Love Yourself The Way You Want to Be Loved and Never Be Disappointed Again

The Buddha said “Attachment is the root of suffering” and I clarify that and say that expectation, the attachment to someone other than yourself fulfilling your desires, is the root of suffering.

Never greater is our suffering than in a relationship. Be it platonic, familial or intimate, never is our imperfect humanness more apparent than when we are relating to others. Never is the abundance of opportunity for freedom and enlightenment more prevalent than in our relationships.

Too often we look to others to sustain us, to complete us, to approve of us, to validate us, to fulfill us, to repair us, to save us so much so that when they “fail us” as they will inevitably do, we are left broken and that is no state to be in.

No one else can be as motivated to do for you than you can be for yourself. FACT: No one else has your motivations, has lived your experiences or has your perspectives when combined create your desires. Then why, if your desires are your own, would you expect someone else to manifest them for you?

Certainly, others may help us along our journey to our destination: bliss but no one other than you can reach your bliss and the longer you depend on or expect others to take you to your bliss, the farther away you get from your true destination.

Love yourself the way you want to be loved and never be disappointed again.

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Out of Suffering Comes Peace

I don’t believe in the biblical sense of heaven and hell but I do believe they can be experienced. Suffering is a place. A perpetual place of pain the living can and do get stuck in. I was once stuck in this place. That was hell for me. I found a way out through psychology, hypnotherapy, energy work, life coaching and NLP. Moving out of suffering requires (1) awareness, a knowledge of self, (2) accountability, taking 100% responsibility, and (3) integrity, living in accordance with your values. Applying these principles to my daily life allows me to experience peace. Peace for me is accepting that there will be moments of pain and sorrow in life and a knowing that I am able to experience those moments without getting stuck there.

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Finding Yourself After a Lifetime of Hiding

I had become an expert at hiding. It’s what I did best. I was actually proud of it. Who wants to deal with all of those bothersome feelings that get in the way of getting shit done? I was under the illusion that I could live life unaffected by my baser human emotions like empathy and sympathy. Strangely enough, I’ve always been very compassionate and kind but that was easy because I didn’t have to be vulnerable to show compassion to others. In fact, I learned, the kinder I was, the more liked I was while never having to reveal the real me.

Heaven forbid I had to share my feelings. That was my kryptonite. Whether to friends or therapists, the relationship was not long lived once I had spilled my beans. Emotional closeness felt like stepping on a slug barefoot, it was yucky. It was also scary. The facade I had created of a successful, strong, capable and functioning member of society was at risk if I let on to what was really going on inside. A tangled mess of confusion, loneliness, anxiety, depression and disconnection.

Watching 3 Mics yesterday on Netflix brought this all back up. The memories of my 20-something-year-old self desperately seeking help for the emotionally broken child within me sobbing uncontrollably as I repeated over and over the story of my childhood in therapists’ office while at the same time running as far away from the pain as I could in the arms of lovers, both foreign and domestic.

3 Mics is a comedy special, a one-man show by Neal Brennan. His one liners were funny but what left an indelible impression on me was his candid revelations of his own journey through depression as a result of growing up with a violent, alcoholic, and narcissistic father. I envy people who can string together minimal words into impactful sentences. Listening to him describe his story and reading comments on his page from his fans sharing how they felt like he was telling their story reinforces a truth that while our stories may be unique, our pain is the same.

He recalls growing up as the youngest of his parent’s 10 children, with a father that took up all the physical and emotional space in a room learning to stifle his feelings so that eventually they atrophied and in order to feel anything, in essence, became addicted to achievement and adrenaline and yet the rush of his successes never quite satisfying his core needs, to which I can wholeheartedly relate.

I used achievement and adrenaline to feel as well. Growing up I didn’t feel seen or appreciated so in school and work, I worked hard to be recognized as talented and dedicated, which was made easy by being an INTJ. Adrenaline came in the form of drama, relationship drama specifically. If I wasn’t having one-night stands with strange men then I was stirring up havoc in my relationships as a result of my love addiction and intimacy avoidance.

Unlike Neal, I’ve never been medicated. I never got far enough with any therapist to have that topic come up. I just learned to cope and hide when things got too real. Until I had had enough of the turmoil. I was fed up with spinning my wheels in life, love, and career. There is no one path to emotional freedom but the result I believe is universal, reconnecting with your true self, your forgotten self, learning to help the broken child within you become whole again.

This is the journey I began about 5 years ago and one I continue on, with compassion and love for myself.

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Speaking My Truth: I Am Ok, Safe, and Worthy

“If I feel like nothing without you, I have a lot of work to do on myself!” -Wendyne Limber

That sentence really struck me as I did today’s reading recalling the tension I felt in previous relationships, logically knowing when it was time to let go but being unable to because I only felt okay when I was with someone. When I was alone, I was depressed and directionless. I had a savior complex, one that worked both ways in that I felt powerful enough to save someone else and was also in need of saving. My feeling was if we could save each other, we wouldn’t need anything or anyone else.

So desperate was I to live that role that I would do anything to keep my partner, even if that meant tossing aside my values. I don’t drink but I started drinking for a girlfriend who thought I was boring and felt that if only I would drink, I would open up more and be more fun. It was fun, for about a week but I couldn’t sustain it, I didn’t want to and so she ended it.

