One of the most valuable things I’ve learnt in recent times is that whatever anyone says or thinks about me is really more about themselves than me. I have had such a tendency in the past to use people who don’t like me or something I’m doing, or ‘how’ I am, to reinforce my negative beliefs about myself, ‘the truth’ and proof of me being a bad boy or unlovable, or even, more recently, untrustworthy. But I’ve realised that freeing myself from using these people’s stories and assumptions to abandon myself has to stop.
I read a quote someone posted recently by Byron Katie which said, ‘it’s not your job to like me, it’s mine’ and I skipped over it without really letting it in. Now it resonates loud and clear. When I get letters from folks who find me ‘too’ this or ‘not enough’ that, their diagnosis of me seems usually a strategy for them to skip their vulnerability of responsibility for what they are feeling that day. So it’s easier to blame and complain about how I shouldn’t be or how I should have been as a technique to get away from their feelings. It’s such a great opportunity for me to do the practice of NOT abandoning myself to their stories and instead to advocate for myself.
The whole of our culture has blamed and demonised characters throughout history as an attempt to deny their own shadows and vulnerabilities. Judas is the main archetype for this but all through history individuals and even whole races have been blamed and condemned in places where the culture didn’t have the maturity to own or acknowledge their own shadows. The blacks, the jews, the gays, women, men, even the disabled have had this treatment in all sorts of places throughout history. This, in some situations, often led those races or groups to actually believe they were bad, or that they were less or that there was something wrong with them. We’re so addicted to approval and it’s so convincing to be told you are bad that after a short while it can really take root.
It took root for me throughout my childhood, whether it was from the negative mirroring of my family or my teachers, being a so called ‘problem kid’ in school – and I’ve carried it with me my whole life. Until recently I would attract all sorts of people doing the same thing in different ways when they felt uncomfortable around me but needed an external excuse to escape the feeling. Now I feel the warrior blood rushing back into me and the strength to say ‘No’. I won’t be seduced by negative mirrors which re-trigger those beliefs I used to carry. I won’t be bullied in this way. I’m going to use each one to love myself and as a reminder to stop abandoning myself.
Tell me below if you’ve had this experience too and how you learnt to re-love yourself.
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