Excuse this bloody mess of learning to set boundaries and love myself. The pendulum was sweeping too widely & quickly, at times. I was often tormented, demanding your respect while pleading for your love and attention. I was enraged, desperate, and ashamed all at the same time. I did not know that one day you would just stop loving me….. Just like that.
I spend decades running from the stillness that would eventually set me free.
And then one day, after letting go of those that were hurting me, I sat there alone, in the stillness, letting it wash over me.
“Why do I not feel good enough?”
“I want to feel special, loved, wanted.”
“Why am I jealous, at times, of what other people seem to so easily have?”
And then the answers came, slowly, but with clarity. When I was small, I did not have a father to pick me up lovingly, and embrace me with his strong arms, making me feel safe and loved. I remember watching other girls with their fathers and wishing I had a father to love me in this natural and free way. There was never a safe outlet to express my grief growing up, because I didn’t want to hurt my own mother and step-father and so it wasn’t something I ever talked about. And I do not blame either of them, as they were doing the best that they could at the time.
I realized in the moment of stillness that I had spent so much of my adult life searching for what I missed. And, I spent even more time beating myself up for grieving it, often jealous of others without even knowing why. Often feeling like I wasn’t “good enough” to be protected or loved. And so for years, I set out on a quest to demand love from others to help fill this void, so that I would somehow feel that I was worthy. I had an insatiable desire to be validated by others and often was easily angered if I perceived that someone had slighted me. Looking back, this pattern of lashing out only served to further alienate me and it became a self fulfilling prophesy. I often was alone, unhappy, and angry.
The stillness is providing me with the space to accept the dialogue that formed the chip on my shoulder. I thought about myself as a little girl, longing to be engulfed in someone’s arms and loved mightily. And, I thought about the events in my life that filled me with fear and self-doubt, causing my world view to be limited.
I spent a lifetime running towards chaos and stimulation to avoid this supposed “truth” that has caused me despair and shame. I never stopped long enough to listen to what my spirit truly needed and desired.
Knowing this gift, I think I can forgive the little one within me. And, I think it’s time to spend more time in the stillness to see what else I can learn. Often, we are looking outward, when it was inside us all along. Turning toward myself in compassion and kindness has made all the difference.
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