Editor’s Note: Gay Hendricks and Kathlyn Hendricks are the only top relationship experts who work and appear together as a couple (so they can demonstrate and practice what they preach). They draw on wisdom learned in their own marriage of almost three decades.

Not only have they appeared on major talk shows such as Oprah, and others, but their work has been featured on ABC News and 48 Hours, as well as in Redbook, Cosmopolitan, New Woman, Self, and others.

Check out this article by them to learn more.

The Deepest Secret – How To Attract Genuine Love And Keep It Flowing

By Gay and Katie Hendricks

It’s the lesson most of us struggle to learn throughout our own lives.

Maybe it’s the lesson of life and love. It’s certainly been the major issue people have talked to us about in our thirty years as therapists and relationship coaches. Even if the person brought in a problem of depression or marital misery, this issue was hovering in the background. The depression never lifted and the marriage never harmonized until the person learned this mega-lesson. It’s as if a secret—perhaps the deepest secret—is withheld from us until we can open our hearts for the few seconds or minutes it takes to reveal the secret to ourselves.

Here is the deepest secret:

The major barrier to a loving relationship is an unloved part of you. That’s right: An aspect of ourselves that we have never loved and accepted keeps us from forming and keeping genuine love with others.

Here’s why:

If you don’t love yourself, you’ll always be looking for someone else to do it for you. It never works, because people who don’t love themselves attract people who don’t love themselves. Then they try heartto get the other person to love them unconditionally when they’re not even doing it for themselves.

When you love yourself deeply and unconditionally for everything you are and aren’t, you attract people who love and accept themselves. If you feel fundamentally unlovable deep down inside, you’ll attract a lover who feels the same way.

When we don’t love some part of ourselves, we run around in desperation trying to get someone else to love us. Our hope is that if they give us enough love our unlovable part will go away. It never does. Only a moment of loving ourselves unconditionally will do that particular job.

Most of us spend our lives running from that unlovable part of us. When we finally confront it, we will usually discover it’s fear. It’s usually a particular fear, and there are a very small number of them.

The fears that keep us from loving

One of them is fear of abandonment. You can probably see why that fear could play havoc in your relationships. It certainly did in our early relationships, before we became aware that this fear was driving a lot of our troublesome behavior. When you’re afraid of being left alone, you’ll either keep people distant so it won’t hurt so bad if they leave you, or you’ll cling to them dependently so they can’t leave without dragging you with them.

Another big fear is the dread of being smothered by the other person. When you’re in the grip of this fear, you’re worried that your individuality and freedom will be lost if you surrender to full union with the other person. So, you stay at arm’s length, just as a person who’s afraid of drowning might stand a yard or so away from the water’s edge.

Picture 2Making that Fear Disappear

The good thing to know about fear is that it’s simply a pulsating quiver of racy-queasy sensations in your stomach area. Fear, said the legendary psychiatrist Fritz Perls, is merely excitement without the breath. Breathe into the fear and watch what happens: The butterflies will flutter out of hiding and fly away.

When you love that fear directly, you can actually feel the fear disappear. In the space where the fear used to be, you now feel a big open space into which a wonderful new relationship can enter. That’s what happened to us, and that’s what we’ve seen happen to a lot of people when they mustered the courage to love themselves and all their fears.

The Grip of Fear Holds You In Check

It’s impossible to enjoy good relationships until we give that scary place in ourselves a split-second of love. The reason: The fear causes us to push people away when they get too close. That’s because our fear gets stirred up when we let them in close. To keep the fear under control, we keep people at a distance. We push down the very aspects of ourselves that most need to come to the surface and be loved. Then, having already judged ourselves unlovable, we strain to get others to love us. Trying to get other people to love us when we don’t think ourselves lovable is like a dog chasing its own tail. The more they try to love us, the faster we run from it.

Fortunately, you can solve that problem

There are many people out there who are in the same situation with similar circumstances. Reach out, meet new people, and find like-minded people who share your values.

FinerMinds Team

FinerMinds Team

In our quest to boost your personal growth, we hope to inspire and support you through our content! You can also check us out on Facebook.

23 Comments

  • Mini Verma says:

    Can anyone each a level when they so complete and whole that they do not feel the need to connect with anyone?

    Talking about fear, you can be totally unaware of the fears you have. How do you work on your fears?

  • Interesting article!

    This brings up two points for me:

    1) To feel complete and loved – and not insecure – you need to work on your own self esteem. Luckily, self esteem is just a belief like any other you have – and you can change beliefs by working on them (regularly!) in your imagination and in your actions. The more you like yourself, the better your relationships will be.

