To love is to take something as part of yourself. It is impossible for there not to be a state of connectedness when we do this with something. Love naturally inspires us to meet someone else’s needs because we feel that our need is to meet their needs. But for many of us, we ended up in households with people who did not experience genuine love, so they did not give us genuine love and as a result they could not remain connected with us through love. Instead, they had to forge connection with us in the same way that a spider forges its web to catch flies.
People who were not loved feel unlovable for who they are. They live in a permanent internal atmosphere of shame. As a result love, as a gift seems impossible. Someone simply wanting to be connected to us seems impossible. Instead, we have to get these things by giving something. The things we want from others must be entirely transactional. Love becomes transactional. Connection becomes transactional. The meeting of all our needs becomes transactional. However, because we have such poor self-esteem, we often don’t feel like we have something that is of value enough that if we offered it, someone would want to accept the transaction. When this is the case, we have to trap people into giving us the things they need. And our relationships are always painful and are always full of the feeling of betrayal and resentment as a result.
In many houses around the globe, children are not parented with love. Many cultures in fact simply do not parent with love. The Indian and Asian cultures are perhaps the most perfect example of this. So you can understand what I mean, I will use the example of these cultures. To generalize, in Indian and Asian culture, a person is not seen as a unique individual with free will and their own purpose who exists to be loved and enabled to follow their own path. A person is seen as a thing that belongs to their family and to society and that by virtue of being born in the first place, he or she is already in debt to family and society and will repay that debt through serving whatever role and identity that has been decided for them.
In these kinds of homes, a parent often believes they are sacrificing everything for their child when in fact they are not sacrificing anything. They are simply wearing the façade of sacrifice so they can trap their children with shame and guilt and the sense that they owe their parents in some way. The things these parents give always come with invisible strings attached. They are always giving in order to get back. They are engaging in a transaction that the child did not even agree to in the first place. They are simply putting the child in a state of debt to them. They are giving things to the child simply so they can get things back from the child. And any time the child does something that displeases them, the child’s debts (the things the parents have done for them) are hung over the child’s head so as to get the child to surrender their free will and conform again to what the parent wants. These parents give their time to a child and potentially even give up their own dreams to get the sensation of being good and righteous and receive gratitude and praise from others. In this way, they are martyrs. These parents put a roof over their children’s head to get loyalty and alliance. These parents feed their children to guarantee that they can be taken care of by the children when the children are grown. These parents give their children opportunities so that they can gain status. These parents say “I love you because look at everything I do for you”. But the reality is that it doesn’t feel like love, because it isn’t. It is a spider web that the children have been trapped in.
Each time the child accepts something that is given or allows one of their needs to be met by their parent (which they can’t not do, because their survival depends on their parent), an invisible string is attached to them and then another and then another. Until they are literally completely controlled by that parent and must simply let themselves be controlled or else there are serious consequences.
You don’t have to be born into the Indian or Asian cultures to be raised like this. Transactional love and the twisted web it weaves to trap people is a human epidemic. It is present in any dysfunctional codependent and narcissistic home for example. These types of relationships are based on manipulation. So much so that we could say that the plaque that should belong on the wall of the family home is not “there is great love in this house” it is “there is great manipulation in this house”. For this reason, I want you to watch my video titled: Meet Your Needs.
The problem with being raised in a transactional way is that you believe no other way to be in a relationship exists. You see everything subconsciously as if it is a business deal. All business deals have strings attached. The reason this isn’t a problem is because in business these strings are visible instead of invisible. If I do this, then they will do this. All of life is tit for tat. Expressions of love are synonymous with the pressure of owing someone. And you always have to stay the one who is owed and not the one in debt. After all, the one who is in debt is the one who is trapped in the spider’s web under the control of the spider. You will actually feel worse the more loving someone is towards you. Each thing they do for you, makes you feel more and more enmeshed (trapped in a spider’s web), less and less free, more and more in debt and eventually like you are going to have to give away your free will and your desires and your needs in order to repay that debt. This is when your enmeshment trauma kicks in and you have to withdraw to maintain your sense of free will and identity. At this point, you wither push the other person away or have to create a situation where the debt is paid off entirely and you can put them back in debt to you. You are doing this because what you learned in your childhood is that Love = Being Trapped.
