Article by Ronna Prince, Family Constellation Facilitator
Have you ever wondered about the source of relationship conflicts? I know I have because even with all the work I have done over the years, every once in a while, I will blurt out something to my partner and then regret it. He and I have been together for a decade now but we still have a few repeating themes that come out during times of change or stress. I’m in a huge process of change right now with my last child graduating from high school and heading to college in the fall plus, like most of us during this time, I am dealing with a few additional uncertainties.
The other night, I was meditating and doing some EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) tapping and as I was tapping and talking through my feelings about the uncertainties I’m facing at this point in my life, I blurted out in EFT-speak: “Even though I want to make my partner feel guilty because he isn’t here right now…. I still love and accept myself”! (If you’re not familiar with how EFT works, this might sound strange but that’s the lingo.)
Wow! Why would I want to do that? Why would I want to make the man I love feel guilty?
Then a huge realization, like one of those light bulb moments, illuminated my consciousness. This was a learned response! Growing up, my experience was that “love” was connected with “guilt”. I knew I loved my parents, but I always felt guilty. I was afraid of doing something wrong, saying something wrong, and in general, just being wrong. The entanglement of love and guilt in my case was extreme because I was enduring sexual abuse by my dad who told me all sorts of things about why he was doing what he was doing. He said he loved me. And I craved that love but felt guilty about the price I had to pay to receive his love. How twisted is that?
As I’ve worked through the layers of this over the years, feeling mostly free from it these days, I keep accepting what comes up and moving through it. That’s one of the great things about EFT tapping – it really brings your skeletons out of the closet if you allow yourself to go deep with it.
The source of love-guilt entanglement is not always as extreme as it was in my case. I have seen it my clients who had disapproving parents, parents with high standards, and parents who used shame to control their child’s behavior. I have seen the pattern of love and guilt entanglement played out in couple’s relationships in the form of “score keeping”, harboring resentments and one partner blaming the other for ongoing issues. I have observed what a great detriment this entanglement is to intimacy.
I’m going to make a generalization here and some of you may not agree with me, but being a woman, I believe I am qualified to make this observation. Women, far more than men, use guilt to manipulate relationships. Even though my dad was the primary source of my confusion about love, I saw my mom use guilt to manipulate him over and over again.
As girls, when we observe our mother doing this, we often unconsciously pass this entanglement of love and guilt down to our daughters. When we use guilt to manipulate our partners, it diminishes the fundamental bond of trust and reciprocity.
So how do we untangle love and guilt-induction, so that we can be free to be fully present, so we can truly open our hearts to give and receive love?
There are some things we can do as individuals to detangle this, such as EFT tapping, Radical Forgiveness, and my Soul Codes session which can help you look deeply at the origin of the pattern in past lives. But I believe that this pattern of love-guilt exists not at the individual level, but at the level of the entire Family Soul. What this means to me as a Family Constellator, is that there is only so much we can do at the individual level to shift this pattern out of our lives.
Where the real action and true freedom from this entanglement takes place is on a bigger stage that encompasses everyone in our family soul. Who belongs in the family soul? The answer to this question is surprising and I have covered it in my “Laws of Love” free webinar. If you missed it, please email me and I will send you access to it.
Coming in May 2018, I am going to offer interactive live webinars on Detangling Love and Guilt. This will be a multi-modality experience where we will use EFT Tapping to heal and clear this pattern, the Triple Heart Healing Technique that I developed for moving stuck energies, and finally, we will see a Family Soul Constellation progression of moving and healing the entanglement of Love and Guilt.
This will be like no other event I have shared to date. If this topic sounds interesting to you, I invite you to join me in a life-changing event! Stay tuned for the dates of this special event. I will introduce you to the coaching platform I use so that you can see old patterns transform right before your eyes!
In the meantime, I invite you to contact me to explore private Family Constellation sessions. Please contact me for more information! Why wait to free yourself from this entanglement?