Every relationship has its own distinctive struggles and not one is faultless. Despite each struggle, what keeps a relationship tough and unyielding is love. Couples going through relationship challenges tend to fix it their way but when all else fails, Aleah Ava could be the one you need. A women’s love addiction mentor, recovering love addict, feeling advocate, and podcast host of Addicted To Love, she sheds light on the difference between love and love addiction and other aspects of it – absence of love, wounded relationships, and self-love.
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Getting High On Love with Aleah Ava
I am here with Aleah Ava. She is the Addicted to Love podcast host. I love the name of it. We’re going to explore that a little further. She is a transformational coach for individuals and couples and she helps with love issues, relationship issues, addiction issues, all kinds of things. We’re going to explore a lot here but we’re really going to focus on you, Aleah. Thank you so much for joining me.
Thank you, Tracy. It’s nice to finally meet you.
This my chance to get to know people who I don’t get a chance to and especially all the great women on our platform like you.
You’ve been running a marathon already.
I’m running it alone. Usually, I have my whole team here and I’m running it alone. We’re catching up. I finally got something to eat and I took the puppy out. I’m reenergized and I can’t wait to get back to talking about the wonderful women in the podcasting world. How old is your podcast?
I only started in August of 2018.
How’s it been going for you?
I’m now by almost 10,000 plays, which I think is a great number.
That’s a great number. You should be proud of that.You can take people only as deep as you've gone yourself. Click To Tweet
I’m getting more and more messages from people and I get clients from the podcast. It’s been playing in 60 countries.
This was such an interesting thing and I’m so glad you were so open with your plays numbers. Many people are shy about that. They don’t want to talk about their plays because they’re like, “Is it bad? Is it good?” The reality is it’s only as good as the engagement level. For some reason, it takes about either six months or a hundred episodes for you to tip into a serious engagement where you’re really noticing that people are more consistently listening. You might have a few in the beginning, but it’s more of a wave that happens right around this time period. For you, you’re right on the path and 10,000 plays for a show that’s six months old is not bad at all, especially in the niche that you’ve gotten into. If it’s the right 10,000 then that’s perfect. Tell me a little bit about how you got started. Love Addiction, that’s not quite the most ordinary path.
I myself, I’m a recovering love addict. I’ve done some serious soul searching and therapy until I myself felt how much of an addict I was. I thought I’m the inventor of it. I’m the first person that understands that this exists. I wanted to write and do a podcast about it. Then I did research and I’m realizing this really exists. I could just see that it’s good. There are lots of people who mistake love with dependency or even an addiction because what we’ve been taught about love is mostly BS.
That is so interesting that you say that. There are different kinds of love. There’s parental love and then there’s relationship love. That is so interesting that you find that it can be an addiction. I hadn’t thought about that until your podcast actually came up and Alexandra pointed it out to me. She was like, “Mom, this is really interesting. There’s a lot going on here. I didn’t know about all this.” That’s the benefit of getting to listen to you once you start your shows, the formation of them. We get to understand what’s going on in such a diverse world. Tell me a little bit about how your show works because everyone’s going to want to know. As they find a new show and they say, “That topic interests me or I’m curious about that more.” They want to know what they’re going to get when they listen.
The first seventeen episodes, I work about the basics of addiction or dependency in general. I share a lot about my own journey. I’m quite transparent on it because I always hear one thing from everyone and that’s, “I heard you and I saw you vulnerable and I can now allow myself to be vulnerable with you.” The first time I did episode is just basics and then I go back and forth into how it is to actually recover because I think I’m recovering too. I always have to make sure that I’m not engaging in unhealthy dynamics again. I share from my life experiences and interviewing guests and stuff and keep developing the show in a way that I feel is most authentic. What’s interesting in my show is I have people who are interested. They almost listen to every episode. You can see the popularity of each episode and it’s quite consistent. Because it’s chronologically built, people start listening in the beginning and then they follow through with it.
A lot of times we set ourselves up as experts in something. We set that barrier and people are like, “You’ve come so far and you’ve got this and I can’t see myself taking that journey too. Are you the right person for me?” It isn’t until they make that connection to, “You’ve walked in my shoes. You get it.” That’s really what differentiates this sociological scientific point of it, which you’ve got and you’ve got an understanding of. That doesn’t always build a great mentor, coach and relationship assistant to help you through that transformation.
