Emotional Health Information for Women
The trouble with women and relationships is that we say we want support and love, yet we are so busy talking about what we want that we often miss the opportunities to take-in the support and love when it comes our way. Before I go any further, I’d like to bring men into the equation. No surprise, men also have self-esteem issues when it comes to accepting validation for who they are. It’s just that men, when questioned directly, are more likely to admit to their shortcomings.
Love the idea, yet uncomfortable with the experience
The truth is women love the idea of receiving love. We think about it, pray about, and imagine and sometimes even visualize the love we desire infusing our relationships. However, the true story is that contrary to what most women think, we aren’t as emotionally available for love and support as we would like to believe.
Not so great observation
After years of being a marriage and family therapist in private practice, my observation is that like men, women deflect emotional closeness because it triggers feelings of vulnerability. For example, how often do you change the subject when the person giving you compliments goes on about how great you? How many times do you physically tense up and become emotionally agitated when, without manipulating the conversation, you find yourself the center of attention? Can you hear yourself saying, “That’s enough'”?
Asking the right question
To create conscious awareness of the dynamic described above, I have started to ask the question “How do you let love in?” The reason for this is that instead of creating a focus on what isn’t happening, I find it valuable to focus on what is happening. By simply asking the question, “How do you let love in?”, I notice there is more curiosity devoted to internal inquiry. The inquiry creates an internal shift, an awakening of sorts, which leads to another question, which is, “Really! How do you take care of yourself?”
This discussion is important because research finds that women are emotionally and physically sensitive. For example, research data demonstrates that women who have suffered a heart attack and return home to a non-nurturing environment are 300% more likely than men to have a relapse.
Window of opportunity
The good news is that where there is an opportunity to experience warmth, then there is a chance of preventing relapse. So why not ask the question, “How do I let love in?” Why not take a look and see, if, in fact, you are missing out on some emotional warmth? Starting now, keep your eyes, ears, and heart open. Notice if you get a compliment. Pause. Take it in, let the message that you matter linger.
When you focus your attention toward the idea of taking love in, you are building the capacity to tolerate emotional abundance. You are cultivating emotional core strength, which is one of the hallmarks of the power of feminine presence.
Health information, a three-step formula
- To build conscious awareness, ask yourself the question, “How do I let love in’?”
- As you do this focus on softening your heart.
- For fun, compare the conscious inner act of receiving, taking-in to a daily beauty routine. Think of the question, as a moisturizer you apply to soften your skin to make it glow.
Joan Shaver, LMFT
Be Bold Be Beautiful Be True to Yourself