Pulling for Love and ApprovalBy Dr. Margaret Paul
November 13, 2023
Are you giving yourself the love and approval you need, or are you pulling on others instead?
A friend of mine asked me the following question: "How would you describe 'pulling' to someone who is just learning about Inner Bonding? I know when I feel pulled at, and I know when I'm pulling, but I don't know what to say about it."
"Pulling" is not easy to describe because it has more to do with energy than with words or behavior. The same words or behavior that can be experienced by others as pulling, can also be experienced as caring - depending upon the intent.
You are automatically pulling on others for love, attention, approval, and validation when you are not giving these to yourself. When you are abandoning yourself by making others responsible for your feelings, or by ignoring yourself, judging yourself, or acting out addictively, your inner child feels alone and empty inside. This emptiness is like a black hole that is desperate for the light of love to fill it. Because you are not bringing love to yourself, you become an abandoned child, desperately needy for love. Your emptiness is like a vacuum - an energy vampire - sucking energy from anyone whom you think has some love to give to you.
Sometimes pulling is masked under the guise of being nice.
For example, let's say that your friend Kathy says to you, "How is your day going?" If Kathy is connected to spirit and to her own feelings, she is coming from a full place within. Her question is coming from genuine caring, and you can feel the energy of caring, of giving. It feels good to you to share your day with Kathy.
But what if Kathy has been ignoring and judging herself? What if she has been acting out addictively to avoid her feelings? What if she has not been asking her guidance, "What is in my highest good right now?" What if, as a result, Kathy feels alone and empty inside? Then her question may have a totally different intent. She may hope that by asking you about your day you will let her in on you, so she can feel special to you. She might hope that you will not know she is trying to invade you with the question. She may hope that you will give her the time and attention that she is not giving to herself, and that maybe you will fill the empty place within her. When this is the case, you will feel "pulled at." You will feel like Kathy is trying to take something from you rather than give something to you. It might be confusing to you because she is asking an ostensibly caring question, yet you do not feel cared about. Interestingly, it may also be confusing to Kathy because it may all be unconscious on her part.
The pull is in the energy, not in the words.
You find that you don't want to share your day with Kathy. You may feel a sense of resistance, of invasion, and you just want to get away. Or, if you are a caretaker, you may feel obligated to tell Kathy about your day, obligated to fill her black hole. You might feel that it is your responsibility to give Kathy what she wants so that she won't feel hurt. But at the end of the conversation, you feel drained.
Anytime we are judging ourselves, ignoring our own feelings, acting out addictively, allowing our wounded self to be in charge with its lies about us and others, or making others responsible for our feelings, we are automatically pulling on others. The child within - our feeling self - needs time, love, attention, approval, and validation. Our inner child needs to be seen and heard.
In the example above, it is likely that Kathy has no idea what she is doing. When we are not seeing and hearing our feelings and taking loving action on our own behalf, the black hole of our inner abandonment will be a pull on others for what we are not giving to ourselves. No matter how nice we act with others, they will feel pulled at. They may give us what we want, or they may withdraw and resist, but in neither case will the relationship be a healthy one.
It's very important, if we want to have loving, healthy relationships, to be aware of when we are pulling and when we feel pulled at. Becoming aware of this, without judgment, can open the door to incredible healing.
Join Dr. Margaret Paul for her 30-Day at-home Course: "Love Yourself: An Inner Bonding Experience to Heal Anxiety, Depression, Shame, Addictions, and Relationships."
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Begin each day with setting your intention for the day. What do you want? Do you want to walk in love, peace and joy? Do you want to be present in the moment, connected with yourself and in oneness with Spirit? Do you want to be kind and compassionate? Creative and productive? Open to learning each moment? Think about who you want to be and set your intention for the day - out loud.
By Dr. Margaret Paul