Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Does being needed = Love?
How many years did I cultivate ways to be needed as a way to get love? Seems like it started around age 4 when my Dad had a big identity crisis that pushed him to clean out the bank accounts and leave town to find himself with no intention of returning (albeit without announcing any of this in advance to my mother or me). I came downstairs to find my mother, having just put the pieces together, in pieces crying in the dark on the living room sofa. At that moment, I lost my innocence. My mother's pain was so big for her that she had become completely withdrawn in that moment. Very scary for a sensitive, empathic little boy. The only way I knew to connect was to become the fixer...to be needed. On a non-verbal, pre-rational level, I stopped trusting love and closed my heart, surrounding it with a thick coating of fear that promised to protect me and keep me safe from any future pain.
I spent years, and thousands of hours and dollars pouring over books, teachings, and teachers to become invaluable...indispensible, and needed. The energy that came back to me in moments where I was needed was generally not love, and if indeed it was love, I could rarely feel it as love, given the saran-wrap of fear surrounding my heart. Real love triggered fear of abandonment...and a whole set of reflexes bent on proving my value and worth correlate with the degree of love coming my way. All this created was drama, power-struggles, and deep loneliness to feel seen, heard, and included...a feeling of being invisible, except for the times when I would be able to come to someone's rescue.
There have been many deep moments of love and connection in my life. However, my ability to root deeply into them through self-love was fleeting. Training to become a healer has been my education about Love. Through learning how to help other people connect to Truth and Love, I have been taken on the same journey. This journey has no end. Just as the Universe continues to expand and create more life, there seems to be infinite depth to the realization and embodiment of Love. Love without a reason, Love without a cause, Love without any conditions.
The more I love me, the more I feel love for everything and from everything. When I'm believing the insane voice of insecurity, there's no love...just power struggles with all of life that don't go anywhere expansive or uplifting.
The latest catalyst came my way in June of this year as I was reading early drafts of my friend and mentor David Elliott's second book HEALING. I've been hearing about self-love for years. Something in me was ready to let self-love wake up within me in palpable and grounded ways in the last number of months. Something about me has irrevocably opened to Love. Every aspect of my life is a different experience because of it. Remarkably different. Even my body. And for all the transformation that's gone down in the last number of months, I know I've only begun to scratch the surface of what's possible.
I'd say it's the first exercise in the book...the one that asks me to make a list of all the ways I love myself...to do this daily until it becomes easy to recognize and feel. Working with this exercise day-in and day-out...remembering, forgetting, remembering, forgetting, remembering, and remembering.....
The gold in this book is in the practicing. It's in cultivating the discipline long enough to out-create the illusions of being separate, alone, insecure, unworthy, etc. Are you worth it? I know I am. And from my point-of-view, either everyone is worth it, or no one is. We are all worth it. That's just how it is.
Today I was with a new friend for a delicious home-made lunch. I met him fairly recently, and noticed a deep attraction arising on my end that I had thought was mutual. However, as I leaned into it a little deeper in the last few days, I noticed that there was a strong sexual energy moving through me when I thought of him that wasn't moving through my heart. There were two distinct flavors in my experience of my energy while thinking of him: one of the spiritual seeker with a big heart within him, the other as pure physical desire.
This morning, prior to our lunch, I was meditating. In meditation, my intuition suggested there was likely some sexual abuse energy around the friend that was triggering old patterns in me that were rooted in similar energy...an old energy that says things like, "Take a short-cut...sex will get you the love and intimacy you crave," and other lies. As it was arising, I was guided to connect more deeply to self-love and be willing to see that this person may indeed not be a romantic partner for me at this time. That this may be a relationship that teaches me more about clarity with love and clarity with what love is not.
At lunch, he was sharing about a family member with addiction prominently in her life. I smelled the energy of sexual abuse, and took the risk of asking...at which point, he shared that not only did she have it, but he too had sexual abuse in his life at an early age. This energy that he carries, that I have been looking at within myself, is very psychic. It can spot other people with similar energies stored or suppressed in their body and emotions and stimulate it to make a connection that is not based on love, but based on neediness and insecurity.
Putting this on the table in our conversation; establishing that at this time our relationship is not set up to be a romantic one, gives both of us the freedom to be honest, risk opening our hearts a little wider, and share in the journey of healing.
The more each of us steps into courage and speaks and writes about these energies, the sooner Love, real Love, will become easier to spot and connect with.
It is time to lay aside the illusions -- the anger, fear, and sadness do not protect us. They do not nurture us. They have become adept at creating the illusion of love. It is time for LOVE. Love is not a peak experience, it is not something that can be given or taken. Love can only be demonstrated within oneself, within myself. As I love myself in your presence, something powerful happens. And it's always amazing to me.
David's book, with the exercises, and breathing meditations are one of the cleanest supports I've seen for this awakening.