At times, we are our own worst enemies. Our critical “inner voice” is formed from our early life experiences. Without realizing it, we tend to internalize attitudes that were directed toward us by parents or influential caretakers throughout our development. Once we know where our self sabotaging thoughts come from, we can start to differentiate the negative identity we have cast upon ourselves. We can familiarize ourselves with our critical “inner voice” and notice when it starts to seep in to our thought process. As we do this, we can start to recognize ways we act that we don’t like or respect. It is like being a detective to recognize my “inner critic” and it takes diligence and commitment to change it.
I have been on the journey of loving myself and self- care for many years and that includes changing my critical “inner voice.” I am learning to love & trust myself more deeply as I trust the process and live in the moment. I experience peace when I follow my intuition and know what I want.
Through a series of events, I realized how I unconsciously self-sabotage myself. Self-sabotaging behaviors are often hidden from our everyday thoughts. I know that when starting something new, a part of us is going to resist the change and fear may come up. That could be a new job, a new relationship, a move, a birth, a new career. It takes courage to do something you haven’t done before and often doubts will arise.
This week I bumped into old behaviors that reared their ugly head. The good news is that I recognized the behaviors and therefore had a choice as to what I wanted to do to change them. Being in a new relationship with Larry is wonderful and I am so grateful that he is in my life, but intimacy with a partner heals us by bringing up old unconscious pain to the surface so it can be resolved and released. Closeness with another brings up our fears of abandonment and rejection, and their close relatives on the other side of the pendulum, fears of entrapment and commitment. Intimacy means in-to-me-see.
Both are two sides of the same coin. They are fear of losing love, and fear of losing self.
These fears come up in all intimate relationships to be dealt with and healed. They are behind all behaviors of clinging, distancing, controlling, protecting, numbing out, aggression, passive-aggression, and extreme, fear-based independence.
The important thing is to be able to recognize our fears and behaviors and not block God’s flow of good into your life. I put my book “to bed” and didn’t look at it for one year because I was afraid to move forward. I didn’t identify it as fear at the time and said to myself, “I just don’t want to do it.”
But the truth is I was filled with fear, but not ready to admit it and face it. If I hadn’t faced my fear and written my book, I would not be enjoying the life I have now. Today, when fears or doubts arise, I pray and affirm my faith in God’s healing power.
Here is how I unconsciously almost sabotaged my relationship with Larry this week. I had to “check out” things a few times that I was imagining in my head and found out that I was making up stories that weren’t true. I stress myself out needlessly because of the unconscious fear of losing him. Our relationship is so good that “It’s too good to be true” may have been playing in the background. I have changed that to “It’s good and it’s true.” Because of this fear, I found myself distancing from him in small ways. If I push him away, I can’t be hurt as I have been in the past.
What has also come to the light is how I sabotage myself by wanting to do things perfectly and put pressure on myself to know something before I have even been taught. Sometimes my expectations of myself are unrealistic. When I am stressed and put pressure on myself, I am my own worst enemy. I wrote this in my journal this week. No more pressure, only pleasure.
Along with the perfectionism was the need to rush and have it all NOW rather than be patient and trust the process. The old behavior of trying so hard to make it right and control things were evident in my life. Can you relate?
The way out of this is through it. I first became aware of my feelings and behaviors and how I was sabotaging myself because of fear. I wanted things to be perfect and was rushing to have it all NOW. As I worked through it and was able to see the truth, I was able to share honesty with Larry about my experience. I allowed myself to be vulnerable and faced my fears. I now understand that patience and trust in God are important ingredients on the road to intimacy and healing.
When Larry came to my door tonight he said, “I think you have a problem with your water pipe.” I came out and followed him down the long driveway to the road. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the water gushing out of the pipe into the air and running down the road. I had no idea how long it had been going on or what to do about it. Larry ran to his car to get a tool and tried to stop it, but to no avail.
Then I remembered! I had the plumber’s telephone number in my phone because he had just called me a couple of hours earlier concerning my kitchen faucet that was leaking.
I immediately called the plumber and was so happy that I didn’t get his answering machine. I desperately explained the problem to him. He said, “I will be there in 5 minutes.” I had no idea that he lived one street away and I don’t think it was 5 minutes before his truck pulled up. He took one look at the water gushing out of the pipe and said, “We have a big problem here.” I could have told him that. He called the owner on the mainland to inform him of the problem and to get his permission to fix it.
He was then able to shut off the main water valve and the gushing water stopped. Luckily he had a replacement fitting to replace the one that had cracked. The next thing I knew it was fixed and we thanked him for coming over so quickly.
Larry and I just looked at each other stunned how easily and effortlessly it was fixed. We kept thanking God for the synchronicity and timing of everything. If Larry hadn’t come over at that time, I wouldn’t have known that the pipe was gushing out hundreds of gallons of water. If I hadn’t called the landlord a couple of days ago, the plumber would not have come over today to look at the kitchen faucet. If he hadn’t called me today, I wouldn’t have had his telephone number in my phone.
God is interested in the details of our lives. I experience miracles all the time which makes me know that I am not alone and am taken care of. It was ironic because this gushing water in the pipe had nothing to do with my faucet in the sink. God knew that I would need a plumber for this emergency.
