Are You Holding Back from Giving and Receiving Love?

By Val Boyko • January 31st, 2011

It came to me as quite a surprise when I found out I was holding back from giving and receiving love as an adult. I didn’t feel lonely or that sad. I mostly thought I was happy. Now I realize I had become numb. I also found out that I am not alone. In fact, there are many women like me who live like this. If this sounds like you, or someone you know, then please read on.

A small hurt that isn’t able to heal can grow into resentment and become a grievance against the other person. We protect our hurt by becoming guarded. By withdrawing and putting up a barrier we feel in control and less fearful about being hurt again. However, being guarded means that we are no longer open to fully feel the pain – or the love. We learn to numb ourselves and it becomes our normal way of being.

woman withdrawn and sitting alone on a benchFor me, when I was criticized or ignored I told myself that I didn’t need my mother or anyone else. No one could hurt me because I was strong, and it didn’t really matter. I coped by going off by myself and into my head. (Read the article on Control Patterns for more on this)

I learned how to withdraw and guard myself from hurts as a child around my mum, and took this way of coping into my intimate relationships.  I was proud of my ability to step back and analyze, without feelings getting in the way.

….. and then came the day in my 40’s when the hurt started to seep back in and I felt it. I couldn’t kid myself that everything was okay. I was doing a lot of self awareness work as part of my coach training. When I looked inside I started to see that I had a shell around me that I had been blind to for so many years. Parts of me were able to shine through, but not the whole of me.

Being able to give and receive love without holding back is a gift. I believe that we can find it within ourselves when we find the courage to face our fears and the part of ourselves we keep hidden. When we allow ourselves to become vulnerable, and open up to love, then we can heal, feel and live fully!

Are you ready to look at what has been holding you back and connect with yourself? Do you yearn to bring about a transformation in your mother relationship, as well as with others? There are resources here that can help you on this journey. We are also here for you if you would like to connect personally. Use the “Make an Appointment Today” form and it will come straight into my mail box.


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