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.
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