Ruby’s post this morning has given me much food for thought today. I have been meaning to write about the subject of Love for some time now, because, for me, it has had a very bittersweet connotation in it’s strictest sense for most of my life. Perhaps my story might sound familiar to you because it holds so many of the elements of human emotion and drama that we are familiar with, or, perhaps my story might sound as alien as a moon circling Jupiter. However, I do have two small requests of you before I begin. Bear in mind that I am opening my heart here (yes…albeit a little sardonically…but the prickly pear does occasionally lose a few of her needles from time to time!). If you can read without judgement with an open and loving heart, I urge you to read on and discover a bit more about me. If you’ve decided that I am a flake and you don’t give two you-know-what’s about me, then I would encourage you to move on…
Co-dependency. That (co-word) seems to be floating around rather commonly these days. Co-dependency can be inhaled or injected. For many families, through ignorance or denial, co-dependency is offered like an heirloom. I think that this insidious drug was sprinkled on my food, my clothing and on my grades when I was a youngster. “Good girl, you got an ‘A’ in math, now you get some love and attention,” my parents would chime, followed by “It’s a man’s world and you need to prove yourself and toughen up” [my first leather hide placed upon my prone back]. Love flowed freely from my mum, but not from too readily from my father. I know that some men are not wonderful at expressing themselves in general, but I knew that Dad loved me (afterall, I was daddy’s little girl). Combine the lulls of co-dependency with isolation, fear and verbal/emotional abuse and you have yourself a recipe for….a recipe for… Well, a recipe for something that would taste like bitter-pie when I was to grow older.
When did I start injecting co-dependency into my veins? Good question. I probably started that when I was a hormonally entranced teenager. Boys were a new source of attention. Yet, I remained relatively “proper” with only slight bouts of rebellion. By this time in my youth, my parents had already “hardened” me to the effects of love. “You are a pretty girl and boys will only want to take advantage of you,” they would chime (and they were right – but boys – and girls will be…well…boys and girls, not men and women). Thus, love was again, another bartering method for attention. Pay a quarter for a kiss. A penny for your thoughts. How I longed to be loved and love in a romantic way. “Free. Free. Can’t someone just love me for free?” My second leather hide placed upon my prone back.
Marriage. Well…we won’t talk about that because this story is still playing out. Let’s just suffice to say that a few hits of co-dependency were involved in that decision. Friendships were also not immune to the effects of this drug. “By the way PM, you are a XXXX, can you help me out with XXXX?” and later disappear into the sunset when I needed or requested their help for something. These are the same people that adore you one minute and chop you down to size the next because they have also built their self esteem(s) on that addicting drug too. So…”Round and round and round we go, where the co-dependency cycle stops…no-one knows”. Actually. I do know when the cycle stopped. It was a few short months ago and I thank the heavens above for this gift.
When I finally saw the Light at my coming of age debut (I have myself and at least one other significant person to thank for this), I realised that I was capable of navigating the waters of life rather independently. I was going through a very difficult period of my life. I was burnt out, apathetic and untouchable. I really wanted to have nothing to do with humanity anymore and turned inwards. Deeply. What I found astounded me. I found a bright Light inside of myself that connected me to a greater Light. This Light spoke to me in numbers, metaphors, sounds and colours. Bear with me here. I am not crazy! At first, I felt confused. This confusion was later replaced with a deep feeling of contented Love and understanding when I realised that I was not alone in my spiritual awakening. I knew that I had experienced a rebirth of sorts and I felt as though the Universe was communicating with me on a subconscious level. I had found a higher connection with myself. Self-esteem was important, and relevant, but delivered to me in a new Light. When I “found myself”, I was automatically connected.
How did this experience change me? Good question. I found that I could see through the allusion of human drama. I felt myself seeking Truth. I was concerned only with Love and Light in it’s purest form. When people would discuss their petty dramas (and really…that is what most of our quabbles are, no matter how important they might seem at the time…), I felt like a sage observer that could objectively assess the situation and offer gentle advice. I realised that we create our own pain, our own dramas by our perceptions, reactions and assumptions of “whom” others “are”, and “what” situations really were. How often do we just listen and observe, without judgement or question? This realisation forced me to seek friends and relationships that could support this deeper understanding. I then took inventory of my friendships and relationships and realised, that sadly, many of them were based on so many assumptions and misunderstandings (these were the so-called co-dependent ones). Then, I got thinking about these relationships and humbly admitted that I was responsible for creating them…and that, in the end, I am ultimately responsible for either continuing to feed them, change them or leave them.
Now I feel as though Love has an entirely new meaning for me. I mentioned on Ruby’s post that (for most of my life) I didn’t really feel genuine love from many people but my mum, and I guess that this story might explain why (at least partly). When I think of my experiences (historical and current), I don’t feel much different from anyone else and my experiences (other than the Light thingie) might sound similar to yours or someone you know. I also don’t feel superior to anyone because of my spiritual discoveries either. I just feel very grateful for having connected to that loving person within myself. Now, when I speak of Love (with respect to giving and obtaining Love as a form of connection with others), it is done openly and without the requirement of currency. I am responsible for my Self-Esteem, and mine alone. I do not need to fuel the love in my relationships with any form of currency (self-esteem included). It is this healthy self-love that allows ourselves to feel worthy enough to be loved by others. It is up to “you”, my friends and family to love yourself, and in turn, we can be “One”.
Namaste my friends
ps. Contrary to what my parents taught me (bless their souls, for they meant well), I also learned that I didn’t have to take on the world in trousers and a tie…I learned that I could take on the world in high heel shoes and feminine attire…