Much of my life has been spent silently and secretly waiting for someone else to love me in the way I so desperately needed. Waiting for someone to discover me on the shore, love me and whisk me away to something better and brighter and ending with the words “happily ever after.”
Yet, in reflection, I have done so much to refute this by being a strong-willed and independent “I don’t need your help” kind-of–woman. So I denied myself my needs, focusing on being more perfect and uber independent (in whichever way I chose to focus on that day).
As a young girl, I imagined and even wrote poetry about being on a desolate beach when a knight in shining armor rescues me, hoisting me up onto his stead with one smooth motion, of course we then galloped off together into the sunset.
What did I need to be saved from, you wonder? The dragon of my suffering has always truly been My-self. As a result of this deep feeling of lack – an inner poverty- from within, I’ve sought out love in many places. So instead of finding the love and acceptance that I sought, I quickly discovered the many places where it was not.
I tried to barter, beg and manipulate others to get the love and approval that I wanted; so desperately needed. I manipulated you by attempting to project to you the images of myself that I thought would gain more love, more acceptance, more validation, more recognition.
I hid from you the parts of myself that I was afraid to accept. I hid the parts of myself that I thought you would reject. In my quest to be less vulnerable, I just further opened my wounds.
Who better knows how to meet my unique needs than myself?
Now I’m spending more and more of my time falling in love with, you probably guessed it: myself. This may sound selfish at first glance. I would argue that it is in fact self-less. By finding this love within, I no longer desperately cling to the “love” crumbs that others cast my way.
Now I am able to be more present, more available to others, to hear your needs. Most importantly, the more deeply and thoroughly that I can love and accept myself as I am, the more that I can love and accept you as you are – and the less I need you to be different to avoid triggering my sense of lack. This also translates into the less that I need to control and manipulate you to be someone who does not trigger within me the places that I held contempt for myself. And how can you truly learn to love you if I’m trying to change you?
Giving myself permission to love myself more deeply, including all of my so-called faults, gives you permission to love yourself more deeply and all of your so-called faults.
I am learning, and sometimes relearning, on a daily basis what it is that I need to thrive by loving all of the areas in which I had turned away from myself. Now I am more open to loving others with fewer boundaries. I am also opening new doorways, new pathways, to receiving into my life people who can love me and accept me for who I am, right now. People who do not come into my life to change me, to perfect me nor to reject me for who I am right now.
Thus I am my own knight. I choose when to rescue myself, or how long I want to suffer. I choose which dragons to slay, or how long I allow them to torture me. I choose at night how I want to see myself from that day.
Meanwhile, you are also your own knight. You get to choose, too!
Author’s Note: While my conscious spiritual journey has been an on-going adventure for several years now, I have recently begun to consistently follow the work of Teal Swan. For the past month I have used the technique she described in her video “Healing the Emotional Body” to help reintegrate the “lost parts” of myself. I am also making daily choices based on asking myself this simple and incredibly effective question, “What does someone who loves oneself do?,” from her book Shadows Before Dawn. I then task myself with following through with the action given in the answer. Another great tool is from her video released 10/2015, “Negative Thoughts are Good!,” in which she implores viewers to focus on one “negative” aspect of ourselves each day and explore all the ways in which this is actually positive.
Each of these three tools has been the equivalent of putting down a hammer made of stone and stick to pick up a pneumatic-powered nail gun. In other words, my self-rediscovery has accelerated significantly in the past month. Thank you so much, Teal Swan for sharing so freely of your work and, most of all, for being you! Namaste, Teal!