Spirituality, Liturgy and the Tao of Inner Peace
Great line from a great movie, but for me as far back as I can remember I always wanted to be LOVED. I have honed my skills from an early age to illicit the love I have needed and wanted so badly. I started by being an expert comedian, I loved to make my mom laugh, and I became very good at it. If I wanted something I always knew humor was the way to go. I craved extra emotion that was not typical of most, mainly because I was so empathic, which can be an incredible asset, when channeled. Unfortunately, it took me many years to know and understand that, in the meantime, I developed some not so healthy habits. I wanted to please everyone, so my life was me holding a mirror and believing whatever was reflected back to me. If you were happy with me, you loved me, I was happy, I believed that I was worthy of love. If you were upset with me, disappointed, rejected me? I was not loved. I lived my life by the whims of others emotions like a dangerous cocktail of unknown ingredients I was a slave to the mirrors reflections. So I subconsciously learned to leverage my emotions to meet my needs of affirmation and love. I, like the chameleon, made myself to be whatever you needed me to be. Much like the character Julia Roberts plays in “The Runaway Bride.” I liked my eggs however he liked his. I stayed in friendships and relationships much longer than I ever should have, I was talked down to, choked, yelled at, cursed, cheated on, under-appreciated, and I took it all. Many times I not only tolerated bad behavior I returned for more, because the chance for that reflection to be good was worth more to me than the self-love I lacked. I couldn’t even figure out why I was having so many issues, I was so loving, so kind – I was capable of so much tenderness, and forgiveness which I believed was a huge tenant of my faith. Wasn’t that what I was called to do? I used this justification to keep myself in an unhealthy way of thinking and being. I forgot that the beginning of the greatest commandment was love others as you LOVE yourself! I was willing to give away everything, but not willing to give to myself the tiniest of love, and self-respect.
I still struggle with this today. As I sat down with a long-time friend this afternoon we talked about my biggest asset and my greatest challenge – they are the same, my heart. I have a heart that will forgive, that will love the unlovable, that strikes up conversations with strangers and makes them laugh and smile. I also have a heart that loves too long, lets me get in trouble and doesn’t always follow logical paths. I love the girl I am, I am trying to love her more, give her what I have given away so many times. I do not want to become jaded or bitter, I do want to strive to love all my neighbors as myself. Setting boundaries is so important – as a free spirit I resist the idea of boundaries but I need them in my life to protect this beautiful loving spirit. It is important to let those around you know what is okay and what is not okay and be ready to move on when they cannot keep those boundaries. We have little to no respect for ourselves if we can’t say this hurts me I won’t accept that anymore. I need this in my life if you can’t do that I understand but I won’t be your friend anymore. That comes from the belief that we are worth it. YOU are worth it! Never doubt the wonderful miracle of life and light that you are! God loves you so much and wants the very best for you, allow yourself to have that gift.
Maybe this is your struggle too, if so I hope I have helped you. Maybe this is not your struggle but it is your sister’s or best friend’s struggle, share this with her, so many women need this message. Love begins in your own heart for your own self.
I want you to love you first!
God Bless you and Keep you and Make his Face to Shine upon you today and all the days of Your Life!