    2) When relationships are between two egos, insecurity, jealously and stress are the norm. The book 'The Power of Now' explains this beautifully. My girlfriend and I work on being more conscious in our relationship, and the result is no stress, no insecurities, and lots of fun…!

  • Cyndi Cerny says:

    Joy Filled Greetings!

    The points Guy and Kathlyn Hendricks raise are things within oneself that can be tough to ponder. Tough but necessary for emotional growth. Many times a belief such as fear of being loveable or loved is a belief or thought that has been repeated internally for years and years. The negative self talk or mind chatter is nothing more than old stories. Most of which were learned by the age of 5 and reinforced by continued self defeating mind chatter. These patterns of negative self talk begin very early in life and continue until a person reaches out for help. I think it is also important to identify your own limiting belief so you can begin to shift your perspective about yourself. Everyone deserves to have mutually fulfilling relationships in their lives. Be the relationship with a mate or your children.

    ‘Trying to get other people to love us when we don’t think ourselves lovable is like a dog chasing its own tail.’ So very true.

    Thanks to the FinerMinds group for thought provoking information.

  • Mini Verma says:

    Can anyone each a level when they so complete and whole that they do not feel the need to connect with anyone?
    Talking about fear, you can be totally unaware of the fears you have. How do you work on your fears?

  • Mini Verma says:

    Can anyone each a level when they so complete and whole that they do not feel the need to connect with anyone?
    Talking about fear, you can be totally unaware of the fears you have. How do you work on your fears?

  • violet says:

    I feel that this post was written especially for me…

  • Interesting article!

    This brings up two points for me:

    1) To feel complete and loved – and not insecure – you need to work on your own self esteem. Luckily, self esteem is just a belief like any other you have – and you can change beliefs by working on them (regularly!) in your imagination and in your actions. The more you like yourself, the better your relationships will be.

    2) When relationships are between two egos, insecurity, jealously and stress are the norm. The book 'The Power of Now' explains this beautifully. My girlfriend and I work on being more conscious in our relationship, and the result is no stress, no insecurities, and lots of fun…!

  • Cyndi Cerny says:

    Joy Filled Greetings!

    The points Guy and Kathlyn Hendricks raise are things within oneself that can be tough to ponder. Tough but necessary for emotional growth. Many times a belief such as fear of being loveable or loved is a belief or thought that has been repeated internally for years and years. The negative self talk or mind chatter is nothing more than old stories. Most of which were learned by the age of 5 and reinforced by continued self defeating mind chatter. These patterns of negative self talk begin very early in life and continue until a person reaches out for help. I think it is also important to identify your own limiting belief so you can begin to shift your perspective about yourself. Everyone deserves to have mutually fulfilling relationships in their lives. Be the relationship with a mate or your children.

    ‘Trying to get other people to love us when we don’t think ourselves lovable is like a dog chasing its own tail.’ So very true.

    Thanks to the FinerMinds group for thought provoking information.

  • Cyndi Cerny says:

    Joy Filled Greetings!

    The points Guy and Kathlyn Hendricks raise are things within oneself that can be tough to ponder. Tough but necessary for emotional growth. Many times a belief such as fear of being loveable or loved is a belief or thought that has been repeated internally for years and years. The negative self talk or mind chatter is nothing more than old stories. Most of which were learned by the age of 5 and reinforced by continued self defeating mind chatter. These patterns of negative self talk begin very early in life and continue until a person reaches out for help. I think it is also important to identify your own limiting belief so you can begin to shift your perspective about yourself. Everyone deserves to have mutually fulfilling relationships in their lives. Be the relationship with a mate or your children.

    ‘Trying to get other people to love us when we don’t think ourselves lovable is like a dog chasing its own tail.’ So very true.

    Thanks to the FinerMinds group for thought provoking information.

  • Chris Cade says:

    I love Kathlyn and Gay's work – I've just recently been going through their Relationship Solution program and it's easily the best relationship advice/program/book I've ever come across.

    Their work has also challenged me more than any other relationship content has… it's not necessarily easy to digest, but once digested their work is truly profound.

    -Chris
    http://twitter.com/ChrisCade

  • Chris Cade says:

    I love Kathlyn and Gay's work – I've just recently been going through their Relationship Solution program and it's easily the best relationship advice/program/book I've ever come across.

    Their work has also challenged me more than any other relationship content has… it's not necessarily easy to digest, but once digested their work is truly profound.

