Attracting Love Through Self-Exploration: A Somatic Inquiry.
While traveling alone overseas one year ago, I was meditating on relationships and the concept of attracting the right partner.
As I settled into my body, the first word that came into my mind regarding relationships was, trust or trusting. I began to think about those words as they pertained to me trusting myself, rather than my usual thoughts about trusting another:
“When I get into that relationship, then I will be seen and understood.”
“If he or she really understood me, then I wouldn’t feel this frustration, nor have these unmet needs.”
“If he or she was the right one, it would all just work out and I would not feel alone.”
When you read it out loud, it is actually quite comical. As if a gold-plated supernova of a human being is going to waltz right in and rid us of our pain and psychosomatic programming in one fell swoop of the heart.
No wonder it’s so hard for some of us to commit. How could any one human compete with such an illustrious, sexy apparition?
This other fantasy becomes the direct object of our attention rather than the self, and in our fantasy-drafting process, we often abandon ourselves.
We ignore the possibility that through avoidance of what we truly need and want (self-understanding, self-love, strength, or vulnerability), we ironically push away what we need and want from others.
Ultimately, understanding this dynamic is exciting, because when we actually embody a place of self-love and understanding (and it takes practice), the desire for love does not become extinguished, but rather galvanized by a force of authenticity that actually draws the right person to us.
But there are no quick fixes or 10 easy steps.
Don’t get me wrong — thinking positive, stating affirmations, and giving yourself all kinds of cerebral candy is helpful and supportive to your quality of life.
Myriad double-blind studies have proven the power of positive thinking and prayer. The point here is to suggest that simply thinking positive, or recruiting mentally-driven faculties to find love, is not the whole truth.
We have to go beyond those methodologies and explore ourselves in order to truly understand the blockages that prevent us from attracting the right mate in the first place.
So how do you do that?
The first step is to explore. Explore yourself, your anxieties, and your fears around love and neediness. When you feel needy or alone, do you really think Joe (or Jill) is going to give you the kind of support you need?
Especially when deep down you know he or she is kind of an ass, or is a bad communicator, or does not really make you feel good about who you are?
The next time Joe texts you, consider the possibility that the exchange will not truly give you what you are looking for.
Consider that Joe is still the same Joe, and he has not miraculously manifested the emotional or spiritual attributes that broke you up, or led you to avoid him in the first place.
When you feel rejected, ignored, or unseen, is it really because Joe needs to be the one to tell you how amazing you are? Or is it that you have been neglecting yourself and are expecting him to make you feel more whole?
What can you do for yourself each day that makes you feel more beautiful/handsome, smart, and creative? The options are endless.
Get curious about the part of yourself that believes a partner is going to be the source of your happiness and ease, and that only when you are with that partner, you will feel whole. This dualistic belief may end up causing a lot of grief when things don’t work out.
We can have all the love coming at us in the world, but if we are not giving ourselves similar self-care and compassion, the nurturing from others cannot be completely embodied or received.
Love yourself. Better. Period.
Not in a narcissistic, ‘All hail, me, the glorious goddess, I have no faults’ kind of way, but in a conscious way. Look at your stuck places and learn how to feel into them. Next, ride them out without persistently being dependent on the approval of others.
As I meditated on the word trust, I also thought about the meaning of safety. Often initially when we think about relationships, we think, “I want a relationship that feels safe, with someone who loves me and who can ultimately be trusted.”
Neurobiologically speaking, the problem with this belief is that regardless of the individual, there may always be some aspect of another person that leads us to feel unsafe and unloved.
When we get defensive or triggered by our partners or other people, most of us are operating from a younger, more vulnerable place, one that is deeply rooted in our brain chemistry.
When we operate from a reactive or defensive place, our most safe person in the world can seem like a distant stranger.
In those moments, our lovers feel as unsafe as the sketchy-looking guy or girl on the street corner. When defenses are up, we operate from a place of survival and defense (fight/flight/freeze), regardless of who we are interacting with.
The next ineffective step many of us take when operating from this defensive space is believing things like:
“When I’m with the next partner, he or she will understand me, he or she will get it.”
And therein subsists the cycle of destructive interpersonal reasoning.
That feeling of safety you seek needs to be recognized from within and it takes practice. Practice with self and with loving partners or friends.
When we acknowledge our own lack of safety, within our own bodies and surroundings, we can become better informed of what we need to work on within ourselves, as well as what we need to walk away from.
Over time, this kind of self/body awareness can support us to differentiate between what does and does not constitute a healthy relationship.
By listening to the body, sensing into the lack of safety, and loving the hurt places like an old friend, we actually rewire some of the neural pathways associated with love, and learn to trust better.
Part of creating a self-safety practice is creating a somatic awareness practice in moments where safety feels far away.
Pausing in the moment, noticing your body, and breathing into whatever areas feel tense or triggered, can be a helpful tool to understand discomfort and understand its root.
Get curious about various somatic qualities in your body such as: temperature, tension, space, softness, hardness, tightness, etc.
By simply noticing what is happening in the body, you will promote positive changes.
Somatic inquiry teaches us to be less attached to the future, and that lack of attachment assists us to align with ourselves and manifest the right partners.
Speak or write to yourself and others about what you long for, what drives you, and what you need.
When you are in touch with practices that feed your soul, an entire field opens up, within which you are capable of seeing what the Universe wants to provide for you.
Romi Cumes is deeply committed to facilitating somatic and spiritual transformation by way of body-mind education and joyful, creative shenanigans. She is the founder of Transformative Healing Arts, which offers Yoga instruction, bodywork, performance art, counseling, workshops, and international retreats to Peru. Romi received her Masters degree in Clinical Psychology, with an emphasis in Somatic (body-centered) Psychotherapy, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Mindfulness. She currently has a private practice in Santa Barbara, California. To learn more, visit her website.