I stopped searching for it in the places and people who couldn’t give it to me…
I stopped seeking out, asking for it. Permission, approval and love from people and places that wouldn’t give it to me. Maybe they couldn’t. Maybe they didn’t know how. It doesn’t matter, really.
I didn’t in so many words ask for permission or approval or love. I asked by sharing what I was doing. I asked by telling people my successes. I asked by giving. I asked by reaching out. I asked by showing up.
But too often I had my bubble busted, my dreams crushed and picked apart. I was told I was “too much” and “not enough”… I was too loud, talked too much. I wasn’t encouraged, supported.
I remember one day in particular when I “got it”. I was having a heated conversation with someone and I felt myself suddenly watching the conversation and I knew she would never see me. She would never agree, never acknowledge, never give credit, never support me in the way I wanted and needed and hoped for.
And I stopped, in that moment, looking for it in places and people who couldn’t or wouldn’t give it to me. I stepped back and realized how many times and people and places I was begging for love, begging for acknowledgement that I existed, that I mattered.
I had a lot of reasons for seeking love in places that wouldn’t give it to me. It was funny to me how I couldn’t see and feel the immense support and love from those who were giving it but I was trying so hard to get it in people who couldn’t.
I had a lot of deep work, clearing work, trigger work, releasing and cleansing work to dig into the boxes that carried my pain, shame, and my need for permission and approval. And mostly I had to face why I needed someone outside of me to tell me I was good enough, to validate me.
The more I cleared the more I could see what was there, who was there and how they showed me their support and love. I started looking around and seeing love poured into me from the unexpected sources.
I felt unconditional love. Support. In people I never asked for it. In people I never saw secretly supporting me and loving me from behind the scenes… cheering me on.
In the deepest of dives, the darkest of places, the cleaning out of the ugly, the reactions, the triggers, the hiding, the fear, the resentment, not only of how others treated me but then how I treated them in return, how I hide, never showed up, never spoke up, acted and pretended, pushed away, closed off… the days were lonely.
There was the space between where I was and where I was not yet. That space closed every day as I let go more of who I was not and embraced more of who I am. And that gap is closing still, every day as I embrace more of who I am, as I stand on the edge of the cliff of uncertainty and expand more of my belief, my faith, my knowing, my intuition, my love.
The more I support my self, Love myself, Approve myself, The more I look up and around, Stand back and expand, I realized that I didn’t need anyone’s support except my own. As long as I needed someone else to tell me it was ok, what to do, how to do it, to give me the approval, the go ahead, the pat on the back, that it was because something at my core was missing.
And something was missing. Something was taken from me. In the words of Billy Joel “something I wouldn’t lose”. The more I went through my baggage, my dark night, the more I purged and cleared, the more of that I found… my power, my confidence, my strength, my knowing, my boundaries.
And the more I reclaimed the more I could see … a love that breaks me open… the support I always craved but never believed I could have…from myself and others. Not always the people I think ‘should’ give it to me. In fact, many times it’s not the people I think “should” give it to me that do. But I now recognize that because someone can’t love me or support me, it’s not because there’s something wrong with me… maybe they’re struggling with something that was taken from them too.
I don’t know. And it no longer matters. I don’t think about it anymore.
I used to focus on that. Who didn’t give me, who didn’t support me…. and it was only when I looked up could I see what had been missing for so long…My holes have been plugged… my life lit up from love. From within, from something deeper and more profound.
I had to give it to myself first. Until I could be open to receiving it, I couldn’t have it. It was really that simple.
When we don’t see it, it doesn’t mean it not available or that we need to do more, fight harder, beg more, set ourselves on fire to get it. Instead when you reach the place of knowing and being yourself, knowing your worth and stop settling, you move on. Let go. Let the hurt bleed through. Because it still does hurt. The difference is by the time you get to this place, you know how to process your emotions, to stop bottling things up, stop stuffing it down, stop destroying yourself to be pleasing.
You stop bending yourself into a pretzel and being something else for someone else. If they wanted someone else they should have chosen someone else. And you get that. Let the experience break you open and not close you off. Let it break down your walls, your barriers, your doors. Let it flood you with the pain.
Because we are allowed to feel. We are allowed to be emotional. We are allowed to express and experience. We don’t have to be put together robots in order to live. In fact, that’s the opposite of living. Stuffing it down destroys your life, your passion, your fire.
I expected to be let down. And eventually stopped asking for it in healthy ways. And like everyone, we find what we need in unhealthy ways if our needs are not met in healthy ones… so self connection (ummm, self pity) is connection. Not a healthy kind. But a justifiable kind when we push everyone away … even those who did not hurt us.
Accepting love and suppprt has been my hardest battle. Seeing myself through the eyes of others has helped but not always. I struggle some days with the redemption of myself, for the failure to speak, for my failure of courage.
My soul was starved. And I was scared of it, but craving it. I think I wanted someone to beat my doors down to show me, like they do in the movies. But this isn’t the movies and no one can give you love that you don’t have inside of you. No one can make you see it.
You have to open yourself. Do your own deep dive. Save yourself. Find your own soul, your own power, your own you. Then you can have the love that’s available to you and walk away from the people and places who do not love you.
Sometimes the love I receive hurts. It overwhelms me to sobs. It penetrated my darkest and hungriest places and fills my life and soul with a love so profound I don’t know what to do with it. But I’ve learned to stay with it, to let it cleanse and light up those last dark places inside of me, those places that I have never opened myself to.
The more that I allow myself to receive, the more that I see, the more I see, the more I accept – a constant expansion and a realization that it’s all any of us need… love… pure love, not conditional love. Not do this… or that… or be this and not that… that’s not love, that’s control.
Once you know what love feels like, what respect and worth feels like, you won’t settle, you won’t bend, you won’t stay, you won’t ask for, beg for, change who you are for… you’ll realize how silly that was in the first place.
PS… if you want to hear the whole story of my unchaining – pre-order my book Unchained – One Woman’s Journey of Unf*cking Her Life. – Here.