On a more personal note, I’d like to share my spiritual lesson for the week. I am learning to take myself lightly and laugh at myself. Many years ago I learned the importance of saying no, especially to my children. Of course, they didn’t like it because they liked me being a people pleaser and getting what they wanted. I know that was the best thing I could have done for myself and for them because I taught them how important it was to love themselves and say no-without feeling guilty.
Over the last few years I’ve been sharing with Larry the importance of loving himself first and not being a people pleaser. He has also witnessed how I love myself. Wow, it came back to bite me in the butt. I didn’t like it when he actually put himself first when it had to do with me. I was surprised, shocked, hurt and angry when he clearly and kindly said what he was going to do, which was not what I wanted him to do. I shared my feelings with him and really saw my “childish behavior” in action. I sulked and was quiet for a while. I then prayed because I knew I needed divine intervention because of how angry I felt. He said to me, “This is our first disagreement.” I barked at him and said, “No, this is a fight.” Then backed down and said, “Ok it’s a disagreement.”
We had lunch and I was able to explain to him how I perceived his actions and why it felt so hurtful. He listened and explained his reasons for doing what he needed to do for himself. By then, I was starting to soften and was able to smile. Even though I was beginning to calm down, I found myself dropping some snide remarks as we walked around Costco.
I am so grateful for the power of prayer that helped me move forward so quickly. I was then inspired with a plan that both of our needs were met. We both agreed to the new plan and I was able to laugh at myself for my childish behavior. I didn’t realize what a good teacher I had become and how well Larry learned the lesson of loving himself first.
The next day Larry shared with me that whenever he thought about our little disagreement , he burst out laughing because he saw the humor in my “little girl” behavior. I am grateful that he was so patient and didn’t escalate the situation.
I am grateful for the opportunities to grow and change and laugh at myself. It would have been so easy to beat up on myself and obsess about it, but instead I was able to love and forgive myself.
As my birthday approached this week, I promised myself that I would not let anything or anyone rob me of my joy and peace, like I have done in the past in regards to my birthday. Being forgotten on my birthday by a family member year after year left a lasting memory. I reminded myself that was the past and this was the present.
I wanted to celebrate my birth and have a great birthday, and I did. My mantra was “I am open to receive (without judgment) whatever and whoever wants to give to me on my birthday.”
It was overwhelming and humbling when I received so many happy birthday wishes from Facebook friends, especially friends that I graduated high school with 50 years ago. My beloved, Larry, who calls me his QUEEN made me feel very special. We had a glorious day celebrating my birthday with dinner and a show. He bought me a beautiful topaz ring that I love and sent me 2 cards with poems that he wrote for me. How much better does it get than this? It is true, good things come to those who wait.
My friends and family called to wish me a happy birthday and sent cards and gifts and I truly felt loved. My women’s’ WOW group (Women of Wisdom) had a birthday cake for me and my friend, Kati, took me out to lunch and brought me lovely gifts and 2 roses.
What I have learned is that I can ask for what I want, but that doesn’t mean the other party will deliver, especially family members. I know that if I ask, there is at least a chance that I will be heard and get what I want as I have shared in past blogs.
When I am not heard and don’t get what I want, I have several choices: I can speak up & share my disappointment, I can shut up & detach, I can be grateful for “what is”, I can let go & accept, I can focus on what I do have, I can hold a resentment and feel like a victim, or I can live in my joy no matter what anyone does or doesn’t do. You see, I am not responsible for the actions of others- what they do or don’t do, what they say or don’t say. I am only responsible for my own actions and reactions and that is plenty enough to take care of.
In the past, when I didn’t know any better, I tried to guilt family members to do what I wanted them to do. They may have done what I wanted them to do once to get me off their back, but it was only temporary. People will do what they want to do and that is really what I want, because it will come from their heart. Today I know that if someone does something or gives me something, it is because they want to and not because they should or out of guilt.
I have learned to do what I want to do because it feels good and it is the loving thing to do. I don’t do what I don’t want to do (if it is not hurting another). I resist if I sense that someone is trying to guilt me into doing something that I don’t want to do. That once worked, but it doesn’t anymore.
I have had a history of taking things personally and thinking it was all about me when a loved one didn’t do what I wanted them to do. I know today that it usually has nothing to do with me. What a relief and blessing it is to know this for myself and for the people who love me and I love. I caused myself undue stress and pain for many years because I thought I wasn’t loved or deserving because someone didn’t do what I asked and wanted them to do. I needed to change my thinking and realize not everyone has the same love language as me.
Of course, it is wonderful to be loved and to love another person. That is what makes the world go around and I am very grateful for the love in my life. I have learned that when I look to another to fill up my tank because it is empty, I give my power away and feel like a victim when I don’t get what I want.
Nobody can give to me what I can give to myself. The love that I want and deserve is my own love and God’s love. When I don’t get what I want from another, I don’t have to wait around because I can give it to myself. For example, I buy myself flowers, cards or something special just for me. I take myself out for dinner or lunch when I want to.
The spiritual journey is about knowing what is mine and what is not mine. It is about knowing what I can and cannot control. I cannot control what another person does or doesn’t do no matter how hard I try. Trying to control another person is futile and disrespectful and it just doesn’t work.
The good news is that I know what I can control and change and that is me: my actions, my thoughts, my reactions and my attitudes. Today, I take responsibility for all of my choices, actions and trust the process of life, knowing that I attract everything and every situation into my life for my highest good.
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