Do You Feel Connected with Your Partner and Others?

couple holds hands happily smiling looking at each other
by Dr. Margaret Paul

Do you have a problem feeling connected with others? It might be because you are living in your head rather than in your heart.

When you were growing up, did you learn to protect against the pain of not being loved, by disconnecting from your body and living from your head? You may have learned to not be present in your body with your feelings as a way to avoid feeling unbearably lonely, helpless and heartbroken. This survival mechanism worked well as a child, but as an adult, it may now be causing inner aloneness, emptiness, anxiety, depression, and disconnection with a partner or others.

When you are focused in your head, others can’t feel your presence, and therefore they can’t connect with you. You likely can’t feel your love for them, and you likely can’t feel their love for you.

How do you know when you are living in your head rather than in your body?

The first thing to tune into is your intent and be really honest with yourself. Is it more important to you to avoid the loneliness, heartache and helplessness of rejection, of others’ closed hearts, of others’ meanness or anger, of others’ trying to take advantage of you, or it is it more important to you to be loving to yourself and others?

Unless you have learned how to manage the deeper existential feelings of loneliness, helplessness over others, heartache, heartbreak, sorrow and grief, you intent is likely to avoid feeling these very painful feelings by staying in your head and turning to various addictions.

In order to be present in your body with an open heart, open to love, compassion, peace, truth and joy – the gifts of Spirit – you also need to be open to the painful core existential feelings of life. As I have often said, pain and joy are in the same place in the heart. If you are intent on avoiding the painful feelings of life, then you will keep your heart closed to the wonderful feelings as well.

When Your Ego Wounded Self is Running the Show…

When your wounded self is in charge, the intent is to avoid the existential painful feelings. Your wounded self’s job is to protect against these painful feelings, which you needed to do as a child. Your wounded self has learned to do this with substance and process addictions, and with staying in your head rather than in your heart. The wounded self would rather feel alone, empty, anxious, depressed, guilty, shamed, jealous, and so on – the feelings we create with our own thoughts and actions – than open to the core painful feelings of life. The wounded self would rather be the one in control – the one creating the pain – than take the risk of feeling the pain of others’ choices.

Central to being able to move into your heart and connect with others on a feeling level is knowing that you can manage the painful feelings of life.

The good news is…

The good news is that learning to manage these feelings as a loving adult is not hard! While it was impossible as a child, now it is relatively easy. However, you cannot do it without a spiritual connection.

What allows you to manage these feelings is compassion. But compassion is not something that you generate within your body; it’s a feeling you open to and invite in. Compassion is one of the gifts of Spirit and you feel it only when you are open to learning about what is loving to yourself and to others – which raises your frequency high enough to access Spirit.

The next time someone is mean to you, try putting your hands on your heart, opening to Spirit, and inviting in compassion for the heartache. Breathe into it with deep kindness, gently and tenderly letting your inner child know that you truly understand and care about your hurt heart. You might be amazed at what happens regarding your ability to connect with your partner and others!

To learn more about connecting with others see: Discovering Self-Love

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