Love in Yourself What You Have Not Loved Before.

Our belief systems develop out of lived experiences of life and the meaning the mind makes of them.

Personality and identity become part of a strategy that is unconsciously developed in order to get one’s needs met. This is a very intelligent mechanism of the psyche. As children, it is the only strategy we have that can help us split off from what is overwhelming, intolerable or painful.

Soul loss protects us from feeling more pain.

The psyche builds around this, and it serves us in surviving our early life. This is what becomes our path of awakening back to true self when we are adults, when we realize it no longer works to live a life from inside that loss.

Feeling unworthy of love is an extremely common phenomenon in Western culture, where there is a lack of devotional spaces or honoring of the sacred inner sanctum of the human heart.

The beliefs that stem from this come as not being worthy of love, feeling disconnected from the rest of life, feeling that it’s not okay to be here or to be human, not deserving love all the way. It can trickle all the way down to “I don’t matter,” which is common and normal if we had a death parent who resented us, envied us, criticized us or otherwise created a lack of safety in our inner and outer world.

The belief that we are not worthy of love is not healed through repeating opposite affirmations that are a lie to the nervous system.

Lying is not love. Lying to ourselves will not create healing but more inner conflict.

To heal this belief, and all unhelpful beliefs we adopted out of pain, is to feel the truth of where the belief came from in the first place… that we were not loved in some way we really needed to be.

Given the widespread teachings and cultural discussion about the necessity of self-love and shifting to worthiness, it seems fair to say that we live in a culture that lacks love, which of course trickles into our family experiences where we first learn about love and what it will be for us.

We are rising out of times where our ancestors lived through the conquest of the U.S. from its native people, the Great Depression, WW1 and WW2, Vietnam War and all the socioeconomic fluctuations that came with this.

Trauma is in our bones. A trauma that has arrived here from a lack of love.

Do not underestimate how deeply traumatic the scarcity of love can be to the human spirit, no matter how resilient we are.

Our innate nature is love. But it is one thing to know this in our soul bones, and another to know it intellectually and create an identity of one who loves themselves but still inwardly feels like a fraud. This is what gives rise to so much perfectionism, co-dependency and addiction.

It is our basic human need to be seen, understood and loved.

If we grew up in a home where we did not feel wanted, seen or understood, we have not known love. If we grew up learning that we received positive attention for performing well, this is not love. If we grew up caretaking, we have not known love. If we grew up radically more aware of the pain of our families than the celebration of our own hearts, we have not known love.

These experiences point to not being loved, not to a reflection of who we are (or who are family is) as people. The pain of not being loved is intolerable and dangerous to a child, so the psyche creates meaning and a personality in order to get the needs met of being seen, understood and loved. But, if that comes at the price of losing our authentic self, we feel forever lost in this.

This is what has been the collective transmission for some time now with a whole social order that feeds off of this emptiness.

Our belief systems of not being worthy of love are directly connected to a scarcity of love, and this scarcity extends out into our experience of money, love, health, self-confidence and connection to our divine nature.

This is a relational wound. We need sacred witnesses to hold compassionate, loving space. We need to feel that our pain is worthy of love, to internalize the sense of loving what has not been loved before. We cannot just know how to love ourselves if we have never felt it before.

Grief is what frees us. It does not make us a victim or keep us stuck. It is our very lack of ability to grieve for ourselves that keeps us stuck. We must absolutely develop compassion for ourselves and grieve what we never received. This is becoming a mother to ourselves, the one we always needed.

It is the only way we can open the channels to walk into unknown spaces of the heart freely, to land in our body with gentleness, compassion, curiosity and grace to explore what else might be possible if we free our nervous system of what we thought was love.


Dr. Nandi Hetenyi is a psychospiritual healer, soul mentor and writer. She has carved out her own path based on 20+ years of clinical experience and an equal amount of time studying and practicing Buddhism, yoga, meditation, shamanic healing, ritual and energy healing. After recovering herself from addiction and experiencing an awakening to her soul, she fused her knowledge of psychology and trauma with both her studied and lived experience of shamanic and Buddhist healing modalities, creating an innovative approach to healing the soul wound at the root of so much addiction, shame and ongoing trauma. You can follow Dr. Hetenyi on Instagram and find out more about her work on her website.


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