Have you ever been afraid of someone’s reaction… and then did not speak your truth? Are you holding secrets from people in your life because you are afraid of their reactions? Did you know that you are hurting your body, mind, and spirit when you take this kind of responsibility? Are you willing to take the risk to speak your truth to the people you love?
Expressing my feelings about my childhood experiences especially concerning my upbringing with my mother was anathema. I could voice my feelings in intimate settings with people I trusted but a public revelation was the absolute worse thing I could subject my mother to.
I recall not even being able to write her a letter even though it wouldn’t actually be mailed or even pretend to talk to my therapist as if she were her. I felt responsible for any pain and suffering my telling would inflict on my mother and so I chose to suffer instead in silence, prolonging my healing until I felt ready or perhaps after she’d died.
After going through my alternative healing therapies training and experiencing the healing methods first hand, I felt miraculously lighter and freer and stronger. The burden of shame and guilt and responsibility for others’ feelings had been lifted.
When I decided to write a short ebook, I hadn’t really intended to bare my soul but that’s what I did in my introduction and I honestly hoped my mother would never read it but she did. She texted me one day say to say she’d read the book, loved it and was sorry for any pain she caused me growing up. It’s amazing the effect two simple words can have. I had taken a step to unburden my soul and I did it for me assuming no responsibility for another’s feelings and also with no expectations and in return was given a wondrous gift.
I am no longer afraid to speak my truth.
A couple of years ago I was in a very short but intense relationship. During those 3 months, not a day went by without an argument that left me questioning just what the hell I was doing with this person. It was 3 months of breaking up; she did the breaking up and I allowed her back in time and time again. Once I was able to extricate myself from the situation, I could not for the life of me, figure out WHY I let it go on for as long as it did and while granted 3 months seems a short period of time, it seemed like a lifetime.
Today’s lesson asked to draw a picture of what it looks like to take responsibility for someone else and then write a poem. The first thing that came to mind was what I consider a mental breakdown in this relationship where I witnessed myself, as if in an out of body experience completely hand over my power to this woman.
If I could draw a picture of what my taking responsibility for someone else’s feelings looks like, it would depict me down on my knees begging forgiveness for mouthing words that upset her, tears streaming down my face as I plead for her not to leave me.
How dare I have feelings
How dare I desire to want to express my feelings
How dare I expect that you hear and see me as a being with feelings separate from your own
How dare I desire to be heard by you
How dare I be affected by situations that evoke emotions that seek to be expressed only to evoke your venom instead of your empathy
How silly of me to believe you capable of listening to my feelings without feeling attacked by my words
How silly of me to believe you capable of offering support and consolation while I shared a moment of grief with you rather than seizing an opportunity to feel affronted and judged by an experience that had nothing to do with you
Thank you for bringing me to my knees
Thank you for the experience to witness my brokenness in action
Thank you for allowing me to see how completely I had given my power away
Thank you for that powerful moment of clarity that helped make the decision to take back control of my life and well-being
I was inspired to create a series of posts from my experiences from a course I’m doing called Intimacy Without Responsibility. It’s about learning to be in relationship without taking responsibility for another person’s feelings or pain or even their success or joy!
Freedom in relationship is about becoming very clear about your own codependency – the roles (and games) we play with others… your intimate partner as well as family, friends and colleagues. –Wendyne Limber
Each day, I reflect and journal on the daily exercise and I thought it beneficial to share my thoughts in the hope that you not only receive wisdom but also do your own reflection to develop awareness around how you show up in relationship and what you can do to realize relationship freedom.
In response to the questions: Who Am I Care-Taking? In what way do I do this? How long have I been trying to take care of other people? Am I committed to my own soul’s evolution?
I’m care-taking my ego who’s been driven by appearances. The appearance of perfection, the appearance of desirability, the appearance of having it all together.
When I have been committed to keeping up appearances, I have put the wishes and happiness of others ahead of my own; I have tied the reason for my existence to another’s so much so that I get lost and ungrounded in my own life.
My traumatized ego’s need to be loved, accepted and validated has been in the driver’s seat for many years, beginning in my teenage years when I began using sex to force love.
In the past couple of years, I’ve become a witness to these patterns and made a conscious effort to be self-loving and self-caring so that my ego can relax in the back seat. This is my journey of evolution; to experience, to witness and to teach.