I begged her to take me back promising to change, to be more fun, and she did but it was a mistake and we both knew it and spent another year in hell.

Write YOUR OWN NEW COMMITMENT to your partner or some person you are in relationship with. What do you really want?

I am not in a relationship currently but know what I want of a future partner and that is a conscious communicator and emotionally healthy being. This is who I’ve committed to being and want no less from a partner.

A conscious communicator shares themselves fully and is both powerful and vulnerable. Their thoughts, feelings, ideas, concerns, and passions are expressed with an intention to grow as an individual and to grow closer in the relationship. They speak and respond with loving kindness for connection and with compassion rather than judgment and blame.

An emotionally healthy being follows their inner guidance and takes responsibility for their feelings, reactions, and path in life. They do not rely on someone else to fulfill their emotional needs, to save, fix or protect them. They actively and consistently work to understand themselves, recognizing their triggers and taking action to resolve them.


 

This concludes my series on Speaking My Truth. The course I’m taking, Intimacy Without Responsibility goes for 7 weeks but I felt this series a very important piece in cultivating healthy relationships. I hope you enjoyed learning more about me and hope you learned something about yourself as well. If you’d like to take the course yourself, you can find the details here.

Speaking My Truth: Question Your Beliefs

While relationships are a perfect environment for healing and evolving, there’s usually some growing pains that come before that due to our belief system.

I entered relationships with baggage, baggage from my childhood and baggage from previous relationships. That baggage included a distrust of people, a need to be wanted and approved of, a need to appear perfect, a need to be loved, and a need to be right.

When these things were questioned or not provided, I didn’t go within to question what it was about my belief system that led me to feel hurt, betrayed or powerless, rather I blamed others for not meeting my standards or having unresolved issues and therefore weren’t worthy of my time and affection.

It’s only through challenging my belief system that my growth began. Do not be afraid of what you might learn. Being triggered in relationships is an opportunity to heal and transform.

What behaviors in others or in your mate do you GATHER EVIDENCE TO PROVE?

Whenever I felt my partners losing interest, self-doubt turned to jealousy. My lack of self-confidence and self-esteem supported my belief that I was unlovable and not worthy. That belief then supported the belief that my partners didn’t love me or were cheating on me or no longer found me attractive.

I certainly didn’t have hard evidence but so sure was I in my belief that I was not enough that even words of reassurance couldn’t assuage my growing mistrust and malcontent.

Speaking My Truth: I No Longer Give My Power Away

Relationships are the perfect environment to grow as a person when you are willing to hear your partner’s truth without taking offense and are also able to speak your truth without fear.

For many years, I was unwilling to recognize that I carried with me a lot of hurt and pain from my childhood that affected how I showed up in my intimate relationships. I was needy and controlling and both unsure and arrogant at the same time.

If I was ever at fault, I would blame the other. If anyone deigned to look below the surface and not only saw but pointed out my imperfection, that relationship was not long to last.

Becoming emotionally healthy requires you to look within at the roles you play in your relationships, intimate, platonic, familial and work. The responsibility for a successful relationship falls on both parties to show up consciously and fearlessly.

Do not be afraid to know yourself and allow others the wonderful opportunity to know themselves through relationship with you.

What things do you REACT to in communication and relationship with others? Where is your judgment? What kinds of behaviors and other stuff really trigger you with a partner, friend or family member?

In intimate relationships, whenever I felt less than perfect or when I had disappointed someone, I would go into panic mode and do anything to prove myself. I would get very defensive, unwilling to hear if I had done or said something that was unfair or incorrect or hurtful.

If the relationship was ending because I wasn’t right for someone, I carried around anger for that person, picking apart their words and behavior, making them the one with fault and imperfection.

I wanted to be wanted. I wanted to be my partner’s everything and in turn, they became my everything so much so that when I wasn’t enough, I became very jealous and controlling.

Speaking My Truth: I Am No Longer Burdened in My Heart

Do you shield your loved one from their own pain? How do you feel about this? How does your body feel about this?

As a people pleaser, this definitely rings true, for one person in particular, my mother. I grew up not knowing who my father was but there were moments as I grew up that I learned a few tidbits.

I knew the only person who could tell me what I needed to know was my mom but I didn’t want to cause trouble. When I moved away from home in my 20’s, similar to when I went away to college, I fell into depression.

Being on my own allowed me to feel my pain and I had a lot of it and part of it was not knowing my father. One Christmas I tried bringing up the topic with my mother but I sensed a hesitation and a discomfort so I didn’t press the issue.

A couple of years later, while living in Boston, I shared my story with a friend and she urged me to talk with my mom. The words promising that I would were just to close the subject since I didn’t feel I had built up enough courage to broach the topic.

My own hesitation stemmed from not wanting to force my mother to relive her painful past, some of which I knew about. I simply wanted to spare her any pain.

I finally learned who my dad was and met him for the first time 7 years ago but it wasn’t through a conversation with my mother but that’s a story for another time.

This experience of shielding someone else from feeling their hurt did both them and I a disservice; for me, losing years of a possible relationship with my father and for my mother, the chance to face her demons.

Now having found the courage to take responsibility for my feelings while allowing others that freedom as well, I am no longer burdened in my heart, soul, and body with regret and sorrow.