One of the ways you might have learned to protect against the pain of not being loved as a child was to close your heart and live from your head. You may have learned to not be present in your body as a way to avoid feeling unbearably lonely, helplessness and heartbroken. This survival mechanism worked well as a child, but as an Adult, it is may now be causing inner aloneness, emptiness, anxiety, depression, and/or disconnection with others.
When you are focused in your head, others can't feel you, and therefore can't connect with you. You can't feel your love for others, and you can't feel others' love for you.
How do you know when you are living in your head rather than in your body?
The first thing to tune into is your intent, and be really honest about your intent. Is it more important to you to avoid the loneliness, heartache and helplessness of rejection, of others' closed hearts, of others' meanness, of others' trying to take advantage of you, or it is it more important to you to be loving to yourself and others?
Unless you have learned how to manage the core feelings of loneliness, helplessness over others, heartache, heartbreak, sadness, sorrow, and grief, you intent is likely to avoid feeling these feelings by staying in your head and turning to other addictions.
In order to be present in your body with an open heart, open to love, compassion, peace, truth and joy - the gifts of Spirit - you also need to be open to the painful core feelings. As I have often said, pain and joy are in the same box. If you are intent on avoiding the painful core feelings of life, then you will keep your heart closed to the wonderful core feelings as well.
When your wounded self is in charge, the intent is to avoid the core painful feelings. Your wounded self's job is to protect again these painful feelings - which you needed to do as a child. Your wounded self has learned to do this with substance and process addictions, and with staying in your head rather than in your heart. The wounded self would rather feel alone, empty, anxious, depressed, guilty, shamed, jealous, and so on - the feelings we create with our own thoughts and actions - than open to the core painful feelings of life. The wounded self would rather be the one in control - the one creating the pain - than take the risk of feeling the pain of others' choices.
Central to being able to move into your heart and connect with others on a feeling level is knowing that you can manage the painful feelings of life.
The good news is that learning to manage these feelings as a loving Adult is not hard! While it was impossible as a child, now it is relatively easy. However, you cannot do it without a spiritual connection.
What allows you to manage these feelings is COMPASSION. But compassion is not something that you manufacture within your body - it is a feeling you open to and invite in. Compassion is one of the gifts of Spirit and we feel it only when we are open to learning about what is loving to ourselves and others - which raises our frequency high enough to access Spirit.
The next time someone is mean to you, try putting your hands on your heart, opening to Spirit, and inviting in compassion for the heartache. Breathe into it with deep compassion, gently and tenderly telling your inner child that you truly understand and care about the heart hurt. You might be amazed at what happens!