Hungry to Be Loved
the simple medicine you can take right now to heal that pain …
As Robert and I stroll along the road of our village, mesmerised by the white-and-brown striped ridge of the Alps revealed in the setting sun, we’re accompanied by the song of cicadas.
Their song calls loved ones to gather in intimacy, and inside me I feel they're calling upon a yearning that reminds me of different summer evenings in my life.
There are summer nights in Kibbutz Ein-Dor, in northern Galilee, where I sat for many silent retreats, the temple of my heart. There are evening meetings with my best friend, who came for a visit every summer break from California.
And there’s the summer party in Missano when I met Robert’s family for the first time. Family and friends huddled around a long rectangular table, enjoying laughter with good food and wine, surrounded by acacia trees abundant with white flowers and the cicadas’ singing.
These are all summers I felt loved. Places where I felt easily appreciated, liked for who I am, embraced by the simplicity of loving presence.
It was also a summer night when my mother had her mental crisis and left me in the middle of the night. But when I hear the cicadas today I reflect on how over the years of healing the mother wound my cry for love turned into a beautiful song.
Our heart is a perennial call for love
Our call for love is a four seasons’ call with different colours and weathers.
Sometimes we need the yellow love of a friendship; at other times our heart is after the celestial hues of romantic love. Sometimes we yearn for the love of an appreciative breeze; at others it’s the wet wave of love surging from a life infused with meaning and a sense of belonging.
We always need love. And it can be unbearable how sensitive the heart can be to the medicine of love when we have been deprived of it.
Women who’ve been malnourished by the love of a mother—the appreciative love for who they are, the embracing love of care, or the witnessing love of encouragement and guidance—grow to develop a hunger for love.
I often get to witness the attempts to dismiss that need for love by the women I work with. It’s as if it’s shameful to need to be liked. As if there’s something undignified, defeated, in the need to be loved.
A disguised hunger for love can push us to do things we don’t really want to do and then get upset with ourselves or others. It’s the source of pleasing and also of self-sabotaging patterns.
It’s because we don’t know what to do with this hunger that we try and feed it with whatever comes to hand—a small chance to win appreciation can lead you to go silent when you wanted to speak up; a hint of acceptance can lead to ignoring the warning signs of relationships or commitments you shouldn’t get into.
And yet, the hunger for love is not the problem. Ironically, when we let ourselves sense the truth of a hunger we’re not conditioned by its past.
The hunger to be simply loved is an undisguised inner reality that asks you to mother it
The medicine that breaks the spell of the hunger is a simple admitting of its presence. Because no matter what we tell ourselves, no matter what ideals and “should-ing” thoughts we adopt, we cannot really survive without love, without being liked, without being truly appreciated and witnessed.
When you were a child you had no choice but to suppress that hunger — to brave it through the famine.
But now you have a choice. If you turn your back to your need to be seen you’re doing to yourself (probably unconsciously) the same thing that has been done to you. This is the habit.
Your first step into the satiating embrace of love is to slow down into the hunger and acknowledge its presence.
Let the hunger speak to you of the nights you were lonely and nights you weaved a nourishing reality into your dreams; of the times you were stressed by incessant demands and the escapes you wisely carved; of the days you were abandoned, and of the yearning to receive what you deserve.
Gifting yourself the acknowledgement of this primal hunger, you can begin to discern between a love that is truly present for you and one that is just a mirage, a cheap substitute.
If you’re afraid that acknowledging your present hunger is just a dead-end or a black hole that will swallow you mercilessly, I promise you this:
There’s no greater love than that given to yourself
by the act of being awake to your inner truth
This is so big. So I want to give you a gift.
Something that’s normally available only to my coaching clients.
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD a unique meditation and nourishment that will help you open up to the hunger for love and feel supported in the process of feeding it with healing attention.
The mother wound is formed in a relationship and thus heals in a relationship. If the desire to feed the hunger for love with the beneficial nourishment is alive within you I’m confident I can help like I’ve helped hundreds of women around the world.
Reply to this email and we can have a sacred conversation about the possible ways to do so.
Shelly’s helping women on a healing journey of the mother wound who are struggling with the ways it affected their sense of self, relationships or the success of their calling and want to reach deeper levels of healing and step into their wholeness
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