Those of you who want to believe that the spider’s web analogy is extreme, think again. On an energetic level this is the actual relationship that is occurring. The spider either simply catches the fly because it flew into the web (the same as a child just being innocently born into the family) or because it finds a way to lure the fly in (the same way that a person offers something to someone else). But in either scenario, there are strings attached. Either way, the fly gets stuck by the webbing. The person is trapped in the same way the fly is trapped. Then the spider feeds off of the fly. This is the phase where the person gets his or her needs met through the forced transaction. They are taking what they believe they deserve but that the person didn’t agree to giving as an exchange in the first place. For example, a mother has a child and decides that she needs that child to be a professional athlete so she can have status and significance through that child. The transaction is that she will give her hours to drive the child to classes and spend money so that the child can become that thing. The child never agreed to this transaction. But any time the child expresses his or her own free will, the mother will remind the child he or she is trapped in debt “I gave up all this money and time for you so you could be a professional athlete, you’re so selfish.” The guilt makes the child continue and become a professional athlete. The mother feeds on the status and significance through the child. She is literally eating her child that was trapped in her web by virtue of being born to her and having any needs at all.
Here is another example, if we are a rescuer, we have worked out that rescuing someone is a perfect way to put them in debt in a way that they are unable to leave and must repay the debt through commitment, positivity towards us, loyalty and the meeting of our needs. If we ever feel like the person we rescued has paid off their debt or is putting us in a position where we may be in debt to the things that they are giving to us, we must create a situation where they are crashed and in need of rescue again. Someone can’t show love to us without us feeling in debt and controlled. And so, we do something to cause them to collapse so we can come in as the rescuer again and often we chose mates who already have a dysfunction so we can play out this cycle. This is often why codependents choose alcoholics or people with mental illness or personality disorders. If a person tried to cause a collapse in someone who didn’t have a dysfunction already, it wouldn’t work. That person would immediately feel the pattern at play and would leave the relationship as a result. But the person with a dysfunction can’t because they have a very real and genuine problem and need. This kind of desperate dependency is the closest that a person raised in a transactional way can feel to the guarantee that they will never be abandoned. They believe that being left by a person without a dysfunction is inevitable because they don’t have enough to offer someone who does not desperately need them for the transaction of meeting their needs because they have already learned that they cannot be loved for who they are.
If this is the way that you were raised, the name of the game in your relationships is to do what your parent or parents did. Get other people in a position of being in debt to you. The problem is that you did not disclose any of these subconscious contracts that you had with them. These were agreements that were never agreed to by them. You didn’t express these contracts you forged outright any more than your parents expressed that by being born to them and by having them meet your needs, you were not expected to give up your personal identity, be loyal to them and owe them and take care of them for the rest of your life.
You did not express these contract because you are not consciously aware of the terms and you know somewhere deep inside you that they would never be agreed to. Here are some examples of the subconscious contracts you forge without other people knowing that they are agreeing to it: You figure out quickly how to meet their needs so that you can guarantee that you will bee indispensible to them (this is called hooking someone). You give up something in your life with the expectation that they give up the same thing for you. You show them physical affection with the expectation that they are going to give it back to you. You give them freedom and space so you can get that from them. You pay for dinner so that you can avoid being in debt to them and instead you can put them in the position to owe you. You help them out in a time of need by doing something for them so that you can guarantee their alliance and loyalty. You do things for them so you can get appreciation. You give them a gift with the expectation that they will never say something bad about you. And you are always counting score.
Using the previous scenario, they did not know that by accepting your gift, they could never say anything negative about you. So when they do that and you remind them that it isn’t fair for them to do that because of the gift you gave them, you feel betrayed and they are frozen under the weight of realizing that you didn’t actually give them a gift out of love, you gave it to them to use against them later as leverage. It is a repeat of what was done to you as a child. Only this time, you’re playing the role of your parent and they are playing the role that you used to play.
The worst part of all is that because of the shame underlying personal unconscious transactional relationships, you can only stay feeling like you are a good person who does the right thing and stay on top of the debt game by staying in a place where what the other person did is unfair. You are dependent on a state of resentment (being unfairly wronged) to escape your deep-seated core of shame. And you are full of anger that you most likely cannot express because of this dynamic.
