It feels good to get attention. Flirting feels good. The need to receive love and kindness are built into our basic needs as human beings from the time we are born. So to be receptive to these feelings is not only normal but pushing away the source of these feelings can be difficult and can feel stressful.
I learned much about myself through my experience with the priest. I said that I felt like a spotlight had been shining on me like in an interrogation room. What was wrong with me to let this happen and how can I stop this from happening again?
When inter-acting with a “regular” person, I have often found myself placing blame on the other person when things don’t go smoothly. I don’t look at my own issues because they are being so unreasonable or hurtful or they have huge issues. Not my fault. I tried. I did my part. But with the priest being so….Godly…it turned much of the questioning back on myself.
A friend once told me that when you make a mistake, it is like walking down the street and falling into an open hole. Didn’t see it. Couldn’t help myself.
Walk down that same street a second time and you might trip over the same hole but not fall quite so far in.
Third time? I see that hole. I am choosing to trip over it. Can’t help it. It is just the way I am. Damn hole in the road. Couldn’t it see me coming? My knees are skinned but it took a little less time to recover.
Same road again? I see that stupid hole. It’s familiar. I don’t want to get hurt again but avoiding it is painful too because it means I have to go around it and I’ve never done that before. I’m being pulled towards the hole. But I see it….and I try….and I make it past.
The same way as if I were walking down that street, I now see the hole. I see it. And I want to jump in thinking it won’t hurt this time. I don’t want to avoid it. It means that I won’t get attention. It may mean that I have to provide my own approval. I don’t know how. I need the love. I will jump into the hole for the love. It’s too lonely on the outside. I don’t want to be strong. Nobody loves a strong woman. It’s not feminine to be strong. Damn, where are these ideas coming from? I can’t live without…..
Wait….who was there when I fell into the hole before? Anyone? What love pulled me back out? Who saved me? The object of my affection? No…they were long gone.
Because that love never existed. It was only an illusion created out of need.
I tell myself that love never works out for me. I tell myself that I just must be unlovable. Unworthy. I belong at the bottom of a hole.
Even the man who works for God couldn’t love me.
Wait….go back. Who got me out of that hole? When all hope was gone and I could look up and see the rest of the world passing by. And those who would reach down a hand to help could not touch my my hand as I reached up in despair.
Who saved me? How did I get out of there? I did. I pulled myself up. I kept pulling myself up.
But I thought I needed a man to do that for me? How did I manage to do that? Did I break a nail? How was I able to climb in my heals? I bet I got a run in my stocking. I must look a mess. Who could love me like this?
But does someone else’s approval really matter if the lack of it is only going to send you back down the hole again struggling to climb back out?
It feels good to get approval. To feel someone’s love. But how can you trust that feeling coming at you from outside of yourself and not hang onto it like your existence depends upon it so that if it should disappear you will crumble into a heap?
How can you walk down the street…despite your broken heal and the run in your stocking….and not fall back into the hole if someone should not approve of you? How can you stand up strong against the wind that threatens to push you back down when you are depending upon fair weather and warmth and not your own two feet to keep you standing?
Where do you begin? How do you begin to trust others again?
By making them earn your trust.
I felt something was wrong in my gut with the priest. But I kept pushing the feeling away. I read something since then that makes so much sense.
Basically, write down what is going on.
That’s it. Write down the facts. And then read them every day that you interact with someone. It may sound like a lot of work, but remember the saying that actions speak louder than words? Facts can break through illusion. Do you find yourself making excuses for someone’s behavior? Do you feel that they need you? That you need to help them? Or that you need them?
Have they swept you off your feet and made you feel like the most special person on the face of the planet? Do they then disappear or leave you wondering and full of questions? Does it seem to good to be true? It could be what is known as love-bombing. The terminology does not matter. What does matter is if words are not followed by deeds that match the words and you find yourself twisting yourself into a pretzel in order to make reality fit their behavior…..you may be looking at someone you don’t want to invest your heart, your soul, or your bank account in.
Writing down the facts and reading them daily….even if you don’t like what you see…will at least help to keep you with a healthy sense of suspicion.
You don’t need to share this with anyone. This is for your eyes only. And even if you still choose to put yourself out there and take all the risks for someone anyway….still look at the facts every day if you aren’t sure. Not to beat yourself over the head or blame yourself. Don’t do that. Other people are more than willing to do that for you.
It’s just a step towards learning to love yourself enough to stay above ground. You keep working at it. Because one day you are going to stand and face that wind and your cape is going to be flapping in the breeze behind you. Even with that run in your stocking.
Because strength and imperfection is beautiful. And nobody is going to be able to push you down again. Even if the heel of your shoe is broken. Being a little unbalanced ain’t so bad.