Tuesday, 10 May 2022

Pop Thought: It Was Never You They Saw. You Have Always Been Perfect.

I sent a version of this message to a friend recently and they found it helpful. I was wondering if it might be helpful to someone else as well.


“So, what's clear to me is that, with that person –insert name of a person you feel incredibly attracted to but who hurts you with their behaviour or words or bad treatment and you know it’s unhealthy to maintain a relationship with them but feel like you can’t stop-, you are living out your infant self's experience. That infant sensed the love/potential love/lack of love of its mother/father/caregiver/etc. and then that mother/ father/ caregiver/etc., because of their own trauma and life experiences, acted in unloving ways. The infant, having no way to understand why this happened, assigned the blame to itself. The infant took on the belief: "It's because of something that I am or I do or that emanates from me that the person went away/treats me badly/won’t interact with me/harms me/speaks to me that way". 

If you can take that information deeply in, the truth that you (as that infant and, as an extension, the you of today) TRULY deserve the love, attraction, attention, warmth, care, etc. and NOT the abandonment/bad treatment, you will be able to explain to those people kindly that their behaviour and bad treatment of you is no longer allowed and walk away from the relationships where that is not respected.


The truth is, it never had anything to do with the qualities that that infant had or didn't have nor anything it did or it was or it emanated. This is where "I’m not worthy" (or insert your most damning belief about yourself here) comes from. It's simply not true. You may appear “not worthy” but only to people who have similar issues to that caregiver's. You are somehow the mirror for those issues in their own lives that they don't know how to deal with. 

Any other person who loved children and didn't have the particular emotional baggage that your caregiver had would have looked at that infant and loved it completely, accepted it entirely and never, ever abandoned it, always tried to fulfill its needs, always treated it well and you would never have believed that you are not worthy. The abandonment/bad treatment only happened because of your caregiver’s internal experience... we can't know what exactly but some combination of...  intense emotions (ex. shame, fear, anger, distrust, disgust, grief, etc. ad infinitum), beliefs about themselves or others, beliefs about the world and its safety and their past trauma and experiences.


I feel that seeing this type of intense, difficult, love relationship through a karmic lens instead of a psychological one might be detrimental. Through that lens, it might appear that you are somehow "responsible" for that person treating you the way they do. Some interpretations of “karma” permit or expect bad relationships or treatment from others as “the other side of the coin” for things you “did/said” in a past life or lives, something you have to learn, something you need to change or do. From the psychological view point, it was NEVER about you - the infant you. The only thing you need to do or change is your level of love for yourself. When there is true self-love, chronic bad treatment or abandonment are never attractive.


The problem of how those people your are attracted to see you is all theirs, the decisions are all theirs and relate only to their own past and inner experiences. What I'm trying to say is that what makes you seem not worthy to that person is not something that comes FROM YOU but rather something that comes FROM THEM, hits you (you are a mirror) and bounces back in their own face which causes them to have a negative reaction. There is a big difference.


I am... entirely worthy!It's important to understand that you cannot change their internal experience, you only have the power to change your own.

From the moment you can believe that, you will know in your heart that you can have the love without having to put up with the abandonment/bad treatment. When the truth of your worthiness becomes clear to you (if you had been welcomed by an emotionally and mentally healthy caregiver this would have been clear from the start), then that belief/issue of “unworthiness” (or whatever your personal painful belief is) will be truly healed. If not this time, then the next relationship or the one after that or the one after that.”


Wishing each and every one of you that deep healing!

Wednesday, 23 March 2022

Pop Thought: Love does not excuse consistent bad behaviour.

It's not because I love you that I should allow you to consistently treat me in ways that are disrespectful of my time, my physical body, my energy, my feelings or my space.
A couple of years back, I was in a relationship with someone I loved very much and who loved me. I knew his love for me was real. However, when I would reach out to connect with him, he would consistently: not respond to my messages, ignore questions or requests, make no effort to contact me, give me "the silent treatment", etc. I always got the image of being a dog locked in a room with him on the other side of the door holding the door shut with his foot. Then, all of a sudden, when he decided it was time, he would reach out and open the door. We would then get together. When we were together, I knew he loved me and his love was enticing and delicious to me but his behaviour was unacceptable and I had to end the relationship. Not in anger, just with the knowledge that I deserve (and need) to be treated with respect. Even now, we love each other and we are not together and that feels right.

Recently, a friend was telling me about a budding friendship/possible relationship he was experiencing. It was both exciting and very painful and confusing. When he would just bump into the woman by accident, she was always incredibly enthusiastic about seeing him. Huge, warm hugs, giant smiles, deep eye contact, long conversations in hallways. He could see from her reactions that she sincerely enjoyed his company. However, as soon as they would make a plan to see each other (whether he initiated or she did, whether the next day or the next week) she would either not be there when he would go to meet her or she would send him a note to cancel with a feeble, implausible excuse. The distressing behaviour was very consistent and she is now locked out of his heart. Their relationship will go no further.

And then there are those who often hit their partners and truly regret what they've done. And those that often cheat on their partners and really wish they hadn't. Or those who simply don't or can't help their lover when help is requested. There are always two sides to any story and in most cases people deserve a second chance but when we're talking about 3rd, 4th and 5th chances something is very off and needs to be reassessed.

Often, it's emotional immaturity, childhood attachment styles, trauma or some other mental health issue that gets in the way of the love that is really there. These causes are sad and not necessarily the person's fault. However, the healing is absolutely that person's responsibility. 

Image by geralt on Pixabay.com
Love isn't always enough and, despite what rom-coms might try to tell us, it doesn't heal all wounds... unfortunately. Love can help, support and encourage but the person themselves are the only ones who can take the necessary action-steps to change. If they're not open to becoming aware of their issues or are not willing or able to broach the subject or make strides to adopt more healthy behaviours then we need to think of ourselves first. It is up to us to decide when love is and isn't enough and when the pain from the behaviour is not worth it. In most relationships, we get to choose how we allow ourselves to be treated. 

In a relationship of any kind, love and painful behaviours are two separate things. We need to measure both the love and the pain that the behaviour causes us and make our choices. Just begin to notice whether you want the person to change their behaviour more than they want it themselves and take that into account. 

If you leave the person, it doesn't necessarily mean you don't love them. It may just mean that their behaviours are no longer acceptable to you, not good for your well-being or your self-esteem/self-respect and those are very valid reasons. Your beloved partner is sometimes doing the best they can and sometimes it's still not enough for you and your needs. And that may be painful to understand but it's valid, too. 

Don't excuse consistent bad conduct because you love someone. Love would be horrified, I think, to be the reason someone would accept disrespectful or unacceptable behaviours. Love wants people to be and feel like their best and most satisfied selves, not distressed or abused in each others' company.