Monday, December 23, 2013

Falling Deeply in Love with Yourself

I was taught that to love was to scoop yourself out, to give everything you have; to keep nothing for yourself. I didn't feel I deserved to keep my own love, my own respect, my own affection, my own admiration. I was taught that love is to give ALL OF YOU. Anything short of everything was nothing. I had nothing to offer, I had to give everything in order to pay the ransom for my existence.

When I met a man that I "loved," I would love whole-heartedly, with full abandon. Every waking moment was filled with thoughts of my beloved. This is different from the infactuation of a healthy person. No, granted, that's how it is labeled, but when you're a child of dysfunction, this stage is much more than limerance, though limerence is involved. This stage is total and complete giving over of self, esteem, worth, value--in essence, power. Your empty shell attaches to the fantasized version of another.

My boundaries would become nonexistent. The man's preferences would become my preferences, I would begin to mold myself around the man as if I were him, as if he were the center of me. If the man still stuck around after this level of my attachment, then, I would change as he preferred. If the man stayed an arms length away, which is what I always seemed to choose (must have preferred it that way...), then I would be in love-totally devoted beyond words--to a fantasy, a phantom person.

I gave myself up for free. I gave full, unabashed devotion, wishes, dreams, fantasies. I would then stay hung on this person for years, despite abusiveness. Nothing could stop me from longing, after all, without my love object, I was nothing. Without my love object, death was more welcoming because I did not exist.

No one is worth all this. No one in the world is worth this sort of devotion. No one. It is not until we wake up and realize what parts of ourselves we're giving away that we can begin to hold onto ourselves in relationship. At first, holding onto myself seemed like no fun. Holding onto myself seemed bland in comparison with the euphoria I felt when in fantasy-mode. The thought of holding onto myself, at first, felt like eating cardboard. No nourishment, no purpose, very depressing.

That's when I realized that the reason that holding onto myself was so bland is because I thought I had nothing to offer myself. Nothing. I didn't want to offer myself anything either. I found offering my love to myself was depressing, boring, senseless. Everything good and worthwhile was "out there." Just being present with myself took lots of practice.

Staying mindful of my feelings, emotions, sensations, thoughts, needs, wants, desires and preferences started opening the door to reconciliation with myself. I learned that I am a person inside. I have things going on inside my heart that needs tending to, screaming for none other's attention than my own. That I am not supposed to be looking outside myself for something to fill me up when all I've been doing is giving me away. 

In order to get this far, I had to learn a lot about psychology, and the way the ego works to protect the mind from emotional pain via cognitive defenses. I had to learn to look at scenarios in my life with my Wise Mind, the one that sees above my own defenses. I had to cultivate this aspect of my being, my very own inner-therapist to call me out on my own shit.

Tuning Into Your Emotional Originality

Another thing I had to do that was important for me to realize all this self-love stuff is to understand that the manifestations in my life were manifestations of what was inside of me. I had to stop living in the limited space of my limited consciousness, and start rising above to view my present emotional reality in terms of the original wounding. I had to understand that my longing for love, for the fulfillment of this fantasy-bond was wrought in childhood and had little to nothing to do with today. I had to learn to operate from the authentic place of originality. Anything less is a waste of time and energy, spinning your wheels, getting nowhere fast.

But when you understand how the emotional mind works, you understand that you are merely repeating patterns, like a software bug, or a record (remember record players) that has a scratch that keeps repeating the same verse over and over until you shut it off. That's how we are in our emotional lives, this especially extends to relationships. If, when you are growing up as a child, in development, and you do not get one of the developmental milestones accomplished, you will begin to repeat that milestone over and over until you get it right.

If you are experiencing a repetitive cycle of emotional turmoil and impossible relationship situations that are almost exactly the same, except with a different man or woman, then you can bet that there is a developmental milestone your psyche is trying to complete. Until you complete that milestone, you will be compelled to put yourself in situations that mirror the milestone you missed. (You know, the one that failed.)