    -Chris
    http://twitter.com/ChrisCade

  • Chris Cade says:

    I love Kathlyn and Gay's work – I've just recently been going through their Relationship Solution program and it's easily the best relationship advice/program/book I've ever come across.

    Their work has also challenged me more than any other relationship content has… it's not necessarily easy to digest, but once digested their work is truly profound.

    -Chris
    http://twitter.com/ChrisCade

  • Shane says:

    To respond to MiniVerma:

    I highly doubt it. Can a human being insulate themselves, maybe even isolate themselves, choosing rather to deny the flesh and put on the spirit so to speak, to such a point that they feel a connection to god/source that human interaction seems unnecessary or even insufficient then yes. We can do amazing things and trance always helps.

    That said it is the normal healthy state of a human to desire connection with other humans, by this definition we are in a state of dis-ease when we feel isolated and alone which is why people in this state experience anxiety and depression.

    It's sad that we have yet to develop as a species to the point that we demand control of our governments and the way society is "run" with the outcomes of peace, harmony, love, joy, health, greater wealth, family, community, etc… Down with politicians and their lies and up with people power. Let's wake up from this nightmare people and claim our birthright – self-determination and living for a greater purpose than ourselves, balance and ultimate peace and joy.

  • Dana says:

    So true, the hole in the soul can't be filled by anything but what it needs, check out "keyhole success" on google…that little introduction will give you an idea of what is coming. Truth is, each individual is different, each solution personalized, each being, each soul, ruthlessly important to the whole.

  • Dana says:

    So true, the hole in the soul can't be filled by anything but what it needs, check out “keyhole success” on google…that little introduction will give you an idea of what is coming. Truth is, each individual is different, each solution personalized, each being, each soul, ruthlessly important to the whole.

  • Jeremy says:

    I really enjoyed the article. I would like to read more of the materials on"unloving yourself" > I am married and I think this info would be most beneficial to married couples.

  • Jeremy says:

    I really enjoyed the article. I would like to read more of the materials on”unloving yourself” > I am married and I think this info would be most beneficial to married couples.

  • Lenny says:

    Actually, the only way to truly, deeply connect with another person is when you become so complete and whole that you feel you do not need to connect with another. It doesn't mean you will not want to though, and when you do…it will be the absolutely most incredible expreince you ever have!

    You look for evidence of unconscious fears in your behaviors, patterns and reactions.

    Saying "Thank You" intensly, over and over to the fear, for it's misguided attempt to keep you safe; accepting and saying "I love you" intensly, over and over to the parts of you that you have rejected; Emotional Freedom Technique; and remaining in constant communion with your "higher self," "spirit," whatever term you use for the "you" that is more than the physical, personality and emotional bodies. The "you" that is all things, experiencing and expressing in this world. All of this works powerfully to accomplish your wholeness and completness with yourself. Lenny Lynne Lunden

  • Shane says:

    To respond to MiniVerma:

    I highly doubt it. Can a human being insulate themselves, maybe even isolate themselves, choosing rather to deny the flesh and put on the spirit so to speak, to such a point that they feel a connection to god/source that human interaction seems unnecessary or even insufficient then yes. We can do amazing things and trance always helps.

    That said it is the normal healthy state of a human to desire connection with other humans, by this definition we are in a state of dis-ease when we feel isolated and alone which is why people in this state experience anxiety and depression.

    It's sad that we have yet to develop as a species to the point that we demand control of our governments and the way society is "run" with the outcomes of peace, harmony, love, joy, health, greater wealth, family, community, etc… Down with politicians and their lies and up with people power. Let's wake up from this nightmare people and claim our birthright – self-determination and living for a greater purpose than ourselves, balance and ultimate peace and joy.

  • Shane says:

    To respond to MiniVerma:

    I highly doubt it. Can a human being insulate themselves, maybe even isolate themselves, choosing rather to deny the flesh and put on the spirit so to speak, to such a point that they feel a connection to god/source that human interaction seems unnecessary or even insufficient then yes. We can do amazing things and trance always helps.

    That said it is the normal healthy state of a human to desire connection with other humans, by this definition we are in a state of dis-ease when we feel isolated and alone which is why people in this state experience anxiety and depression.

    It's sad that we have yet to develop as a species to the point that we demand control of our governments and the way society is “run” with the outcomes of peace, harmony, love, joy, health, greater wealth, family, community, etc… Down with politicians and their lies and up with people power. Let's wake up from this nightmare people and claim our birthright – self-determination and living for a greater purpose than ourselves, balance and ultimate peace and joy.

