Hunger for Love
( Part 2 : Living With An Empty Love Tank )
(Reasons behind Fake Love)
We ended up our first part from this series with this question:
But what if the child’s needs were not met? What danger do we carry to our relationships when this hunger for Basic Love is not fulfilled?
If the relationship with the mother (or the alternative caregiver) was harsh, contains threats, rejection, intimidation, or the mother did not exist or got separated from the child; then this basic need will always be in hunger.
The general reaction among all humans: is that when we grow up with an empty tank, we seek to fill it with anything in order to feel loved & accepted as we can’t endure this emptiness in our hearts, as reflected by Henry Nouwen in his journals following the breakdown of a close relationship where he suddenly lost his self-esteem, his energy to live and work, his sense of being loved and even his hope in God:
“ There is a deep hole in your being, like an abyss. You will never succeed in filling that hole, because your needs are inexhaustible. You have to work around it so that gradually the abyss closes.” ~ Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Inner Voice of Love ~
Dr. Maurice Wagner elaborates what happens inside us when we walk with an empty love tank :
» » Maurice Wagner
” The Sensation of Being Somebody “
– The baby comes to the world with sense of uncertainty in himself & in being loved, accepted & all other basic love needs to be affirmed by the caregivers, & when it is not affirmed then his presumption of being unloved & unwelcomed to the world is confirmed, this false belief is internally integrated into his identity, fiercely compelled to EARN this love & attention in different compensative ways & troubled behaviors. These behaviors totally differ from who he really is (the true self that was never discovered), it only reflects his deepest hunger for love & for proving himself as “somebody” in a term Wagner called “self-verification”.
The severity of these troubled behaviors relies on how deep his hunger is, the child then becomes self-centered, acting with a fake personality deviated from his real self, & the false self he’ll be using (unconsciously) is the one which has successfully helped him win all the love & appreciation he needed from his parents & from others, even if it is fake love & not genuine.
⇒ Remember this equation : Needs beget motives & motives beget behavior
These patterns of behavior are carried with the child until he’s adult, to be acting typically the same way towards life & others, but maybe in other shapes or forms which suits the grownups.
– These behaviors could be one of 3 (sometimes swinging between them all but one will be predominant according to one’s personality):
1 – Compliance or placation ( pleasing character, moving to people ) :
It can take many forms, for example: when the person seems caring & loving very much to a suffocating extent, always seeking to help & give others, doing whatever they ask without being able to object or reject as he/she can’t stand to be alone or exiled from the group, he/she will submit to the needs of others without thinking in their own needs, can be always weeping or complaining. All these manipulative ways reflects unhealthy & conditional love which seeks its own needs.
This person’s motto : If I pleased them & tried to be always good; they’ll love me.
2- Defiance or rebellion (aggressive character, moving against people) :
It is when the person takes his needs by power & force, not caring about others or their needs, he feels weaknesses & inferiority just as the 1st one, but he’ll never reveal his needs or emotions to others, covering this hole inside of him with success, power & authority, always pursuing to be above others as a way to protect his wounded self from them.
This person’s motto : If I’m powerful & special & successful; they’ll love me.
3- Evasion or avoidance ( withdrawing character, moving away from people) :
After failing to receive the love & care he needed; this person becomes so vulnerable that he/ she will try to build big walls between them & others, hiding in their comfort zone in order to feel safe & protect themselves from being hurt again ,
to them people = hurt & pain.
This person’s motto : When there’s no one in my life; then I’m safe.
All these sick patterns of behaviors & false identities lead us to perplexing relationships, we end up hurting others & ourselves as well.
Real love ( as shown in the picture below ) is the opposite to all the forms mentioned above, it does not provide loving emotions in an attempt to earn something in return, real love includes: sacrifice, understanding, accepting difference without feeling threatened, respect, encouragement, forgiveness & kindness, it is an aware decision taken each & every second to love the other person no matter what, it is owning oneself in order to be able to give it to the loved ones.
What if you discovered that your tank is empty, is there a hope to fill it with true genuine love?
Follow us in part (3) from this series
*To read all parts from this series; please click here: