I recently came back from a trip to Utah with two of my dearest friends.
Despite the fact that I rarely do that sort of thing, I went through with it. I’ve always had my “reasons” for why I wouldn’t take trips without my husband and children. Those reasons would range from me having small kids, needing to be in control of everything all of the time within my household, not having the right friends to travel with, and so on.
But the fact of the matter was that my so-called reasons were nothing more than excuses. Excuses to hide the fact that I didn’t feel comfortable with my friends seeing me in every mood, whether happy or sad. I didn’t trust them enough to not show them that I wasn’t “on one hundred percent” all of the time. Lastly, I didn’t feel worthy of love and meaningful relationships. I disliked myself so much that I imagined no one would ever see me for who I was and like me, let alone love me.
What I was carrying, I projected onto others. Many times I see that others who have this unspoken self-hatred or a strong dislike for themselves have a very difficult time finding, maintaining, and appreciating meaningful relationships. Those of us who have this struggle have a tendency to self-sabotage relationships before they even get started. The notion behind this destructive pattern is to break it off before they find out who we truly are and “dump” us. Rejection is the major force behind that action and many times it stems from a relationship gone bad in our past. This feeling is not limited to a specific type of relationship. It can really occur from anything.
In my particular situation, I have had several episodes of rejection in my life from parental interactions, to lack of acceptance from peers, to other non-immediate familial relationships. Once rejection happens and takes root it can be very difficult to get over it. It can cause depression and anxiety from just the need to connect and not being able to. Trust me, it’s rough…I get it. I’ve walked this road the majority of my life.
It wasn’t until I got fed up with being and feeling lonely that I actually got on and stayed on the path to healing. Some may ask what’s that path look like? Here’s the thing…there’s no quick fix. It’s a process, but the good news is that the length of the process depends on you. It depends on how honest you want to be with yourself and others. It also requires WORK, hard work. Sometimes in this process just as you take three steps forward, you can take one step backward. The key is patience and endurance. When rejection surfaces the worse thing you can do is ignore it and suppress it. You must acknowledge it.
MOMENT OF TRUTH
I’ve been in professional therapy for nearly 5 years. In the beginning, my therapist used to humor me and let me talk about what everyone did to me, but after the fifth session, the stuff got real. She flipped the script on me and made me start owning my junk. This was a blessing and a curse at first because I thought everyone else had the problem and at the very least I thought my problems were because of everyone else but me.
Once I realized that wasn’t the case, the work really began. Counseling is only 20-30 percent in the office and the rest is for you to work through once you leave. Unfortunately, I can’t elaborate on everything I discovered in this post, but what I will say is this; once take ownership of my part in loneliness, boredom, and the lack of meaningful relationships in my life, I was able to move forward in helping myself become a better friend to others, starting with kindness and appreciation. What does this look like? A random invitation to lunch with a coworker, or connecting with the Parents of your children’s friends, to join you for a walk, coffee, lunch and or dinner.
Lovely ones, you are worthy of love and meaningful connections. That’s one of the beautiful things about life. RELATIONSHIPS and CONNECTIONS. You not only need them, but you deserve it. Just step out and take a risk, but first acknowledge the little girl, teenager, or grown woman inside of you that was rejected. Love her first so you can love others. ❤️