Only you can help yourself now. The brain has been shown to be "plastic," that is, you can still learn until death. Brains can change. You can get your developmental needs met as an adult, in fact, the only person who can give you what you need is YOU.

There is a person on this earth who is better at meeting your needs than your mother and/or father. There is a person on this earth whose love you need more than anyone on the planet, even more than God.
There is a person on this earth who holds the power to heal your heart, mind and soul.

That person is YOU.

You hold the magic, the wisdom and the beauty of 100 lovers. There is not a love on earth that could surpass the magnificence of you. If you would take a moment to journey to this center, to this heart of you, through the pain, down the abyss, at the very bottom of it all, there you find the most magnificent glory, that which you've been missing all your life. That glory is you. You are pure love. A delight to behold. Precious.

No matter what happened to you, there is a part of you that still exists and is strong. It is a part of you that cannot be destroyed. It is a part of you that must be searched for and found in order for you to see it, but it is also a part of you that holds all your answers. It is a part of you that is deeper and more wise than all your present circumstances, than all your past mistakes. It is a love that surpasses anything you've ever known. Inside of your own heart there is reason to love. There is something left inside of you worthy of falling in love with that can never be given away.

It's yours, but you must journey to find it. The journey is long, hard, but well worth the trip. Once you find yourself and love yourself, nothing else will matter. Suddenly your boundaries will come into place, you won't allow yourself to be treated badly. You won't run after people who abuse you. You won't try to love others by fixing them.You won't hurt so badly anymore.

This treasure resides at the end of your rope. All the lies and false beliefs that are holding you together must come undone. You must fall into the abyss. Stop hanging onto the sides and hating yourself for feeling anxious about feeling bad for feeling worthless. Don't dip your toe in. Don't wait another day. Just let go!

You've got to fall, fall, fall, fall, feeling all the hurt, pain, shame and anguish all along the way. Picture two mountains in your heart--maybe the Grand Canyon. You've got to fall down it. You've got to feel the fear of falling, the terror of your impending death, you've got to endure it without running to give yourself away. Let the experience teach you.

On the way down you will learn so much!

You will learn in the falling that you never really die.
You will learn in the falling that you can endure the pain.
You will learn in the falling that which you fear.
You will learn in the falling that you can take care of yourself.
You will learn in the falling the feelings which you have repressed.
You will learn in the falling the ways you have abandoned your own heart.
You will learn in the falling how amazing you are.
You will learn in the falling that there is a bottom.

Yes, there is a bottom. There is a bottom! There is a bottom and that bottom is YOU. That bottom is you. When all your falling is done. When you reach the valley of the Grand Canyon in your heart, you will see that the cold hard ground that you land on is YOU. You are there at the bottom, you are the ground that supports yourself. You are there, but you've got to fall to realize it.

Then you've got to learn to live with you there. At first, you will be bored, like I mentioned earlier. You will feel like the world out there is steak and lobster, while all your left with is Ritz Crackers. You won't have any flavor. You'll be bland, but by golly, YOU GOT YOU. And that's a plus.

From here you must discover yourself, enrich yourself, strengthen yourself, give yourself the energy you used to give away. You used to infuse others with the fantasy of what you needed. Today, you must find out--here at the bottom--what you need and figure out how to get it on your own, without outside assistance.

I know, whah whah whah, we all want to stay stuck in our pain. We don't want to fall. We don't want to get to the bottom and have to figure out all by ourselves what it is about ourselves that makes us wonderful, and how to see ourselves as more wonderful without all that outside sauce and accutriments of addiction, dependency and mental illness.

What are you afraid of if you fall? What are you afraid of if you get in touch with that child you once were, lying in bed, fearing death of no connection? What are you afraid of if you admit your helplessness, experience your hopelessness, pass through layers of shame, releasing your tenacles to the world, are you afraid you might be stuck with just you? Why is that so scary? What are you getting from clinging to the sides? When you are ready to heal, let go and fall.

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