Before being steadfast on the path to self love and healthy relationships, I had to go through my share of unhealthy relationships and rejections.
We have all had times in our lives when we have felt the harsh sting of rejection on many different levels. My first memory of real heart felt rejection was when I was in the first grade.
I was a quiet child with a lot of fear of being abandoned and not being liked and accepted. I was new to the school and I would cry and run after my mom when she attempted to drop me off for the first week or two after school started. Once I finally got into the routine of things and began feeling comfortable, a girl in the class befriended me. I noticed some of the other kids made fun of her and called her names, but I was just happy to have a friend.
As the year went on I noticed there was a pecking order to this small first grade class and there was one girl named Libby who was at the top of the pecking order and I happened to be friends with the kids who were at the bottom of the pecking order. I was one of those kids who didn’t want to hurt anyones feelings and I just wanted everyone to like me so when I attempted to be friends with Libby, she made fun of me calling me a baby mocking me over those first two weeks of crying and running after my mom. Ouch that was painful! I think I went home early that day and I wasn’t sure what I was feeling but I knew it didn’t feel good. Pure rejection.
Interesting enough my next memory of feeling the sting of rejection was in the 6th grade and by the same young lady, Libby. Libby had never accepted me into her group of friends, not that I had ever really tried. I would keep to my world and my friends and she would keep to hers. Now we were headed to middle school and we had to ride the bus together. This was not really a big deal, she would sit right in the front seat and I would wander all the way to the back. Once we got into the small town where our school was located we would stop and pick up a bunch of kids whom we didn’t really know. There were two really cute boys who boarded the bus at this stop and after a couple of weeks Libby had them both sitting next to her every morning. I noticed this but I didn’t really care or pay that much attention.
After a few months into the school year I was sitting in my usual seat at the back of the bus, I watched as the two cute boys boarded the bus and walked right past Libby. They were walking toward the back of the bus and to my surprise, they plopped down right next to me. I looked up at Libby and I could see the look of uncomfortable anger on her face. She gave me the meanest look I think I have ever seen and sat back down. I don’t think I even said two words to the boys and I felt really self conscious all the way to school. Then the next day the entire scene repeated itself. That day Libby and her friends would get close to me in the halls and whisper pointing at me and laughing making me feel really uncomfortable. After lunch, I went to my locker and the words SLUT and BITCH were scratched into the paint. I was heartbroken! Rejected again. I called my dad in tears and he came and got me. It took a couple of weeks for the janitor to get rid of the scratches and I got in trouble for the vandalism because I was too afraid to tell them who really did it.
I had learned to be afraid of rejection. I started on a journey of doing my best to please others. I would put other peoples needs before mine in an attempt to avoid it.
How could I even begin loving myself when this well loved, super popular person was rejecting me. Obviously there is something wrong with me, right?
This was just the beginning of a lifetime of rejections. A few boyfriends one divorce and a few repeats of the same unhealthy relationship patterns, and I finally realized I was not getting any younger, I was feeling completely depleted. I asked myself, who am I without these painful but oh so comfortable rejections? I became aware that I was addicted to the suffering of being rejected. When there wasn’t the threat of being rejected, I would find a way to make it happen and sabotage any sort of healthy relationship in my life. Then I read this statement by my cute father in law don Miguel Ruiz in his book The Mastery of Love, we attract into our lives those who abuse us just less than we abuse ourselves. It had boiled down to my own self rejection attracting those that were bound to reject me in one way or another but rejecting me even less than I was rejecting myself!?! What?
This began my journey to the art of unconditional self love and acceptance. If I can’t accept myself how can I expect anyone to accept me? If I only reject myself then of course that is what I am going to attract, people who will eventually reject me. I had to realize that not everyone is going to like me and I had to learn to be ok with that. The first and only approval I needed in my life was my own approval. I needed to like myself so I could learn to love myself.
What if I took all the energy I spent on trying to please others and make others happy and re-focus that energy on pleasing myself and making myself happy? Would this be selfish? Could I truly make my own happiness a priority in my life? I decided to give it a shot.
I noticed right away that it wasn’t as easy as it sounds. I had spent so much time pleasing others that this became my identity. I didn’t even know who I was, or what I liked. I had completely lost myself in everyone around me. I had to take a huge step back and begin getting to know myself. I devoted all my free time to remembering things I used to enjoy as a child and I started there trying new things and learning things that sparked my interest. It started out as simple as going to the music store and listening to music, all kinds of music, until I found all the different styles that made my heart sing. Each day consisted of at least one way of finding my truth, my authentic self, my One True Love.
The single most important relationship in your life, is your relationship you have with yourself. Make an agreement today to make your happiness a priority. This is not a selfish act at all, it is possible to take care of yourself and still care for those around you. In fact it is essential. If you are depleted of self care and your needs are not being met you have absolutely nothing to give. You can truly only give what you already have. If you want to attract true love and respect into your life, the only way to do that is to love and respect yourself. Once your cup is full you begin to overflow, and that spills over into loving and caring for those around you. Remember YOU are your One True Love.
Loves and Kisses
The Agreement Coach
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