Greta was a woman who due to a difficult childhood had never felt loved. She searched everywhere for the love she knew must be out there somewhere. She had grown up without a father and had always craved the love of a man. The minute a guy paid her any attention, she latched on to him and played up to it. In her mind, maybe this was love?
She craved attention in any form and even if it was negative, it was better than being ignored.
She met a man who loved her; they married and had a couple of kids. The problem was she still didn’t feel loved. He told her every day how much he loved her and that everything he did was for her, and even though her head told her he must care, in her heart she couldn’t believe it. It wasn’t until her marriage was over that she finally came to understand the belief that had caused her pain for so many years.
Somewhere deep within her mind she had formed an assumption that ‘if my mother who should love me more than anyone, ever, can’t love me … I must be unlovable’. Greta’s mother did love her but due to her own childhood and personal circumstances she wanted a certain path for her daughter. When Greta refused to conform, her mother tried to enforce her will, and as a result Greta never felt she was good enough, that she would only be acceptable if she was someone else or at least behaved in the way her mother expected. She looked at her image in the mirror and didn’t understand how the young girl looking back at her could be so unloved.
This experience coloured the way she viewed herself for many years. Only once she acknowledged the belief she had created, was she able to replace it with a new truth – that in fact she was lovable and many of the people around her did love her. She had just failed to see it.
Using Greta’s story as an example is a good way to illustrate how a deep-seated belief, of which you have no knowledge, can colour your whole life. How it can create the outcome of your relationships with your friends and family – and definitely your most intimate relationship with your partner.