Love – How Independence Can Destroy A Relationship
No counselling, coaching or psychology, could take me as deep as I went, on the Tantric Blossoming 5-day Intensive retreat I attended, called Living Your Essence. I’m still processing some of the massive shifts and changes that happened for me. The most obvious one for me is how being independent has damaged so many of my relationships and could have strangled my current one. I have valued Independence so highly in my life, and devalued having needs.
I didn’t have a healthy distinction on Needs vs Needy, I do now.
Being needy to me feels emotionally insecure, burdensome, draining, and exhausting to be around. These are the exact opposite qualities I have dedicated my life to cultivating. Needs on the other hand for me is recognizing that it is ok for me to want or require something or someone in my life. Two very different spaces to occupy.
During our practices, I realised how being overly independent leaves no space for my partner or other people in my life to show up, to be present, or to contribute their love. I have been so quick to do things for myself, to make sure people aren’t put out, and that I am not a burden to them, I leave no room for them to be of value in my life.
Recently I had been working on receiving love, I did things like breathing in the energy of the ocean, the trees and the sun, feeling the feminine power and energy, vitalising my body. It felt good, yet something was missing. It wasn’t landing in a way that felt right. Something was amiss and I couldn’t put my finger on it.
During our retreat practices, I experienced the embodiment of needy, immediately after independent. My first feeling and response to being asked to embody needy was “Really, do I have to do that? It feels repulsive to me, I feel nauseous” I should have realised right there something was coming up for me.
As I dived into the practice I realised I was embodying familiar habits, patterns and mannerisms. On a previous Tantric Blossoming retreat, (Walking On The Edge), during the Dynamic Meditation I had a realisation, that it felt like I was born to fulfil other people’s need for unconditional love. It felt like love had been sucked out of my body. Being loved to me felt grabby, needy and like it would never be enough, it was draining and exhausting.
It was in this moment I realised I had become independent as a defence mechanism. “If I keep people at arm’s length I won’t feel the pain of being trapped in meeting that persons need”. Their love could never reach me, I was like a wall. Protecting myself from the pain I perceived would come from being loved.
In cultivating a habit of independence, I endeavored to meet all my own needs, even further, believing I didn’t have any. What I have realised is that this leaves no space for other people to love me. Acknowledging that I need love creates a space for love to land in my body and in my life.
Having no need for love, no need for help or people in my life has meant there is nowhere for their love to land within me. As people offered love, gratitude or thanks it just fell away like throwing a glass of water at a brick wall.
Leaving us both feeling a little empty, uncomfortable and ill-at-ease.
Allowing myself to acknowledge and honour that I have needs has created space for that love, gratitude and appreciation to land in me. What I see now in my relationship, with family, friends and even in strangers at work is when someone offers me their love, gratitude or thanks and it lands, there is a recognition in both our bodies, a connection takes place and pleasure runs through my body.
A feeling of aliveness, connectedness, freedom and love. It’s really beautiful!