  • Leila says:

    Thanks for this article. It reminds me of John Gray's work. He believes that women are more prone to abandonment fear and men to suffocation fear. I would be interested to know if the authors think this is true.

  • Lenny says:

    Actually, the only way to truly, deeply connect with another person is when you become so complete and whole that you feel you do not need to connect with another. It doesn't mean you will not want to though, and when you do…it will be the absolutely most incredible expreince you ever have!
    You look for evidence of unconscious fears in your behaviors, patterns and reactions.
    Saying "Thank You" intensly, over and over to the fear, for it's misguided attempt to keep you safe; accepting and saying "I love you" intensly, over and over to the parts of you that you have rejected; Emotional Freedom Technique; and remaining in constant communion with your "higher self," "spirit," whatever term you use for the "you" that is more than the physical, personality and emotional bodies. The "you" that is all things, experiencing and expressing in this world. All of this works powerfully to accomplish your wholeness and completness with yourself. Lenny Lynne Lunden

  • Lenny says:

    Actually, the only way to truly, deeply connect with another person is when you become so complete and whole that you feel you do not need to connect with another. It doesn't mean you will not want to though, and when you do…it will be the absolutely most incredible expreince you ever have!
    You look for evidence of unconscious fears in your behaviors, patterns and reactions.
    Saying “Thank You” intensly, over and over to the fear, for it's misguided attempt to keep you safe; accepting and saying “I love you” intensly, over and over to the parts of you that you have rejected; Emotional Freedom Technique; and remaining in constant communion with your “higher self,” “spirit,” whatever term you use for the “you” that is more than the physical, personality and emotional bodies. The “you” that is all things, experiencing and expressing in this world. All of this works powerfully to accomplish your wholeness and completness with yourself. Lenny Lynne Lunden

  • Randolph says:

    I've learned that allowing myself to be in love is like leaving myself open to psychic phenomena. I have to put aside analytic overlay. I have to set aside any inclemencies because they all serve as psychic barriers to true love. The problem with leaving myself open and vulnerable like that is that it feels like riding the highest, fastest roller coaster with every kind of twist and turn imaginable. Scary, but pleasurable at the same time. I guess my biggest inclemency is that I want to remain in control, but when my true love is around, that desire to remain in control goes "poof."

  • DL7861 says:

    THIS IS TRUE, STAY TRUE TO YOURSELF, NO MATTER WHAT'S GOING ON IN YOUR LIFE, NO MATTER WHAT YOU FEEL AT THE MOMENT, TELL YOURSELF OVER AND OVER ,YOU ARE GREAT YOU ARE WONDERFUL, YOU ARE LOVES,LOVE YOURSELF,WHEN YOU ARE AROUND PEOPLE THAT MAKE YOU FEEL BAD, UNDERSTAND THESE PEOPLE DO NOT LOVE THEMSELVES,SOME PEOPLE ARE TOO SELFISH TO LOVE YOU BECAUSE WHEN YOU ARE AROUND PEOPLE THAT LOVE THEMSELVES THEY CAN LOVE YOU! WHEN YOU WANT TO BE TO YOURSELF, OFTEN YOU DO NOT LOVE YOURSELF THEREFORE YOU CANT LOVE ANY ONE ELSE!THERE IS THE ALONE TIME FOR YOURSELF TO RESTORE YOURSELF WITH POSITIVE ENERGY FROM BEING AROUND PEOPLE WITH NEGATIVE ENERGY

  • Antoine Lammam says:

    Run one thousand miles away from the center.

    Lose yourself in this big desert.

    Love is not what you think it is.

    Saints have different names for kisses,

    kissing you has a different taste on the lips.

    Now I see you in the color of the sand,

    now I know how much you and I are alike.

    From my book: Echoes Of Silence

  • Antoine Lammam says:

    Run one thousand miles away from the center.
    Lose yourself in this big desert.
    Love is not what you think it is.
    Saints have different names for kisses,
    kissing you has a different taste on the lips.
    Now I see you in the color of the sand,
    now I know how much you and I are alike.

    From my book: Echoes Of Silence

  • Antoine Lammam says:

    Run one thousand miles away from the center.
    Lose yourself in this big desert.
    Love is not what you think it is.
    Saints have different names for kisses,
    kissing you has a different taste on the lips.
    Now I see you in the color of the sand,
    now I know how much you and I are alike.

    From my book: Echoes Of Silence

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