You’ll probably be surprised to see I’m writing about love and shame and worthiness and acceptance tonight. Just kidding. We all know it’s pretty much all I know…
I spent a good chunk of this summer treading in the swamp of unworthiness, barely keeping my head above water, trying to force relationships into being what I need/want/expect them to be. It was a struggle. Sure, I’ve struggled with this many times before. Actually, it’s been an unconscious cycle throughout my entire life. Sure, I broke free from it somewhat last year, but to really break free from a lifetime of this shit takes a few tries, you know? And life tends to throw you curve balls just when you’re least expecting it. That’s what makes it so interesting, right? So, yeah…I started to repeat my old cycles, the one’s I go back to with every relationship I have with emotionally unavailable people, because that’s all I knew. That is, until now.
I can’t say for sure which experience triggered this newfound acceptance. Maybe it’s a combination of the landslide of rejection and betrayal I thought I was experiencing. (Perception). Maybe it was the result of all the therapy and meditation and writing I’ve done over the past two years. (Most likely) .Maybe it was that I’ve just had enough of treading water for people who really don’t even want to swim. (Ah-HA!)
I can vividly remember the day it started to unfold. December 3rd. As I shamefully uttered persuasive words to someone who I had spent a great deal of time trying to turn into someone they just aren’t ready to be, I realized the words I was uttering weren’t really true anymore. I was just so used to saying them, to feeling that way, that it’s all I knew to say. I heard them coming out of my mouth and a small voice in the back of my head said, “Why are you still saying that? It’s not true anymore”. I hung up the phone and felt a shift inside me. And I realized it wasn’t just about this particular person, but about multiple people in my life who I’ve become codependent with. No, that should read had been codependent with. Because at that point, I knew I was codependent no longer. To me, codependency is like setting yourself on fire just to keep others warm. That’s an awful thing to do to yourself, isn’t it? So, I’m not doing it anymore. I miss them. I’d love to have them in my life in a healthy way, but I don’t need them.
I think I got to this point by finally learning how to not take it personally when someone can’t love me the way I need to be loved. God, that sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Intellectually, it is. Emotionally, not so much. But, somehow, I’ve finally figured out how to match my emotional self up with my intellectual self, and it’s pretty damn amazing. I mean that. Amazing. The dark swamp in the bottom of my soul is gone now. Replaced with a glowing light that shines so brightly, so strong…no one can dim my sparkle now. I’m a rock star, dammit.
These people, they are on their own journeys. Just like me. Hell, I took 45 years to even realize I needed to start my journey. And it’s only by the grace of God that I figured it out. Who am I to demand someone start theirs RIGHT THIS MINUTE, just because I’ve started mine? Just because I tell them to? I mean, of course I know they should start their journeys, but we all know you can lead a horse to water… you just can’t make it drink. It is NOT a reflection of me that these people are incapable of loving me, or incapable of facing their own darkness, or incapable of meeting the expectations I place on them. It has absolutely nothing to do with my worth. So, I’m learning to let them be. Just be.
I’ll close with a quote I found on Jeff Brown’s Facebook page. It’s enlightening and beautiful and so appropriate for me right now. My light is shining.
“Sometimes people walk away from love because it is so beautiful that it terrifies them. Sometimes they leave because the connection shines a bright light on their dark places and they are not ready to work them through. Sometimes they run away because they are not developmentally prepared to merge with another- they have more individuation work to do first. Sometimes they take off because love is not a priority in their lives- they have another path and purpose to walk first. Sometimes they end it because they prefer a relationship that is more practical than conscious, one that does not threaten the ways that they organize reality. Because so many of us carry shame, we have a tendency to personalize love’s leavings, triggered by the rejection and feelings of abandonment. But this is not always true. Sometimes it has nothing to do with us. Sometimes the one who leaves is just not ready to hold it safe. Sometimes they know something we don’t- they know their limits at that moment in time. Real love is no easy path- readiness is everything. May we grieve loss without personalizing it. May we learn to love ourselves in the absence of the lover”
This post was written in response to Linda G Hill’s Stream of Social Consciousness Saturday