' as part of the Tong Yuan 'heart consciousness' training. I am sure doing this practice helped me to recognize how I had unconsciously stopped giving love as a child, and how much pain this had actually caused.

So if you are someone who is still healing from the 'Motherwound', and the pain of not receiving love, you might like to ask yourself 'Did I also learn to stop giving my love away. Have I closed my heart? Is there something I can do to re-open my heart and start giving away more love?'.

I wish you well on your journey of re-discovering love after a childhood of emotional trauma or abuse. It's not an easy task, but it's worth persevering, you WILL find what you are looking for : )

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