Along the road of spiritual transformation, there is much to learn. One of the foundations is that all love begins with self-love. When I hear again, with new ears, scriptures like "Love thy neighbor as thyself" I am invited to ask myself, "Just HOW much DO I love myself?" If my love for my "neighbor" is the reflection, well, let's just say there is much work to be done here!
I know I am holding onto some stuff that no longer serves me, namely extra weight. It has done an excellent job of keeping me protected while I journey on, making sure I don't stretch myself too far. Keeping me out of the cute clothes in my closet that make me feel beautiful when I wear them. Keeping me from enjoying activities that would bring new men into my life - and maybe a loving relationship! It has provided the perfect set of excuses for taking up residence as well: menopause + dissolution of my business partnership & associated stress + spiritual awakening = all combined, it made perfect sense to me.
Yes, this was self-love in one form. It allowed me the time and space for some much-needed reconnection with Spirit and I am eternally grateful for its service. Now it is time to release it.
So I roll up my spiritual sleeves and get to work. Along the way, Spirit has REconnected me with some pretty (& I say "pretty" because they are - inside and out) amazing teachers. Each one of them has added a piece of my puzzle and once I was able to arrange the pieces in the right order, a perfect picture appeared.
I started by using my financial practitioner, J.'s, tool for examining resistance by simply asking "Where is the resistance?" in meditation. Now, this got me into a bit of a health pickle last time I asked this question so I am careful now to ask for some "ease and grace" to accompany the answer!
H. Oh! H! High school bestie who shares the love of breaking down words with me: MIS-take, RE-member, DE-serve. That last one's a doozy! We use it so often as meaning something to which we feel we are entitled. In reality, it is saying the same as UN-served. We agree the better choice is DESIRE and to this day, I still sometimes catch me DEserving myself!
Then there's A. We met once in this lifetime about a year ago & have stayed in touch through Facebook, sharing similar journeys in life, learning and growing from one another. She added the piece of the puzzle called "worthiness" and invited me to explore it from a new vantage point: past relationships. This is where the work is for me now.
It's amazing to me how, no matter how much forgiveness, releasing and other work one does in a particular area of her life, there always seems to be more to bubble up, the deeper the practice goes. This is most true for me in the area of relationship. A. invited me to forgive the men from my past. Forgive myself for my part in those relationships. I checked her invitations off one by one, certain I'd done that step already.
Then I meditated.
I was immediately taken back to 2 important relationships in my life. Both in which I fell long and hard for the guy. And, both in which I have done extensive forgiveness work.
First was my First. Literally. First love. Childhood sweetheart for years but life and families didn't quite provide the needed guidance for us to know what to do in that space and time. In the end, he married someone else and my heart cracked open in agony. I didn't DESERVE to be treated this way! WHY wasn't I good enough to marry? Why didn't he pick ME? I spent YEARS thinking that someday we might actually end up together, sabotaging some possibly great relationships with that thinking, holding onto that thread of hope.
Then, there was a more recent one, several years back now. He was BEAUTIFUL in every way! Smart, successful, drove a nice car, LISTENED to me! Funny! Check, check and CHECK! Everything this girl could want in a guy. And, he seemed to like me too! I was so LUCKY!
I did everything possible to twist myself into what I thought he wanted me to be because I never felt like I completely deserved someone so perfect. Oh, I guess he had flaws, (but not like MINE!) and I chose to see them as cute personality quirks instead. Don't we all?
We had an incredible 10 mos. together by the time my birthday rolled around. After a romantic dinner by the sea he presented my with a diamond necklace - a beautiful 3-stoned "journey" pendant (as in past, present, future). For the first time in those 10 months, I relaxed into "He REALLY likes me!"
2 weeks later he dumped me, saying he loved me but wasn't in love with me. WTH? I was crushed like I'd never been before. Something in me told me, "Yep, you're not good enough for a guy like that. Told ya! You don't DESERVE him."
Several weeks later we decided to become friends with benefits (his idea, not mine - but I did agree), or as I now call it, "A complete absence of self-love and self-worth on my part." We did everything but have a lawyer write up the agreement for us. EVERYTHING was stipulated, from notifying each other if we were going out on a date to how we would indicate we wanted to see the other person. As I write this I am appalled at how little I loved myself during those days!
That relationship went on for 2-1/2 more years, with him "breaking" the agreement twice with the same woman. First time was financially disastrous for me -I read intimate text msgs between them on his borrowed phone while driving and crashed my car. Each time I forgave the indiscretion.
It wasn't until over a year after his last transgression, over dinner, when I told him I had googled this woman - back at the time of these events - that he completely went off the rails, screaming at me, promising to have her prosecute me (?!) if I ever tried to contact her, and thereby ending our "Agreement" once and for all, forever.
I tell this story, not to make him the bad guy. Not at all. All along he maintained his lack of "being" in love with me. Trust me, I did check occasionally. Didn't change my behavior, but I DID check! My lack of self-worth and self-love kept me sticking around with thoughts like "How will I ever find someone this perfect for me again?" and on a deeper level, "He doesn't love you because you're not good enough for him. Maybe if you were thinner, more financially secure, more ______whatever, he would love you. You don't DESERVE him."
After these two relationships replayed themselves at warp speed during my meditation, I saw them from a completely new perspective. I didn't DESERVE them.
That's right. I didn't, then or now or ever, deserve to be in a relationship with, or holding a torch for, someone who doesn't share the same level of commitment and DESIRE as I do.
All of this deep soul searching, and digging up of memories, has allowed me to identify my resistance to my own self love & worthiness, which will allow me to release the "stuff" that no longer serves me, and to begin to love ME in the right ways. It's an ongoing process, but I have the tools to do the work. Only then can I begin to love my "neighbor" as myself, in the way God intended; healthy, whole and full-out!
So, to ALL the men I've loved before, I lovingly say:
You never knew how lucky you were to have someone like me love you. As for me, I didn't deserve you.
PB&J til next time,