The first time I saw this quote, it melted my heart.
My soul has always been searching for love, sympathy, empathy, tolerance, patience, and non-judgement since I discovered that these qualities are my most precious values. But my childhood pretty heavily impacted my life, and because of the messages I heard when I was young, coupled with a low self-esteem and poor psychological boundaries, I believed the perceived prickly criticism from others to be true. If someone told me something, then “they’re right,” and whatever I hoped to believe about myself was wrong if it were contrary to what they were saying. I took on the negative feedback and made it my mantra because I had no ability to love myself enough to validate my worth in the face of cruelty. I didn’t have strength to deflect the emotional attacks.
I’ve also had a habit of attracting people in my life who were a mirror image of my mother’s narcissism, putting me down, discouraging me, telling me I’m not good enough and that these things can’t be surpassed. Because this is the love I thought I deserved. It’s as if I’ve been trying to vicariously heal my childhood wounds by trying to fix carbon copies of my mother’s personality. I even had a boyfriend who would threaten to break up with me every time I would dissociate from a Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder trigger. He would scream that I “would never change” and that I was somehow hurting him with the way I couldn’t understand or express my need to just be alone when things felt upsetting. I chose to give my love to people who hurt me because my inner child genuinely believed that in order to “feel better” and “stop experiencing the same emotional pain” I had to fight the tides of other people’s wounds. If I could change the embodiment of “my mother,” then I could “heal” our relationship. In reality, no one is trying to hurt me because they want to hurt me; it’s just the quality of love expression they received and because of that, it’s the only one they know how to give. They’re not “evil;” they’re wounded just like I am. But I volunteered to enter and trap myself in relationships with people who hurt me, when loving both that person and myself would otherwise mean I should let them go. Finally, I let go. As I’ve heard in AA meetings, let go or bedragged.
That’s when I found meditation to help build my self-esteem enough so I could get the validation from within myself instead of relying on an external source for my security and happiness.
Meditations such as the above quote helped me to get in touch with my little inner child who knows and feels love in her heart, but can’t articulate it and can’t use it as a shield against others’ contrary beliefs. My wounds don’t make me a “bad” person; they make me human. My ability to apply meditation to these problems, to see them as “wounds” (which are temporary inflictions that just need healing) allowed them to finally mend them. Like an open cut on my skin, I finally agreed to wash it out with rubbing alcohol. It stings at first, because the presence of pain means healing is occurring. But the result is that instead of becoming infected, the skin repairs itself and that damaged skin on my body can now continue serving the whole organism. Like me when I heal my emotional and psychological wounds: I can be of service to those around me. This includes the nasty energy we give people when we’re in a “bad mood” and obsess over how awful all that is; notice how much easier life around you becomes when letting go of the “monkeys on your back.”
This mindset of loving compassion and acceptance of my mistakes and shortcomings allows me to embrace the hiccups in my path instead of punishing myself for them, especially those that are the direct result of what I consider to be poor choices. When I learn to love every part of myself, I can find serenity and freedom. Life becomes easier to manage when I stop resisting the natural ebbs and flows, an essential aspect of which is my personal growth. If we were made to be perfect, we would have nothing to work toward. There would be no room for improvement. No goals, no dreams, no desires. We would have it all already. We would be stagnant.
Life isn’t meant to be perfect; we all make mistakes. We all have wounds. We all need to heal. By recognizing what I’m attracted to that’s causing me pain, I can then change my course. The first step is always admitting. As I heard recently in an AA meeting, only “admitting” the problem exists is “Step 0” because we just go around in circles, repeatedly hitting our heads against the wall not learning the lesson that we need to grow, until we then proceed to Step 1 to take the required action to change.
By shifting my perspective that my wounds have made me strong rather than mark me as a weakling, I can expand my consciousness to one that loves every part of me, every messy, mixed-up, dark, and bright moment of my life. I’ve heard that we are spiritual beings have a human experience. The human experience means I have some obstacles to overcome and some growing to do; the spiritual experiences are the actions I consciously take to meet them head-on and overcome them. I can overcome my “humanness” by embracing the spiritual truth of who I really am at my core: a spiritual being (the love within me that accepts my mistakes). By surpassing the things that used to cripple me, I’m actually strong.
Keep on trucking’, my friends. We’re all on this journey together. And the journey is a blessing because we were chosen to take it.
Disclaimer Charlotte Grey does not claim any professional training in social work or psychiatry. The suggestions listed on this page and on this website are meant to inspire supplemental treatment options for self-help. It is recommended that professional treatment be combined with any solutions discussed herein for suspected or known psychological or psychiatric malady, and that the content of this website not be used as substitute for professional treatment.
writing © Charlotte Grey Writings
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