I think you can take people only as deep as you’ve gone yourself. You can teach from a point of, “I’ve read it in a book.” Somehow, you’ve got to teach from your gut-wrenching feeling that you remember on the journey.
For women and men, is this an equal addiction? Is there equality here in the addiction world for love?
When I started out because I’m a woman, I thought, “Let’s target women.” You have your avatar but right now, my clients, more than half of it is male. I get repeated feedback like, “We have that too. I have nowhere to go with my feelings. Does this work for me?” I’m like, “Yes because we’re humans. Whether you’re feminine or masculine, it doesn’t matter. We all have this beating heart in our chest.”
You work with couples as well. We think it’s my problem. I’m addicted. How do I come through that where you make it a couple’s therapy at that point and you work with both? Talk a little bit about that.
If one is addicted, there must always be the point on that the addiction works with. Mostly, someone’s anxious and the other one is an avoidant. They’re finding each other no matter the odds. What I’m really teaching people and couples is to own their feelings instead of acting them out on the other one or instead of lashing it out because that’s what we basically do in relationships. We’re afraid to own our feelings or to even feel our feelings because we confuse that with suffering. That’s the action that we carry through life. I teach them to be vulnerable and to show each other the heart instead of when you don’t want to feel, and you start attacking the other and that’s something that’s difficult. People just haven’t learned that. We haven’t had role models who have lived that for us, so we could understand how that works. Mostly, we’ve been brought up by parents demonstrating behavior that we’ve adapted and then we copy and paste it and keep going.
How can we get more of the right type of love in the world?
The first step is you have to become fully aware of what you’re doing and how you’re creating your own reality. The moment you start projecting outwards, the game is lost. I’ve got to take full responsibility for what my reality shows me because that’s my mirror. That’s where I see, “What is it inside of me that needs healing?” Because every relationship, sooner or later will bring that up and people think love is romance and chemistry and all that. No. At a certain point, you have to evolve and you have to understand that relationships are here for healing and growth. The wounds that we see in relationships, they have to be healed in relationships. When you understand that you’re here to serve the other, then you’re a winning team.
Some have some childhood traumas that lead to sexual addiction and other things later on in life. How do you help with that because that seems deep-seated?
It’s so deep-seated because I truly believe everything that we’re uncovering when it comes to our wounding, it’s related to the early absence of love. That means there were moments where we didn’t feel loved at the time we needed to feel loved. Then we translated that into thinking we’re not worth it. We’re not lovable, we’re not good enough. Then we recreate that over and over again until we realize that this actually needs healing. I need to take responsibility and stop putting anything out where it’s always asking myself, “What is it that I am contributing here? What is it that I’m accepting here?” When I have this hat, you can take charge and you become the master of your own life and love life with that.
I’m a lucky woman. I have spent my entire life feeling unconditionally loved. I have great parents who loved me and gave me an opportunity. The thing is that when you can live in that and if we can provide that for others, it gives you great opportunities. I went from that to meeting my husband on my first day of college. Tom and I have been married for several years and that has happened because he’s given me unconditional love and shared that same environment and it allows you to thrive and grow. That’s what we’ve got to put more out of in the world. If we can look deeply and say, “I owe it to the world to be bringing this unconditional love to my children, my husband, to my family, to whoever it might be around me; my friends, my sister, podcasters. If I can spread some of that love and energy, then we’re making the world a better place because now we can all live and thrive in our opportunities.”
I do think it starts with self-love. It’s where you have to start. You’ve got to start valuing yourself and honoring yourself. You haven’t learned that and you’re an adult now. You’ve got to do that job yourself and then you will attract that which mirrors that. It’s really one-on-one.The moment you start projecting outwards, the game is lost. Click To Tweet
That’s hard for a lot of women, self-love and that is a hard thing. The classic Louise Hay doing the mirror work or whatever. I have to tell you when my coach first put that one to me, I wanted to like strangle her. Michelle Young, if you’re hearing this, you know what I’m talking about. I was like, “This is the most ridiculous thing. I’m never going to do this.” It was like, “What is this going to do for me?” It wasn’t until you do that, that you sit back and realize, “I’m surrounded by love and I’m surrounded by all these gifts and opportunities in the world and yet I’m so nasty to myself. What is up with that?”
