Do you give too much?

Lauren came into my office wanting to explore what had contributed to the end of her 10-year marriage.  Still reeling from her husband’s announcement that he was leaving her for the “other woman”.  Her greatest fear had come to light.  She was alone.  What was worse, alone at night, scared, vulnerable and most of all angry.

I invited her to explore the inner territory of the sensations that lived in her body.  This opened new insights about the relationship instead of the story the mind wants to tell about he said / she said.  Through this discovery, we learned that her familiar way of loving was to give and then to give some more.  Often it is the over-giver that creates an imbalance and ends up collapsing the relationship.

Lauren shared what she knew about her earliest experiences including a traumatic birth. She spent 5 days alone in an incubator.  A baby is all feelings; you cannot tell a baby they are safe, they can only know if they feel safe.  A baby’s way of feeling secure is closeness with Mom, how it had always been for the past 9 months.

This sends a calming message that begins a foundation of trust with love and bonding.

Attachment sciences support how deeply this affects how we bond, how we love and how we relate not only to our parents but how we maintain connections in our future relationships.  This early experience, not consciously remembered, creates a template for how we unconsciously exchange love or withdraw from it.

Often those who experienced a prolonged separation from their parents in the first 3 years of life, live with a body-centered fear of being left alone.  Often is shows up like the pulse of anxiety ever present in the body.  It’s as if the child’s body memory recalls the longing to have Mommy close, her smell, her touch, her voice and for whatever reason, she’s not there. The adult now does everything in order to keep love close – anything to avoid the longing left unfulfilled.

During our session together, I invited her to explore what lives in her body.  As she navigated the parts of herself that guide each of us unconsciously.  Through following where the breath can move easily and noticing where it gets stuck, emotional release is possible.

Once your inner image transforms, something outside of your patterned ways of being can emerge.

When we give more than we receive, unconsciously, we do it out of a place of emptiness. We do it to pick up the slack of the other side, to fill in the empty spaces.  We do it to ensure that we will never end up alone.

Over time the receiving partner can’t help but feel overwhelmed by the imbalance of what is given and the lack of reciprocation.  Most often, the partner would rather leave than feel in debt within the relationship.  Contributing to the replication of the first experience of abandonment.

If it’s your instinct to give, a new practice that will support your relationships, is to only give as much as your partner is capable of receiving. Not only will this open a new exchange within your connections, your relationships will live with a new awareness of balance.

Within the delicate balance of give and take, relationships thrive.

About the Author


Johanna LynnJohanna Lynn is the founder of The Family Imprint Institute with an international private practice. She is committed to resolving painful patterns from living out in the next generation, as if on repeat. The intention with her work is to contribute to world peace, one family at a time.

Learn more about Johanna here: www.JohannaLynn.ca