The last six months have been pretty intense for me, to say the least. I have been doing a lot of healing around the loss of a relationship, as well as healing from challenges that came up during that 2-1/2 year relationship. I always thought that one day I would write a book and help others to heal from telling my story and what I have learned from going through so much pain…but I’m going to start here.
I grew up in an intense home with an alcoholic and very violent father. I lived most of my childhood in extreme fear and survival mode. I often didn’t know which end was up. I didn’t know where to turn, or who to turn to, so I just shut off. I didn’t know how to express my emotions or my pain, so I stuffed it all down and put on a happy face. As I grew into an adult, I did everything I could to NOT relive my painful childhood by taking a spiritual path of healing, and, as much as I learned along the way, and thought I had healed, it seemed there was always more darkness to emerge. I don’t tell you this so that you will feel sorry for me or so I can keep reliving that story, but the truth is, I did relive that story…just in another form – an intimate relationship. And I tell you this only because I know that so many of you will be able to relate….
Being on a spiritual journey has allowed me to heal a lot of my past, but what it didn’t allow me to heal was my deepest darkest parts of unworthiness and self-loathing. I looked to gurus, self-help books, workshops, yoga teachers, hugging saints, kirtan, yoga and everything outside of myself that I thought would help me and bring me that feeling of deep love that I felt when I was in a relationship with another person. I am not saying that these things didn’t help me, on the contrary, they helped me tremendously, but they didn’t give me what I needed to really get to the core of my self-loathing and why I chose to bring a relationship into my life that would mirror and bring up my deepest, darkest and most painful wounds from childhood. I thought I had left that all behind. Yet, there was a part of me, the unconscious part that I really have no control over, that was running me and basically “helped’ me attract this person into my life so that I could have the biggest opportunity of my life to heal and move forward from all those childhood beliefs I innocently and unknowingly picked up along the way. To really learn to love myself fully and completely and KNOW deep down that I am worthy of a loving, respectful and co-committed partnership.
Most of us do not understand how much our unconscious patterns run us, until we keep seeing them played out over and over in our daily lives. If you are on a spiritual path, and I am guessing you are if you read The Daily Love, then I’m sure you have a little insight into your own patterns and how they show up in your life. Sometimes we have to repeat them over and over to get the lesson and sometimes we only need to repeat it once. And it doesn’t really matter how aware we are or how many tools we have. I thought I had the golden toolbox filled with the shiniest tools available to have a perfect relationship. I was convinced that the next relationship I was going to be in would be the most loving, adoring and healthy relationship I ever had. I was ready (in my mind) and had been “polishing” up my tools for so many years, that I thought I could not fail this time. Well, I didn’t really fail even though the relationship didn’t work. I was left with a broken, mashed up heart with all my “flaws” gaping from an open hole in my spirit, but this really provided me the opportunity to STOP once and for all and really LOOK at where all these misinterpretations and limiting beliefs had held me back from knowing and listening to my deeper truth.
The truth is, as painful as the break up and relationship were, it served me on the deepest level of my healing and is still serving me. There is no more tippy-toeing around my “issues”; now I get to really GO IN and learn to LOVE myself, and I mean ALL of myself, even those parts that I feel ashamed of. These parts are so “IN MY FACE” that I cannot avoid them anymore, and that’s what I really see as the lesson: that the Uni-verse provided me with this awesome opportunity to really heal and learn to LOVE & ACCEPT those places in me that I thought were completely unlovable. It’s still a process and there is always work, or should I say, loving to be done. Do I fully love myself? Not yet, but I am a work in progress and I am a human being and I know I am capable of loving another with reckless abandon; so now I get to learn to love myself the same way, even when I am sad, angry, blue or irritable. It’s easy to feel love for ourselves when we are happy and joyful, but the real love comes in when we can love these “dark” parts.
So, how do you really love yourself and embrace those parts of you that you feel you need to hide from the world, or that you might be ashamed of? Remember, we are human beings, and we will always have stuff come up from our past in our present, but it’s all how we are being with ourselves throughout these painful processes. What I have found is that LOVING myself through it all, ACCEPTING the parts of me that feel unlovable and dark is where I find real peace and a sense of knowing that I am OK no matter what, even if I never find a partner.
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Melissa is personal chef , wellness coach and nutrition educator. Check out her website here.