The Love Fast: Giving love unconditionally….
October 8, 2008 § 1 Comment
Tonight I am supposed to report on the 2nd Presidential Debate, however I am not sure I will be able to get to it. Something much more pressing as come up — tonight, I am going to report on me.
Over the course of a few days, it has been brought to my attention, in a shocking way of course, that in spite of all the growth I have believed myself to have done over the course of this year — I have a hell of a long way to go to getting myself to a place called whole.
Although I already understood that there are still issues that I have to confront within myself, in order to more solidly bind together the fragments of myself, I did not realize that I had fallen back into my old habit of lying to myself. I think we all lie to ourselves…some of us in large ways, some of us in small ways, or even just medium ways. But lie to ourselves we truly do. However, lying to ourselves never gets us anywhere except running around in circles, appearing as if we are making progress, even sounding like we are making progress, when in fact we are simply heading back to square one every time — or maybe that is just me. Either way, I am glad I caught myself in my own damn lie and this time, I am going to do something drastic (at least drastic for me) about it.
The biggest thing I lie to myself about is how much I love myself and how much I have accepted myself just as I am — I have loads of friends and family who think I am so fearless, so tough, so confident. The truth is that sometimes, sometimes, I am fearless, tough, and confident. But a good chunk of the time, I am doubting myself, wondering how I am perceived by others, and feeling unloved. Now, I have made a lot of progress in the last year and a half to better accept myself, better accept love from my friends and family, and even care less about what people think of me. However, I seem to have forgotten that my work is not done — and even began fooling myself into thinking I was all good and patched up.
Until I was very much alerted to my constant need to feel loved during this past week or so. Nothing is wrong with wanting to feel loved, but there is something wrong when that want starts to press on you like it is a need and you begin to think negatively of yourself and the other people involved because you believe that you are not receiving the love that you believe you need.
Over this year, I have come to understand where this need comes from — where this negative, emotionally draining, and crazed feeling comes from. I understand that not all of us were nurtured to be unafraid to give and receive love. I realize that this “need to feel loved” does not usually come from another person ignoring us but from our own blindness to the love that we are receiving and our inability to embrace, appreciate, and honor that love. It is scary to love and even more frightening to truly accept that someone out there in the big wide world loves us for who we are. Frightening as all hell.
However, I don’t want my fear of being loved, my fear of accepting love as it is as it comes into my life, and my habit of rejecting love unless it looks, feels, and comes in a particular package — I don’t want these things to rule my life. I truly do not. I know what it looks like when one is unafraid to receive and give love — I grew up with my parents’ incessant fighting and I still experience their deep distrust of each other and the loved ones around them. I do not want what my parents have…I do not want such a deep level of distrust towards the person I say that I love that I am unable to teach my children real trust and real love.
I do not want that at all.
But I thank God for there being another way out and for showing me that — this is where O Magazine and this blog of mine intersect, lol. In the October 2008 copy of O Magazine, there is a series of articles focusing on the elusive topic of love. And me being a dreamer in all and forever in love with the love, I decided to read these articles. As I was reading, I happened a few articles that really moved me. One in particular is by Rachel Howard called The Love Fast. While I was reading her piece, I completely resonated with her and her need, especially in intimate relationships, for someone to tell her that he/she loves her. After reading her piece, I realized that my first step in learning to receive and give love, unconditionally, is to teach myself to give love without expecting love back, without expecting any reassurance of any sort (I definitely always expect love or some form of reassurance for everything loving thing that I do — even without realizing that I have always done this).
So, as of this evening, I am beginning a love fast. I need to “clear from my mind the impulse to take love”. If I don’t do this, I will never fully believe that I already have all the love I could possibly ever need in this world. As one of my best friends told me the other day, “we always have a choice”. I have a choice to choose not to take love or look for love. I have a choice to consciously give love and expect nothing in return. Although I do not expect this will be easy, since temptations are strong and extremely potent, I know that I am on a bigger mission here.
To love unconditionally.
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