There's A Reason You Don't Feel Loved (Even When You Are)

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If You Don't FEEL Loved, Even If You Are Loved, Please Read This
Family, Self

Being loved and feeling loved can be worlds apart.

What difference does it make if I’m being loved, yet can’t feel it? Being loved without feeling loved can be pretty painful and lonely. If this was your experience growing up, it can even make you feel guilty because you know your parents loved you and did their absolute best.

Yet, here you are, still not feeling it — not loved.

I honestly don’t doubt that my parents loved me when I grew up. They did it in their own unique way, the way it was expected and done in those days, but honestly, when I look back, I never really felt loved.

I was a restless child and easily got angry and frustrated, even though I didn’t have a clue why. Nobody else seemed to understand or even care why I was that way, so I felt pretty alone with it.

Looking back, I did have all my physical needs met. My father worked hard to provide for us all, was tired when he came home, and didn’t have time to interact with us. Or shall I say that the way he interacted with us didn’t feel safe or loving? He’d done his part and was entitled to eat, rest, watch TV and have his cognac.

We were always told to be quiet and do as we were told, so early on, I learned to contain myself in a way that caused a lot of restlessness. I had a lot of energy, and consequently had a lot to contain, and was often told that I was bad. I think this describes a pretty common childhood for many of us who grew up at that time.

Yes, I was loved, but for goodness sake, I didn’t feel it. Emotionally and spiritually, I was starved and malnourished and this had a big impact on me. It turned into a big, tight knot in my belly which could not find rest.

Now, I just want to make sure, that this does not mean that I’m blaming my parents for any of this. This would only be continuing something that didn’t work. I’m using myself as an example of what happens when that sweet little feeling of 'feeling loved' was never experienced or fully activated. My nervous system was never calibrated to feel that way!

But the good news is that you can change that! It’s just going to take a little loving effort on your part to deeply listen to this knot or need inside and find a way to give it what it needs to find peace, love, and fulfillment. And today I want to emphasize that this is not something you may be able to do on your own!

RELATED: 10 Things Emotionally Neglected Kids Grow Up Believing — That Are NOT True

A number of years ago, when I started this exploration, it really dawned on me that this restlessness that I’ve always felt in my body needed something. It was trying to find peace and had blindly used any means to find it.

As I became more mindful and conscious and was able to turn inside, I felt a gaping hole — a hole surrounded by a feeling that I was bad and that something was wrong with me.

Self-love can fill this hole — at least part of it.

With more and more clarity and ability to be present with the felt sense of the hole, it was a matter of peeling through layers and layers of self-denial, self-judgment, self-doubt, and self-neglect before I could start feeling the cause behind all these layers: I didn’t feel loved.

I found self-love to be the best remedy to soothe the pain surrounding this missing experience. Over time, I have learned to be really loving to myself. I never criticize or judge myself, and most importantly, I always honor and respect my own truth, wisdom, and values.

Self-love has been a God-sent to this day and it keeps taking me deeper and deeper into the areas in my life that have not felt it yet. It’s been a work in progress and still is.

But somehow it didn’t reach deep enough to penetrate the tightness in my belly and the pain in my heart. Somehow, I felt something was still missing in me to fully receive and fully love.

The meditation that I am offering will show you what that is. It will help you too receive something from the real outside or a projected or imagined outside.

When you feel loved, you get a very tangible feeling inside that makes you relax and stop the neverending drive to get somewhere, someone or something. When you feel loved, you are home and you come to rest.

However, until you can really feel it, you can’t help but look for it outside of yourself. That’s why I want to stress the importance of feeling it, and give you the carte blanche to use any method to make that happen for you.

Are you able to love yourself so deeply that your body and being fully receive your love and are able to deeply relax? Personally, I could only do it to a certain extend and then somehow, something was still missing. Then I noticed that if I imagined having someone loving and holding me, I could drop into a deeper place of letting go and rest inside.

This could be a real person, an imagined one, or a spiritual icon — anyone, whom I felt safe with and could help me relax.

Can you recognize this restlessness inside that keeps you looking for something outside of yourself? Or are you hoping to find Peace inside through your actions and behaviors? Have you ever wondered what you really need?

When you look deep enough, do you feel loved just by being you? Do you feel loved inside even when you are not doing something for others or when you are not trying to Be different than you are?

Can you extend some compassion for yourself for not feeling loved?

Let’s start by offering some compassion to these parts that never felt loved, even though they were loved, and have been on the lookout for it ever since.

Personally, I have a lot of compassion for those parts in me that lacked a diet including emotional security and feeling loved. It’s like a diet lacking vitamin C, which would give you scurvy, and it’s really no different from lacking feeling loved.

RELATED: 10 Easy Ways To Show Yourself The Unconditional Love You DESERVE

You’ll try to remedy the symptoms by including vitamin love, but without understanding the basic need for this important nourishment, you may be looking for the wrong vitamin bottle. You may be trying to get it from the wrong source.

