So it’s been a little bit since I posted last, but in all fairness, my time was constrained. I meant to post a Valentine’s related update but that failed due to a lack of internet at home. Thankfully, recently a gracious neighbor has allowed me temporary internet access as she understands the plight of a woman in a long-distance relationship.
I had a few weeks also where I was worrying and stressing non-stop about my relationship with my boyfriend, but I came to a harsh realization that the worries were for the most part unfounded, and the stress was definitely self-induced. I had a long conversation with a close friend who is a minister and though I’m not personally religious, I do identify as a spirtual being, and I still value the connection and continuous support of an individual to their spiritual and personal wellness. If we do not mind our mind, it will get the best of us.
So, after this heart to heart with my good friend, who is much older, married and has several children and grandchildren, I recognized a few things. My personality and character are that of a caretaker. I delve deeply into the actions of caring for others, whether I realize it or not and ultimately find myself drained of physical and emotional energy after all is said and done. A huge part of me has a hard time NOT being a caretaker, as it is so knitted into my being that I don’t know how to not be that way.
However, throughout the course of the conversation with my friend, I came to realize that if this behavior continues on the extreme level, I will continue to feel worse about myself. I AM a strong individual, with goals and motivations, but somewhere over the course of these last six years, I misplaced those goals and motivations, and replace them with an obsession with caring for others. I didn’t see this as the case at first, but I noticed some patterns beginning to emerge in my interactions with people. I would become moody and morose when I wasn’t able to see people that I cared about as often as I would have liked, and the amount of time and energy I put into relationships did not match what other individuals would put into those relationships. I’m not talking about material things here, I’m talking about time and effort and love. These things were all that I ever wanted to give. And all I wanted was to be loved back, but I was slowly discovering that my expectations were getting in the way, because I was putting forth so much energy and not receiving the same amount of energy in return.
Does an individual actually require the same amount of energy and effort in a relationship? I find this question difficult to answer, because a person’s expectations of what is truly occurring and what they think is happening, are two very different perspectives. And romantically, men and women are very different. In my case, I was discovering that my mindset and worries were overtaking my sense of self and sense of my relationship.
I don’t think it was that I hadn’t heard from him, it was that I was fixating so much on my relationship and not on enjoying myself outside of my relationship. I had become extremely concerned about taking care of him and lost the concern for myself on an emotional level.
I would sit and stress about not having heard from my boyfriend (he would usually eventually call) and clung to the thought that I had done something terribly wrong. It’s an awful feeling, even though I knew that I hadn’t done anything wrong, my negative awareness of myself and my thoughts was almost too much. I had become obsessive compulsive in my thinking because of fears of what had happened in previous relationships. (And everyone knows that allowing old relationships to cloud your view of present ones is disastrous)
What I was discovering, was that my own insecurities of fear, and loss and disappointment from times past had overwhelmed my self of sense worth. I thought for certain that I was some sort of guilty party, that I wasn’t worth all that I am. How could he be in love with me? I asked myself in the beginning of our relationship. He reminded me, how could he not? He sees me as an amazing person.
And I do know, for the record, that I have amazing capabilities for helping others to heal emotionally. I do know that I am an excellent communicator and writer and artist. My skills are not perfect, and they are growing all the time, but what I now that I’m struggling with, is something that might take me a lifetime to get over. I have already recognized that some of the negative thoughts creep back in, despite the fact that I’m more aware of the problem now. My goal is to see myself as an amazing person, to see the beauty that my friends see in me, and appreciate it on a healthy level. And to come back to the things that I love, to read, write, and be creative as I once was on a regular basis. I truly believe I will feel fulfilled if I am true to myself and love the person that I am, not be dependent on the love of others. Being loved by others is important, but you cannot truly love others until you love yourself.
I am working on a plan to ease this mind-struggle and internal pain, but I know it will be a process. I found a quote about a week ago, that I took down on a sticky note at work, and I am going to share it with you here.
“Failure will never overtake me if my desire to succeed is strong enough.” -Og Mandino.
This quote inspires me to keep at this battle because I know I have beautiful things in my life that I want to accomplish. I know have amazing qualities as an individual and if I continue on a path of not recognizing my own self-worth, I will continue to be unhappy, and what’s the point in that?
At so many points in my life I felt like some people pushed me forward in a positive way and others were negative and condescending. What I find ironic is how much attention I paid to the negative criticism. On some levels, in terms of writing, it’s constructive, but on others, it becomes detrimental to an individual’s well being. How did our society get this way? How did many of us become so self-loathing?
Sadly, I think our world encourages these states of being into fruition. They fixate on “beauty” and “popularity” in media and everything else, and comparing ourselves in such a way that instead of comparing in a positive way, for example, “I love this, and oh you love it too! Let’s hang out!” It’s become more of, “I look this way and you look that way, and because of that, we can’t be friends.” It’s terribly sad and disgusting to me, and the actions are so ruthless, thoughtless, senseless. I’m not sure how being human is positive when we act in that manner.
We need to be a more positive world. We need to change that negative view of ourselves and encourage those who are hurtful to others to learn where that anger comes from and try to better themselves and love themselves so they don’t harm others anymore.
And I’m going to help out personally, by trying to better MYSELF in a positive way and to learn to love myself. Sounds simple, but it isn’t always easy.
Stay strong, friends. You are enough. You are MORE than enough!
Love, Peace and Blessings,