Most of what we have learned about love is drawn out from unmet emotional needs. This act of inauthentic love based on uncleared patterns within our emotional core is what we define as EMOTIONAL HUNGER.

Emotional hunger has become a worldwide epidemic. It is rooted in disconnection from our true selves. It is where we become enmeshed in roles, responsibilities, personalities, and other constructs our egos may identify with to fit in, belong and be accepted by the world around us. It is where we are so strongly identified with the manufactured version of ourselves, that we have come to believe that that is the truth of us.

Love is masqueraded as so much in today’s world, that is not true to our hearts nor that of other — attachment, helicopter parenting, over-functioning in relationships, self-sacrifice or martyrdom, worrying, or ‘caring’ too much. The list goes on and on, as to how we attempt to share our ‘love’ in unproductive ways. This results in unhealthy cycles of relying on something outside of ourselves for what it is that we need to bring to ourselves first.

A true and honest connection is not possible in this state. We can not see another as they are, as we can not see and accept ourselves just as we are. It is a painful, avoidant way of life that has very much become the norm in today’s world.

On the contrary, authentic love requires having a deep, inner awareness that we were born to this planet as limitless, unbounded love, just as our children were. It is the path to the liberation we all seek.

In a state of authentic love, there is no need to prove or attach to anything to the outside world. We are enough, just as we are. As a result of our sense of self, we can witness those around us in the same light. We behave as love itself, without a subject or object upon which we place or direct it. This creates a feeling of the permanence of love, that is always available within, and irrefutable to one’s existence.

How is it that we can continue acting out of unmet needs, without bringing conscious light to the pattern? Most of our traumas, or losses, for which the pain cycle was not finished, stem from our childhood patterns.

90% of the patterns we carry today are buried in our sub conscious, so the likelihood of us understanding why we do most of what we do is very low.

Most of the imprinting that has defined for us how to love, or how to belong, to be seen or to be heard, to be deemed worthy, was entrenched in our DNA before the age of seven. It is in these years that we are dependent on the world around us and that our caregivers are our version of the truth. We are unable to discern at an early age, whether the patterns we take on will benefit us in this lifetime or not. Whether they are rooted in love or fear. Whether they will help expand or contract our true selves.

What results in us, unconsciously, is re creating feelings that were familiar in our childhood over and over in our lives, for the sake of familiarity and comfort. Even if those feelings are most often painful ones — feelings that represent separation, distance, control, judgement, as examples, they continue to be manifested out of fear of what could be on the other side of the known.

A parent who is driven by emotional hunger will often be unhealthily attached to others. They may seek validation from another, to fill the holes within that went unaddressed in their childhood rather than roaming within their hearts to understand the patterns that need to be unveiled and healed. They interrupt the opportunity to see that love to themselves to understand the permanence of it. The fight for another’s love for self assurance results in a further loss of self. Disconnection from our true selves is a very strong indicator in anxiety, depression and addictive behaviour and thought patterns. We believe that most of the world’s problems are derived from a loss of sense of self.

The cost of emotional hunger is tremendous, on both self and all other entities within the shared ecosystem.

Conversely, a parent who acts out of authentic love has a true sense of self. They see themselves as being enough, regardless of how they may be viewed by someone on the outside of them, including their children. They are not overly attached to what ‘should’ be done, but rather what they would like to move with, that feels in alignment with the true self. They may find themselves deviating from known constructs as they trust their inner guidance more than what is on the outside of them, but still, honour what once was in their lives. They have generally spent a great deal of time getting to know the depths of their hearts and clearing some key limiting beliefs that had them hiding out or avoiding true connection in past years. They are likely very comfortable stepping out of their comfort zone and expressing their feelings, in a mindful manner. They may find themselves much less likely to follow addictive or destructive patterns, whether it be that around controlling their own lives or that of others, perfecting, over or underworking, exercising, eating, socializing, spending, using a substance, pursuing lust, dissociating, or otherwise. There are fewer voids to fill by way of compensatory behaviour, which are typically unproductive attempts to reconnect with self, and often lead to complete disconnection from the true self.

Parents who have the capacity to love authentically understand that they can only serve others from the overflow, so honest self-nurturing is indeed a daily practice for them. They do not over function for the sake of approval, belonging or acceptance. Healthy boundaries are realized with others, including their children, so that they are not at the helm of every decision their child steps into. The result is more autonomous, well-adjusted children. These parents are most typically open-hearted and less impacted by external circumstance, as they do not feel threatened by another’s behaviour in any capacity, nor in need of another’s love. They are most often able to step into vulnerability and compassion in those moments that require it. The result is an allowance for their children to do the same.

Learning to love authentically is the foundation for raising emotionally aware children; those who will behave responsibly towards themselves and towards others. This is also the foundation of true self-love, deep and connected relationships, and a life of honest and joyous fulfilment.

We all have an opportunity to clear the patterns that are holding us hostage and make us unavailable to giving nor receiving authentic love. This decision to hold on to the familiar is also keeping us from being present to the full human experience, where life meets life.

Do you feel ready to let go, and explore what may be on the other side?