Something is terribly wrong when someone doesn’t want you to love yourself.
When your friends (or that inner voice) begins to say those indelible words “Molly, you in danger girl” it’s already too late. Not too late to make changes. Sure. But you’re already in a critical situation in a relationship when one can laugh at this notion and the other not find it funny in the slightest. At the core, it’s a trigger for all sorts of issues. However, we sidestep these complexities and dismiss the idea that someone we care about should match Care with equal understanding. Actually, this is what we complicate, that our expectations are not at the foundation of what we continue to build with someone. That we accept who someone is and will grow older with them. But do we ask ourselves if we’ll grow with them? Let them grow?
Change is scary. As a default, fear emerges and whispers that this person will abandon us. They will judge us. They are the most of anything that I have. But this is not true. It only serves to reflect pity on oneself. To offer and receive slanderous statements and egregious dictates that lead down a tangent of tangled paths that never needed treading. Do you know what I mean? If you respect me, you’ll let me care about myself. If I respect you, I will let you care about yourself. Without judgement or restrictions on time. Can this be said out loud? Would it be possible to risk someone’s happiness for time and space?
Self Love and Loving Kindness apply to any relationship. Always, beginning with YOU. Your heartbeat. Your breath. Your consciousness. Once this setting is in place, you can offer these principles to others. Whether or not they *pick up what you’re putting down* they are now responsible for their interpretation and reaction. Not you. It may seem finite that you consider creating boundaries if your precepts of Self Love are breached. Boundaries can remind some of us of rejection and isolation; if we call upon our values and that restricts the other person then we may risk conflict. Or worse, their absence.
While boundaries are healthy, walls serve as impenetrable separations that are not meant to work within Self Love. While SL is honest, walls “make good neighbors.” They smile and maintain sides. They are polite but not kind. Being polite requires adherence to social norms that may include a heavy dose of ignoring truth and avoiding conflict. It is absolutely important to put oneself first. Still, this is not the avoidance of problems but finally facing them. If there is resistance, experience it, but don’t put a stamp on it. Allow the trigger to bring up what needs to be felt and released. Otherwise, the Self Love going on is more performative than praxis.
I love theater, but not everyday of my life.
We are not starting from scratch. You’re here, already, with what has been laid behind you. Use Self Love to heal old wounds. It does not require membership or a college degree. It asks that you start where you are, with yourself, for yourself and lastly, for others. The “for others” part is hard if you’re always trying to fix things and people. But this isn’t about the External as primary source, this is about the Internal informing others of what is possible. That is “fix” enough. Offering a way for people to alleviate self doubt and superficial competition.
Long ago I imagined a forest. It was thick with trees. The trees were tall. I was not afraid. I walked until I found a clearing. The clearing was a circle. The circle was filled with the light of the sun. I looked around to see that the forest continued in all directions. Thick and filled with darkness. I made it to the clearing and got stuck there. Trying to live in the little bit of light that circle could hold. Often I would look around. Rarely would I look up. Looking forward was facing the darkness of the forest. But I had imagined it. I had made it through a portion of the congested space. Why couldn’t I proceed?
I was lacking in Self Love. My spiritual practice was the only thing keeping me alive, but I was not nourished. I was not practicing correctly because to do so was to have to live with such a ferocious honesty I would be self righteous. And that’s performance too. As if I am better than you. I know better. I should do better. So it’s not the standard that has to be lowered, but the way in which we are able to express what needs to be fixed. Shifted. Altered. Changed. True change does not come overnight. That’s merely an epiphany. And you probably knew IT already. The way some people want to live is a projection through clothing choices and hairstyles. A hologram of what they would be if they could be. But if that’s what you are, be IT fully.
I think this is why some of us attach ourselves to certain people and resort to the same habit behaviors. All we do is add a New Self on top of the old paper doll and call it adulthood and maturity. Suffering isn’t unique to one person. Our traumas should not be the reason we hold on to something else that is unhealthy even if it is familiar. It is possible to change the karma that attracts the lessons that are still unlearned. It is possible to pray for others without sacrificing Self. It is possible to remain a mystery to yourself and those around you and still be fully loved and understood. It may be rare. But it’s there.