I want you to see what parenting is supposed to look like. Parenting with love. In this kind of a scenario, the parent sees that the child did not ask to be born. They are not doing the child a favor by having them and so the child does not owe them anything. This child is the gift that has been given to them. This child is a unique expression of source consciousness. This child has been encoded with his or her own desires, needs, essence and purpose. The universe has trusted the parent with this incredible gift knowing that the partnership between them will lead to the expansion and spiritual progression of both parent and child. This child is meant to be seen by the parent as part of him or her. This love will naturally inspire the parent to demonstrate his or her love to the child through affection and gifts and quality time and acts of service and appreciation. When these demonstrations of love are done, they are not done to get anything back. They are done because it feels good to demonstrate love to something tat you love. You do not need incentive. Doing something lovely for them feels like doing something lovely for yourself when you have taken something as part of yourself. All beings, including children, naturally demonstrate love back when they feel reciprocal love, which a child always will. Both parent and child are free and so they are free to love each other and demonstrate that love to each other. The child didn’t have to do anything for the parent or be anything for the parent to feel this love and demonstrate it to them. This is the kind of love you wanted with your parent. This is the kind of loving relationship you still want. The kind with no invisible strings attached.
Having a relationship with no invisible strings attached begins with you. Start becoming aware of the hidden, subconscious expectations you hold. To learn more about this, watch my video titled: Priceless Love Advice, (Expectations and Assumptions).
Become aware of the contracts you are forging without even telling someone that they are signing it. When do you really want to be giving something with no idea of what you will get in return? Notice the betrayal and unfairness you feel in all of your relationships, especially when it arises. Betrayal is the breaking of a presumptive contract. The question is, which one? Transaction works in business because it is mutually expected and assumed. The transaction is disclosed and genuinely agreed to. The reason it takes so long to settle a business deal is because it takes a long time for both parties to agree to a fair transaction. A company that does not bother to be fair about their transactions ends up getting sued. A transaction is ok, provided that it is agreed to. But the rules that apply to business are not the same that apply to personal relationships. In personal relationships that are based off of genuine connection, what people really want is giving and receiving inspired by taking someone as part of you, not a transaction.
Become aware of the discomfort of feeling subservient and in debt when someone does something nice for you. Feel the pressure of having to even the score to feel free. Make a vow to not do something for someone unless you genuinely want to without expecting anything back, even appreciation. Find that place in you that loves something to the degree that doing something nice for it feels like it is the same as doing something nice for yourself. Keeping in mind that at first, this may be an animal or a plant and not a person.
Develop Healthy Boundaries. Give in alignment with these boundaries. Non transactional (unconditional) love always makes space for you to be in alignment with yourself first and foremost. Most people have no idea what boundaries are or how to develop them. For this reason, I ask you to watch my video titled: Personal Boundaries vs. Oneness (How To Develop Healthy Boundaries).
Give other people what you always wanted from your parents. Do not make your demonstrations of love conditional upon anything. It is better to simply acknowledge, “I don’t want to give anything to them at all” and to not give someone anything than it is to give someone something with an invisible string attached. It is better to accept that you do not want to give anything than it is to tell yourself that you have to give without expectations even when you don’t want to, otherwise you are being transactional about it.
There is a big difference between getting something that someone gives us because they love to see us happy and paying for something we want to get from someone. The sad thing about this transactional way of being about love is that if we have to pay for everything we get, if we have to give to get anything, we can’t stop from seeing ourselves as not good enough for someone to love enough that they can simply want us or care about us enough to want to meet our needs and see us happy.
Notice the ways you are conditionally giving with yourself. Do you only give yourself a day of rest so you can be get more productivity or performance out of yourself tomorrow? Do you nurture your body or give it what it needs with the expectation for it will never get sick or break down? Do you let yourself have fun with the expectation that you will work to deserve it? Do you only feel appreciation for yourself when you give yourself an achievement? Begin to notice these subconscious contracts you have with yourself. Notice how they mirror the transactions you had with your parents growing up. Practice demonstrations of love towards yourself without any expectation of a return from yourself.
Unconditional demonstration of love is caring for the happiness of another person without any thought for what we might get for ourselves. Loving in this way is the act of extending yourself, vulnerabilities included, into uncharted emotional territory with the intent that regardless of the outcome, we want to benefit another person. When someone else’s happiness is experienced as your happiness, you know you have found unconditional love.
It is one of the most expansive feelings on the planet. It is pure ecstasy. And all beings on the earth deserve to be on both sides of that ecstasy.