You’d think that, being perhaps one of the most influential things on our lives, we would have been taught to do relationships with awareness, as opposed to learning about relationships through the aftermath of hurt, pain, bullying, parental mismanagement. It took me 37 years to even become aware of one critical understanding that for me, changed everything. 37 years to see that there was another way I could be in relationship to others (and myself) that created more love and freedom, rather than more of what I didn’t want (insecurity, feeling unworthy, emotional pain). I had never been exposed to the truth.
The truth is. My culture and communities taught me the way to do relationships is to expect others to meet my emotional needs. I have a feeling, I look outside for someone or something to take responsibility for that, to ease it or to fix it. Yet no one can be responsible for my feelings except me – because they are MY feelings. They are something that is generated from within me and sometimes they may have no connection to what is happening outside of me – they are MY response to the outside world.
For example, imagine having a loving boyfriend, supportive and caring. Yet due to a past relationship where a boyfriend cheated on you, you feel suspicious, jealous and resentful instead of feeling supported, loved and cared for. The reverse might also apply – he could be cheating on you and disrespecting you, however, you are feeling loved up and worthy by being in relationship with him.
Our feelings can only ever be our responsibility.
And this is the best news ever! NOW you don’t need to wait for anyone else to come along to make you feel better. You don’t need them to change, be anything other than they are – THEY HAVE NO POWER OVER YOU because you have taken back the power of your own emotional wellbeing, strength and courage. And as an added bonus, the more emotionally empowered you are, the more able you are to discern the Truth (is it him? Or is it me?) and the more able you are to respond rather than react.
Of course, the little person deep inside you is like, Noooooooo! I want to be saved, I want to be cared for, I don’t want to do it alone! And ‘of course’ they’re resisting – because they are the child in you. And what do children do? They get looked after because they’re not able to meet their own needs. This was a valid behaviour as children – AND a valid reaction now. Nothing strange or wrong about that, it’s just that now is the opportunity for us to parent this part of us, so we feel freedom instead of powerlessness, love instead of hurt and pain. Now we have the opportunity to see the reaction and NOT act on it.
Moving towards an empowered society, when a child is young we could give them the skills, insights and practical experience on how to take responsibility for their feelings. We could teach them the way to work with their emotions to build self understanding. Imagine a world of adults that did not act from fear – no judgement, no bullying, no criticism, no subtle power plays – just the ability to support, connect and create emotional safety?
For now, it’s loving ourselves enough to become good friends with the things that freak us out inside ourselves. This is using the heart to repair the heart – the DO-ing of pure love to activate the BEing of pure love. Sometimes the doing of pure love for self simply means taking an action you know you need to take but haven’t yet taken – it’s in the action that I express love for myself (even if I don’t feel it yet). Then because I took this action, I feel empowered (aka love), I feel satisfied and I’m on my way to long lasting fulfilment, deep connections and healing, nurturing relationships.
Sending love, Lisa x