Attachment, Beginnings, Creating Awareness, Excavating Authenticity, Imprints, Intention, Trusting

Examining the Ideas Behind Being Worthy of Love

As we deconstruct our habits and slowly unfold our true essence by dissolving our imprints, we all have at least one topic that as soon as it comes up, our stomach drops at the heaviness of mentioning it. We just know it’s the tip of a glacier that runs deep into our being and really admitting to it, studying it, is going to be an ugly, long, rippling process into perhaps changing who we are.

If there is one area that I’ve been avoiding, it’s examining love – or more specifically, where my ideas of love came from. I hate being vulnerable. When it comes to taking emotional risks, I’m the first to take a giant step back and try to find the tiniest reason to run in the opposite direction.

But I guess the universe has other plans for me because now I’ve been forced to look at the exact issue I’ve been dodging. In fact, I’m absolutely cringing as I write this post. I’d much rather play it safe and touch on this at a very high level but I promised to be honest and more open on this journey so here goes…

Recently I went on a yoga retreat and I met this incredible guy who’s smart, charming, handsome, and athletic. He had this amazing warm ease to him that was inviting and also intriguing. I’ll just say the attraction between us was palpable and when he asked me to extend my visit and stay for a few more days, I said “no.”

My work schedule is flexible. I could have lingered. But emotionally, I couldn’t get out of there fast enough because in my present circumstances, I don’t feel I’m very appealing or remotely lovable. It’s impossible right now. Why? Because in choosing to change my life, I’ve walked away from all the success I worked for. My career is bubbling just above complete obliteration. Who would possibly find me interesting when I don’t have that to offer?

And now that I’m back in NYC, missing this guy who is everywhere in my head, wondering about everything I don’t know about him, I’ve had to look at where did I get this perspective that love and attraction are based on achievement?

This certainly isn’t a quick answer and if you don’t want to be completely bummed out, stop reading here…

I grew up in a very strict, conservative household where as kids we were valued by only two things: how well we obeyed our controlling parents and how we performed in school.

Lucky for my twin sister, she was valedictorian of our high school class and excelled at studying. She was the prized child. I, however, was anything but. I’m not a good test taker. If I don’t have an interest in a subject, none of it sinks in. I bumbled in school big time.

When us kids fell short of any of my parent’s expectations, the corrective response was aggressive, highly critical humiliation. We were shamed in front of anyone who had the unfortunate timing to be around. It was never discreet and because my skill set did not register to my parents as anything “worthy” – I was nothing, stupid, slow, fat…I was a total disgrace to our family name.

My parents love was fragile and very volatile. It wasn’t just given. It had to be earned. Everything was focused on achievement, achievement, achievement.

Fast forward to getting out of college and I threw myself into my career in part because I loved it but also because I wanted to prove to my family that they were wrong about me.

As I sprinted up the corporate ladder, becoming the youngest manager in a Fortune 500 company, my parents slowly began to change and for the first time in my 20‘s, they told me they were proud of me.

And unfortunately, that relationship is exactly how corporate culture is. They want the work, not the person. Both personally and professionally, this is the “theme of love” I’ve existed in for over 30 years.

This is what I see from the inside, out. I don’t define the love I give to others as needing to be earned in the same way but now I’m realizing a very long history of putting off investing in meaningful romantic relationships because I didn’t feel I was successful enough yet. I’m a driven person so I felt I always had more to accomplish.

All of this is exactly why I didn’t want to examine this issue because now when I look at this numb, cold trail of affection I manipulated and bought into; I feel so irreparably broken, so beyond fucked up I don’t even know what to do. I didn’t ask for this. I hate being this damaged. How am I ever going to unlearn this?

I don’t even have some witty resolution to offer here. I guess the only thing to do in these circumstances is ask more questions.

How often do we really open ourselves to being loved by someone else’s perspective? Or do we project our own imprints thereby making a decision for them?

As another example, I’m reminded of the 1994 version of “Love Affair” with Annette Bening and Warren Beatty. {For any of you who haven’t seen it this is a spoiler alert!} Annette’s character Terry, keeps her secret of her accident and doesn’t tell Mike (Warren) the real reason why she didn’t meet him when they had planned to. She made the decision for him, that because of her circumstances, it can’t work between them. It’s never going to be what she had thought it would be.

How often do we write our own ending before it’s really happened? Like a hologram, when do we use our own doubts about ourselves to predict what someone else is thinking? Whether it’s love, an idea, a job, a conflict, overcoming an obstacle, in all of this; when do we get in our own way???

And in some strange, fortuitous way these bits and pieces from these posts are all adding up; from The V-WordTougher Than Tough Questions, Exploring Imprints, and The Importance of Our Environments, to now…I have no idea what this is leading me to…

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