Discerning Between Love and ManipulationBy Dr. Margaret Paul
February 28, 2022
How can we tell the difference between actions that are loving and actions that are manipulative when they may look exactly the same?
"Everyone loved my mother and thought she was a saint, but I never felt good around her, and I never felt loved by her. There must have been something wrong with me," stated Pauline in our first session together.
While Pauline's mother's actions appeared to outsiders to be loving, energetically there was no love. The actions that appeared to be loving were really manipulations geared to control how others saw her. Her "giving" was designed to get attention and approval, rather than coming from an open, caring heart.
Everyone told Pauline how wonderful her mother was, but because Pauline didn't feel or experience love from her mother, she concluded that there must be something wrong with her. Only after working with Inner Bonding for a while did she see that she was accurately picking up her mother's manipulative energy.
From the outside, actions coming from an intent to manipulate can often look exactly the same as actions coming from an intent to express love. So how can we tell the difference between loving actions and manipulative actions?
Discerning love from manipulation is about honoring our inner experience, our experience of the energy rather than just the actions.
To do this, we need to move beyond relying on our head and instead start to rely on our feelings. The energy of love feels good. It feels safe and nurturing. It feels clean and light and refreshing. The energy of manipulation feels heavy, draining, dark, and lonely. It feels limiting and oppressive, rather than freeing. It weakens our own energy instead of supporting it. When we are tuned in to our inner experience, we can feel the pull that occurs when someone's intention is to get love rather than give it, or when they are giving in order to get something back.
As children, most of us were not taught to trust our inner experience. We were taught to rely more on what we see rather than what we feel. Yet the outer can be deceptive, such as when someone says "I love you" with an intent to hear it back, rather than offering it from their heart. Unless you learn to tune in to and trust your feelings - your inner experience - you will not be able to discern the truth.
Trusting our inner experience becomes very important in primary relationships.
Since Pauline was not encouraged to discern the truth of someone's intent, she ran into the same problem with her ex-husband that she had with her mother. "I really thought he was open. How could I have been so wrong?"
As we explored her relationship with her ex-husband, Robert, it became apparent that Robert had learned the art of appearing open without being open. He knew what to say to seem open, while never having a true intent to learn. Because Pauline distrusted her feelings and inner knowing due to her experience with her mother, she distrusted her feelings with Robert, too. Once again, she thought there was something wrong with her when she did not feel connected with or loved by Robert.
Once Pauline learned to feel and trust her feelings and her guidance, she was able to choose people to be with who were loving and open to learning. When she stopped trusting the appearance of outer actions and started to trust her inner experience, she was able to create relationships that were based on the sharing of love.
Energy is always trustworthy while actions can be deceptive. Practicing tuning into energy - to how it feels and to the information coming from your guidance - will lead you to knowing the truth.
Heal your relationships with Dr. Margaret’s 30-Day online video relationship course: Wildly, Deeply, Joyously in Love.
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The paradox of our wounded self is that it wants to feel safe so it tries in so many ways to control that which it cannot control, which leads to feeling anxious and unsafe. Surrendering to what is and opening to spiritual guidance creates the peace that will never come from trying to control.
By Dr. Margaret Paul