I took things personally

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When I got divorced 25 years ago after being married for 30 years, I admit I was very “needy.” Although I had done years of healing and transformation on myself, I still felt scared and overwhelmed, as I now had to make many decisions on my own.

I remember how vulnerable I felt going to the bank and opening my own checking account. The teller was so kind and compassionate and walked me through the process that I needed to take. 

I was divorced for 10 months when I met a man that I fell in love with and we were engaged for 2 years. He gave me lots of attention, gifts and love that I craved. He seemed to meet my every need, even before I needed it. I was in heaven and “intoxicated” until I wasn’t anymore. After a while, I felt smothered, manipulated, and controlled.  I wanted to say to him, “Get a life.”

I’m grateful for the relationship and all the lessons I learned through a very difficult time in my life. I learned to “speak up” and “stand up” for myself. I now realize that his focus on me was a cry for love. If he loved me BIG, I would love him back. I relate to that because before I learned to love myself, I looked “outside” too for love and, of course, it was never enough.

Looking back, I realize we both were codependent and looked to one another to fill the hole in the soul that only Spirit can fill.

I have been thinking about “unconditional love” and what it means rather than to love with conditions. In my earlier life, I loved conditionally as my ego was running the show. If you loved me, I loved you back. If you didn’t love me, I withdrew and held a resentment. I also:

  •  Took things personally.
  •  Felt responsible for the welfare of others, especially family members.
  •  Believed I was right and had all the answers.
  •  Was attached to the outcome and results in many situations.
  •  Blamed myself when someone withdrew, ignored me, didn’t take my   counsel, or treated me poorly.

I have always been a “helper.” I genuinely care about people and love to help and look for opportunities to be kind and loving. I went into the healing profession to help others. There’s nothing wrong with serving and helping others.

Something came up for me this week that was very deep that Spirit invited me to process. It was easy for me to recognize when I felt “needy.” It wasn’t that easy for me to admit that I wanted to feel “needed” to feel good about myself. In the past, I attracted “needy” people to make me feel worthy to be loved and build my self- esteem.

For several days, I counseled three friends who were struggling with serious health issues. When they seemingly “withdrew” for no reason and didn’t answer or respond to my texts, I felt some anxiety and asked myself,

  • Is being “needy” and wanting to “be needed” from the same coin, just the opposite side?
  • Was I addicted to feeling needed?

After praying and meditating on above, Spirit assured me that I wasn’t addicted to feeling needed. It was an opportunity to release an old belief “I need to be needed and wanted to feel love and worthy and deserving of others love.” This no longer served me and never has. The peace came when Spirit made me aware of the old belief and how to release it.

It is my desire to love unconditionally and purely. I am loving unconditionally when I no longer take things personally, am not attached to the outcome or result and don’t blame myself when someone withdraws or treats me unfairly. It’s about their journey and has nothing to do with me.

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Pat Hastings

Author, Inspirational Speaker, Spiritual Coach, Retreat Leader & Radio Talk Show Host

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