I want to emphasize again that there is no need to blame our caregivers who were not able to make us feel loved in the way we needed it. They did their best based on their own lack of feeling loved inside, just like you and I have done. We are an ever-evolving species, so we need to adjust as we evolve from one generation to the next.

The good news is that you can choose to heal the missing experience now, to help you feel whole again and move in the world from a place of wholeness instead of hole-ness.

I have found it powerful and healing to use this little exercise to ‘activate’ this ‘feeling loved’, which was never experienced fully when you grew up. Because this feeling was never installed in your neural pathways, it may be too foreign for you to even imagine it, never-mind feeling it.

Because of that, it’s perfectly OK and even essential to invite an outside source in to help install it.

If you are so blessed with a loving partner, friend, therapist, or teacher who is able to create a space for you to receive love so you can feel it, you are in good hands.  If not, you can still create the experience through this exercise, which is imagining you are getting it from the outside.

The point of either is to start building a new neural pathway inside of you, which you’ll have access to at any time, so you don’t need it from the outside anymore. From then on, you can certainly enjoy receiving it from the outside.

This exercise can be an important step to open up the door to receive and feel what was missing. If it resonates with you, please give it a try.

The way I did it — and still do at times — is to imagine having parents who were able to give me that feeling inside through the way they talked to me, looked at me, held me, honored me, and allowed me to unfold into the "true me" underneath the rubble.

If you can imagine doing this exercise with your real parents, go ahead and do that.

If not, please give yourself permission to find someone whom you admire, feel safe with, or that you make up through your imagination or someone whom you get a good feeling from. It doesn’t really matter who it is and how you do it, as long as you start getting this feeling inside of feeling loved.

Someone who would be able to emotionally nourish you in a way that makes you feel deeply relaxed and deeply OK inside. Someone who is mature and whole inside and is able to give you unconditional love without any strings attached.

Doing whatever it takes to create an inner experience of what it feels like to feel loved (remember it’s different than being loved) is just a first step in the right direction.

It’s like taking this Vitamin C to help heal your scurvy. After the scurvy is healed, you still have a wonderful life to live without this condition. Yet, maybe because you lacked it a lot when you grew up, you may need to supplement once in a while, in case you feel depleted.

I’m going to address that first step to help open up the door to receive and feel that missing experience.

Think of someone whom you’ve seen express that to others, either in real life, in a spiritual context, in a movie, in your own imaginary creation or in any way that has deeply touched you.

Take your time to find exactly who is able to help you fill this hole inside so you may start feeling whole again — from the inside out:

  • Who would you have liked them to be?
  • Who would have been able to love you in such a way that you could have started life in a whole new way — feeling loved?
  • What was missing for you? What are you still looking for?
  • What did you not experience that you now know you needed?
  • What would you have liked to hear, feel, or experience that didn’t happen?
  • How would they look at you? Talk to you? Talk with you? Listen to you? Hold you? Respect you?
  • What would they do to express real interest in your well being?
  • How would you deeply know that they unconditionally loved you?
  • What would that FEEL like?

Play around with it and get in touch with these parts inside that need something very specific before they can really relax and receive this love. You need to listen to your heart’s longing. It will let you know when you do.

It’s like a unique key to your specific healing journey, that only you know what is. So please be very honest with yourself to find what you needed and never received.

When you love yourself enough to look for and find this key, it will open you up to receive the love you never felt. There is no need for guilt!

When I did this exercise several years ago, I knew I couldn’t even imagine my real parents being able to do that — and I still can’t. They didn’t have what I needed because they were lacking it themselves.

Yes, there was some guilt for sure, when I realized I had to make up someone else for this healing ritual, but I did it anyway.

It was really powerful and helped me open up to receive in a way I was never able to before. To this day, when I let myself receive from my imagination, I still feel a softening in my belly.

It made me realize how I would have been a totally different being without all the insecurities, doubts, and restlessness. It’s been a beautiful process of unfolding out of the limitations and feeling of lack into an authentic peace. And the unfolding keeps unfolding.

There is more to this story, so I made you a little meditation to help you get into the feeling. Once you do, it’s like this vitamin that you need to take daily for awhile. You need to go from depletion to fullness and that process is simply going to take as long as it takes.

RELATED: 5 Ways People Who Were Emotionally Neglected As Kids Can Become Better Parents

Pernilla Lillarose is a certified Hakomi Practitioner and a Self-Love Mystic & Mentor. Are you in need of support or confirmation of what you ‘kind-of’ already Know? Feel free to contact her for a free 30-minute Discovery Session to learn if her Self Love Mentoring can help you make this transition into your heart or download her free e-book, 5 Steps To Dive Into The Divine Feminine Flow.

This article was originally published at divinefeminineflow.com/pernilla-blog. Reprinted with permission from the author.