The positive affirmations and stuff, they work well if you maintain them. If you’re not working at the root cause of what makes you feel unlovable in the first place, you’re going to have to do a lot of work throughout life. If you’re feeling the pain that came with the absence of love, it just regulates itself. I used to look in the mirror and think, “What are you?” I could criticize every single point and I didn’t look any other than now, but now I look in the mirror and I think, “I really like you.” It’s a total shift and it was only when I came to peace with where I felt wounded.
I’m so excited that your show is on air and it’s taking off and it’s working for you. I’d love for you to share how other women can get there. Being vulnerable on air is a hard thing. Being in International Women’s Day, we’re talking about #BalanceforBetter and #LifeInHarmony. These are some of the themes that are ongoing. Being able to balance that fine line between being the expert and sharing all about yourself to be vulnerable. You’re treading a very fine line there. How do you do that?
I’m not really ashamed of who I am or what happened to me anymore. It’s because I’ve come to peace with my pain. I’m not judging that anymore. I would love to expose that on such a deep level to my therapist, where I said things that I thought I will never be able to say. I don’t feel ashamed for that anymore and I can talk with anyone and we’re all the same. I think exposure is key. It’s so powerful. If you expose something to someone and you’re being loved in that and not judged, I swear it heals on such a level because that’s love right there.
Thank you so much for sharing this and putting out your voice into the world and getting other women to do it as well like you’re inspiring to that. That’s the power here on International Women’s Day is for us to expose all of that and share that. You’re already hitting 60 countries around the world. You should be really proud of that. Love translates into a lot of languages.
It’s always the same.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with the audience before we go?
I am working on my book. I think that could be very interesting.
What are you working on?
The original idea was to put the podcast into a book, but then that’s not really how it works. The spirit just asks you to show up bigger, so now I’m taking my experiences with my clients and putting them into case studies and making it transparent with how I work, which I call Emotional Recycling. It’s the key to successful relationships. Taking responsibility, feeling instead of acting out. I’m going to lay it out how you can do that and how you create so much more intimacy, love, and connection. I’ve had people who haven’t had sex for years and then I do a couple of sessions and they make love. This is what I want to put into the book.
This is a real success. Emotional Recycling, that’s an awesome title. I think it resonates. Keep us posted because we’d love to hear when it comes out and make sure we’ll let everyone know, the Feed Your Band audience and elsewhere that you were successful in getting that out and getting that moving forward. I do believe that podcasts and books can support each other but they don’t necessarily have to go straight from the podcast to the book. That’s not how it works for everybody. I think you’re doing the right thing if this just doesn’t fit you. Aleah, thank you so much. You can find Aleah on the Addicted to Love podcast anywhere. She’s syndicated everywhere, so you can find her on your favorite player. Thank you so much for joining me. Happy International Women’s Day.
I wish you the same. Have a good day.
About Aleah Ava
Aleah Ava is a love and relationship coach/mediator, helping individuals and couples navigate through the inevitable challenges and upheavals love and relationships (or the absence of it) bring to the table.
Being a recovering love addict herself, having undergone intense deep feeling therapy, allowed her to deeply understand the differences between love and love addiction/dependency. The realizations of her own journey enable her to take people to the depth of their own soul, holding a non-judgmental loving space.
Aleah is an emotional recycler and feeling advocate, teaching about the importance of feelings – how to access AND feel them in a way that is not overloading the nervous system. In this way, people learn to take full responsibility for how they feel instead of acting the repressed feelings out in unconscious and hurtful ways to the people we love.
She is the creator of the podcast Addicted to Love where she sheds light and immeasurable insight into one of the most difficult topics – LOVE. Aleah supports in breaking denial, creating a high level of awareness and she shares with them the powerful and successful tools that helped her break free from dysfunctional and unfulfilling relationships.
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