Here's The Way Back To Feeling Love When You've Lost It
Updated: Apr 10
If you sometimes (or often), for whatever reason, can't quite feel the love you want to for your significant other, here's a story for you that will help.
When I was four years old I was obsessed with the Little Golden Book “Sleeping Beauty”. I even had the record that narrated the story, and I could follow along in my book, saying the words out loud and turning the pages at the right time.
Princess Aurora (Briar Rose) was my idol. To me, she was pure and loving and all things good. Truly a sensitive being. But then she was put under a sleeping spell and locked away, caged in her own castle by a huge thicket of briars…locked away from love...
Briar Rose’s story came flooding back to me the other day, while walking my most beloved wild and isolated beach in Costa Rica.
Though I was on vacation, I had been spending every minute with my family, including my mother-in-law. Sneakily, without my full awareness, I found myself feeling “off”, a bit sad and irritable. My heart had begun to feel locked away, caged in by a thicket or prickles-- like the made-of-pure-love Briar Rose sleeping in her walled-off castle.
It felt bad, not how I want to feel or be...So I asked my husband to watch the kids and went off for my favorite therapeutic experience: alone time by the ocean.
It was there, in the vast quiet and beauty, I could come to my own rescue, the way Prince Philip finally cuts through the briars surrounding the castle, fiercely and lovingly searching for his true love.
It was there I was able to get right back in touch with my own heart--by calling on my own inner Hero.
As sensitive beings living in this busy world, we may often find ourselves locked away from our own source of love. We may feel “off” often, especially when we aren’t taking the kind of great care of ourselves our trait of sensitivity asks of us.
But we can be our own Prince Philip! We can cut away our own prickly hedges that block access to our hearts. We don’t need to wait for an actual Prince Philip to do so. We can learn to be our own rescuer and lead ourselves gently and strongly back to love.
To do so, we first need to know what the “Briars” are that are blocking our hearts. Often, as they were for me that day, the briars are:
~too much time with others and not enough space for our own minds to decompress, process, and settle.
~various painful thoughts and fears sitting just below our conscious awareness, telling us we need to be better in a million ways (self-judgements and critical ways of seeing ourselves.)
~ judgments of others, too (like my mother in law repeating herself or being captain obvious, or my 11 year old being “too childish” with his younger brother) and resistance to the ways they are being and things they are doing.
These things create a hedge of brittle, tough emotions that leave us feeling off kilter, uncomfortable, and disconnected.
The remedy is often simply proactively taking some space for yourself, like i took. If that’s not enough, as it often isn’t, using some reliable introspective tools will finish clearing away the briars and reconnect you to a sense of CARE.
This starts with taking a close look, like I did, at the judgmental thoughts simmering below the surface, which keep us out of the feelings we want to have for the people we love. Just noticing what's really going on there in our minds, what narratives we’re clinging to, helps them lose their prickly tenacity, and opens a bit of space in the thorny hedge.
To get this awareness, one question to ask yourself is simply, "What am I thinking about myself or others right now?"
Then I like to gently offer some understanding and care to myself--even to that part of me that judges myself and others. I actually tell myself (under my breath) “It’s okay, dear girl...feeling cut off like this is part of being human. It happens to most of us. I still totally care about you.”
Offering that kind of compassionate attention to myself is often magic. That day on the beach, as I walked, breathed, and met myself with the kindness and curiosity that a good friend would, every cell in my body softened. I slowly uncovered my own heart, my own love.
The best part is, I left that beach feeling back to my most loving joyful self, ready to show up with a big smile and arms wide open to my family again.
All it took was some time alone, some inner excavating, some attention, a bit of courage, some care. Some being my own hero.
You can lead yourself back to love, too, every time some brambles start to obscure it.
P.S. If you find it hard to reliably regain access to your heart whenever the prickles start to creep back in, no amount of kindness, affection, or support from your partner will get you the kind of lasting love that you really want in your marriage.
Luckily, this is a skill you can learn. If I learned it, you, too, can learn to return to love quickly and easily, even if you feel far from it now, or it tends to take days after some upset to access warmth and care again. You can become your own heart hero, and restore a sense of steady love to your marriage.
I will show you how, step-by-step, when you come coach with me. If you’re ready to see exactly what this will mean for you, and find out if we're a good fit to do this work together, set up a free call with me. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and say “I’m in”, including a few words about what you want to be different in your marriage.We'll take it together from there.