“If you tell someone something long enough, they start to believe it.”
When a child is born, that child deserves to be put in to loving arms and surrounded with the protection of its family. Humans, tigers, monkeys, dogs, and almost every mammal species out there follows this supposedly simple rule.
So what happens in the wild if this doesn’t happen? If a mother or father decides not to accept this role of protector, teacher, and caregiver? Without suitable intervention? That animal dies. It simply can not grow up and become a productive part of that society. It also becomes largely incapable of having its own young and knowing how to care for them. They never got taught how to do it.
So what happens to a human infant born in to a life where care, compassion, proper attention to its needs for food, comfort and safety are almost completely ignored? I am going to jump out on a limb here and say that in a way? We die too. Not always a physical death but a death of sorts. The death of a feeling of worthiness.
In my life, care, compassion, safety, warmth, nutrition, cleanliness and almost every other basic need was ignored and having any need at all was used against me. I was taught from day one that I was unworthy of this care.
It never really even occurred to me that these were the lessons I was being taught. To me this was normal. It was how every child was raised for all I knew. I grew up feeling completely unworthy of even the most basic of care and when someone did show care, it was most often only used as a tool to get what they wanted from me. Cruel.
I grew from an unworthy infant in to a useless teenager. An unimportant young adult in to a completely worthless adult. It was all I knew.
I am sorry this part is rather depressing but I feel there are times that a bit of history is needed to make sense of the present.
So where am I now? Well, I am finally starting to feel a shift. Those really crappy lessons in self-worth that I was given repeatedly for much of my life have been slowly replaced with much more positive messages.
Well, it took a lot of hard work in the beginning because I was surrounded by people who were very negative. Not only to me but to the world. I really didn’t know that there was better out there but there was this tiny light inside my soul that told me there was better out there somewhere and after having my own children, I knew I needed to find that light. For them mostly. I didn’t want to raise them how I was raised. You might think that is easy or just a choice you make but when you don’t know any better? You tend to treat your children how you were treated with some small adjustments here and there. I had to do a complete overhaul but I didn’t know what I was working towards. More on raising children in another blog. It is enough for now to mention that this is where my want for change began.
It still confuses me why it was so hard to let go of those negative people in my life. My mother should have been dropped like a brick in about 2 seconds, my father as well. My whole family really. My group of friends, my first husband and his negative family. Basically everyone in my life. I needed to drop myself in a way as well because I was a horribly negative human being. It was all I’d ever known. How do you let go of your whole life though? Let go of everything you’ve ever known? Even if it’s horrible? If it is all you have? You want to hold on to it for fear of having absolutely nothing at all.
Very gradually, I started to let go. Simpler choices at first. People that I rarely saw or had little contact with. Then a bit tougher. Family members who were sort of on the outskirts of my life but there were still family to me. Then “friends” who were selfish or self-destructive and eventually my parents, my “best” friends and my ex husband. It was a horribly painful process and so often if felt like I was making huge, galaxy sized mistakes. To add to my self-doubt, these people who I moved away from were very sure to let me know that I was the problem all along. It was never them. Honestly? I believed them. Thank goodness for that tiny spark of light inside of me that just “knew” there was a better world out there.
What do you do when you start to drop away from all the people in your life? Well, it’s trial and error for quite a while. You add someone new only to realize that you are investing your time and energy back in to the same crappy relationship you had with someone else. You meet a good one here and there as well so you just have to keep trying. Hang on to the good ones and let the negative ones go. Again. It really never gets much easier to do that though.
My last decade has been filled with this process.
The good news? You know I always like to end with the good news right? 😉
My life today is getting better and better. I have NO ONE in my main circle that is a negative drag on my energy. I have a very positive and compassionate husband, 3 well raised and respectful (most days) children/young adults, a really solid group of good friends that boost me up rather than tear me down and a spider web of others that are on the peripheral edges of my life but they are also positive and caring people.
Thanks to these years of letting go followed by years of rebuilding my circle of friends and family, I am in a healthier place now.
And the prize you get for reaching for the brass ring?
Those lessons of being unworthy, of not deserving better, of being a horrible waste of skin and space? They are being replaced with messages of being worthwhile, being cared for, being important and a special part of people’s lives. I will admit that I really grab on to every compliment no matter where it comes from and I write it down then keep it in a large glass jar for those days when I once again feel like a useless person. This includes the beautiful messages I have received since beginning this blog so thank you!
I am richly blessed to be surrounded by people who I know and some I’ve never met who’ve taken their time and their energy to say something kind and help me fill up that positive energy jar.
Pretty soon there will be no room for any more negatives and my goodness, it feels FANTASTIC!