Our childhood plays a crucial role in shaping how we deal with people in our lives, our boundaries, our comfort in giving and receiving love, genuineness, authenticity, etc.
This is the conditioning we pick up through observing our environment where we grew up, our relationship with parents, siblings, others around, also the kind of pressure and challenges we silently took on without being aware of it. There are multiple scenarios.
For example, I grew up in a family where my parents detested each other. My father was emotionally, mentally absent and had no interest in raising us. My mother had to do it all alone. I’m proud of her. However, I was emotionally distant even from her because I felt misunderstood and pressurized due to family situations. Monetarily my needs were met. However, my domestic life was imbalanced, and I unconsciously gathered a lot of codependency habits from my mother.
And it took me a while to work on them because, until 27, I was still acting out through those patterns. I didn’t understand the importance of healthy boundaries. I would usually chase emotionally unavailable people because I had experienced that since childhood, and it felt familiar. I thought I needed to do everything in my might to make relationships work.
But that’s not true love. Love is wishing good for people even when they are not in our lives. Love doesn’t mean we need to undervalue self-worth and just give all we have to please the other person. How can we give if we are empty from the inside?
Love is accepting others for who they are, respecting their boundaries and emotional capacity, observing if there’s an alignment between the dreams, hopes, wishes, understanding, etc. If something feels off, one can walk away while still not doing harm or speaking ill about the other involved. That’s mature love and this can be about any form of relationship, not just the romantic ones.
When we see movies, we pick up the idea that every romance should be hot and steamy, with lots of chemistry. There’s this consistent push and pull. Usually one tends to avoid emotions and the other one is over-submissive. Neither one is healthy! Firstly, one should never suppress or avoid feeling their emotions because it builds up in the body if left for too long, and later it can show physical symptoms like pain in an area.
Of course, emotions are uncomfortable if one is not used to handling them because it takes tons of inner work and intentionality to see your thoughts, feelings and yet not get consumed by them. It’s like observing your desires in a third person.
Secondly, the one who takes on the challenge to open up the emotionally distant person and chase them till they receive a yes is also unhealthy. Many times the submissive one picks up intuitively the hidden love within the connection. Maybe the one being avoidant actually cares. But just because one cares to some extent doesn’t mean they are prepared for a balanced relationship.
One really cannot have the capacity for a stable relationship unless they are very self-aware, have a humble ego, have the capacity to love, learn and grow together. Someone still struggling to become whole within themselves can never give or even receive in a well-grounded manner. There can be extreme passion between two people, but both need to evolve from mere physical attraction to emotional, mental, and spiritual compatibility.
The chaser should learn to respect even the rejection or disinclination to settle down. Accept that the person is just not ready. Something is incomplete within the submissive that they are willing to give love to an unavailable/distant person; one who thinks it’s too much to handle. It’s not like the chaser doesn’t know in their heart that this is something they need to let go of. But sometimes, they are too wrapped up in the illusion of what could be. They fall in love with the potential and not the current reality.
It’s good to love the person despite who they are: whether they are ready or not. But that doesn’t mean one has to compromise on their needs to stay in an imbalanced dynamic, just because one loves the other person. A greater sense of self-esteem, paying attention to our values, and what we can bring to the table as a wholesome person is essential.
Unless we become unified in our consciousness, we will keep attracting karmic lessons in the form of different people, but similar patterns. If you look at everything from a spiritual lens, every single person out there is a teacher. Many don’t directly teach you, but if you’re paying attention to your as well as their patterns and behavior, you will learn to decode what inner work is pending and for whom.
Every person acts out of the conditioning they went through in childhood, their traumas, personal battles. As one evolves and works actively on raising their consciousness, they unlearn all that unhealthy paradigm, whatever is holding them back from fully owning their light. So, it’s also a daily practice to see people deeply, know the place they are coming from, and not take their behavior personally because everyone has some of the spiritual enhancement pending.
A beautiful aspect of emotional healing and inner work is that we start recognizing and tracing back to the root cause easily when we tend to repeat the same behavior. There come accountability and maturity in handling it. The blame game or self-hatred goes out the window. It simply gets replaced by a willingness to change, for the soul’s growth.