Monday, December 10, 2012

What About Me? Healing Relationships - Information Isn't the Same as Entitlement & Self Esteem

We’ve made a kind of God out of information as if it’s the best thing about our achievements. We also often believe that once we’ve got the right information about relationships we’re healed, instantly. But if that was true, why are we all in reality still struggling to experience the abundance and fulfilment we crave, and the love and respect we’ve been dreaming about since we were children?

When I’m not being treated well, reading about how I deserve better is like being offered shade and drinking cool clear spring water when I’m dying of thirst in the desert. As I’m reading I definitely get a sense of what self confidence could feel like, and that my life could be better. What’s wrong with that?  Nothing. 

But if that’s all I do, just read and think I’m miraculously healed, as soon I put the book down and have to actively deal with the person who doesn’t treat me with love and respect I’m back facing the truth that I haven’t changed. For so long in my healing process I believed that knowing all the theory was the same as healing. I got pretty good at the theory, but I reached a point of thinking what’s the use of feeling okay about myself when I’m alone if I can’t sustain it when I’m with other people?

And most of all if I can’t be real in relationships? Because that’s what I wanted really badly. To be real. I once read a quote that said ‘positive thinking doesn’t make things happen and negative thinking doesn’t stop them from happening.’ I laughed it off because I was really into positive thinking, I was sure it was changing everything for me. I’d been in a lousy relationship and I walked away.

I’d been able to convince myself with positive thinking that I deserved better. But then reality hit. It hurt to leave him so much. And suddenly I wasn’t at all sure that I was doing the right thing, because he seemed really puzzled about why I left. I realized he thought he was doing the best he could. I got really confused. All my positive thinking flew out the window, like it had never existed. 

I tortured myself with wondering if I was being selfish, if I was the self-obsessed one. What if I was just expecting too much from him? If I was refusing to accept him why should he accept me? The debate never seemed to end, I never had an answer that could settle me down and make me feel okay with myself.  At night I would cry myself to sleep. 

I started realizing that the message of be positive about yourself had gone into my brain, and I’d got all excited about the information that I deserved better, which gave me enough to leave, but after I’d left, some other part of me went into total rebellion. It was like there was absolutely no connection between my brain and my heart. I knew he was wrong for me but I couldn't feel it. I couldn’t stop myself longing for him.

I’d left but I couldn’t let go of him in my heart, and I was miserable. All the information I had about my deservability and all the positive thoughts in my head didn’t affect that at all. It was a long time before I learned that information on its own doesn’t change entitlement and self esteem. And it’s only when those things change for real that you can walk away from people who don’t give you the love and respect you deserve.