February 2, 2021

When Love Feels Painfully Unrequited, Ask yourself This.


Love feels unrequited when we tell ourselves the story that we weren’t chosen by someone because we aren’t enough.

Otherwise, we would graciously accept their truth and let their heart move on to its next rightful, destined place, no?

This story ultimately stems from our deep subconscious belief system that plays out these repetitive words: “I am not enough.”

Full disclosure: what you’re reading is not a declaration about love or not being chosen by a lover—it’s a deeper dive into why it feels that way, and how believing this truly affects other parts of our lives.

This “not enough” story perpetuates in our every damn day life. We see it everywhere. The not enoughness of another’s love expands into not enoughness at work, like when we’re not the chosen candidate for a promotion or have our ideas publicly squashed in a meeting.

We see this story even when our closest friends have other circles of friends and we hear about the adventures they traverse across while we remain silent with envy.

It could be as simple as them telling us how excited they are about the book they’re reading in their book club, which could make our “story” scream aloud to us, “How come I wasn’t invited to this club?” Or feel that dirty internal need to sullenly pull away from them, acting out with a tantrum-like protesting behaviour because we feel they are leaving us out by enjoying fun elsewhere than with our own company.

Not enougness—this self-actualizing belief we harbor carries on and on and on until we step in to intervene.

Truly step in, though. It’s not enough (ironically) to only become aware of our deep roots in this system of belief, but we must consciously acknowledge that it’s happening to us through only our mind’s eye, not within a reality that is intentionally out there trying to harm us. And we must stop this story for good.

Now this, of course, can be different if there is a distinct friend that obviously isn’t caring about our heart, or if our boss genuinely makes it known that they don’t appreciate our ideas or hard working efforts for no constructive reason. But until it is openly clarified by that person—from the horses mouth!—that they don’t care, it is otherwise simply story. One that we made up.

This is our pain body wanting to keep us safe and protected, so it surfaces every now and again by acting out irrationally before it knows true, confirmed facts and feelings of others.

Have you ever (outwardly or even internally) acted out after your boss made you redo your time-consuming, self-proclaimed brilliant presentation due to a difference in perspective? Or was there a moment in your life when a close friend asked another friend over to play (perhaps in childhood) or for casual wine and convo in recent years? Did that make you want to spit flames on them or sulk for days, automatically ruling out that this “friend” will ever again take part in another one of your life’s rejoicing moments? Maybe you went so far as to banish them into the dark hole of social media—the blacklist zone—after feeling triggered and, in turn, triggering that detonation of the “unfriend/unfollow” button.

Yeah…acting out can be a strangely (momentarily) satisfying yet severely lonely bench to sit on.

Truth is, we know our closest friends love us. And we know we are appreciated at work or else we wouldn’t be granted to be there. So when love and acceptance, to us, truly feels unrequited (not returned), we absolutely have to get in the habit of challenging that story we repeatedly tell ourselves before we carry out harmful or damaging acts to our personal and professional relationships—all because of its convincingly tall tales.

Close your eyes and ask yourself:

Why is this triggering me? When did I last feel this way and why? Was I a child? Was I on the playground, or do I picture myself at home with my family and siblings? What surfaces in my memory when I feel into this “left out” and abandoned way?

You’re guaranteed to uncover the very beginning of your story—the first few chapters from childhood, or any chapter in your self-published novel of life’s painful woes to be honest, where you first took on the belief that you were not enough. Find that version of yourself again; find that truth and dispel the beliefs you created around your worth.

Awareness is the first step to healing this addictive pattern. And just like for those who are recovering addicts, courageously healing through the help of programs such as AA, it truly is step one in your recovery.

So dig deep. Go deeper. Go as deep as you can, until you finally see the light buried inside. Then don’t just stop there—don’t just see it and run screaming from out of that cave. Feel it. Cry with it. Let it naturally release out of you, just like how the rains come to wash the earth and feed the lands.

Let it cleanse you. Let your emotions nourish you. Let this discovery become your gift to finally letting go of that very first time when you convinced yourself you’re not worthy of being chosen, of being your all.

Because you are everything; you are the light.

Love is light—and you have the power to light up this whole great world if you dare to believe in your brilliance and shine so brightly.


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