The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Sunday, September 15, 2013

"We Accept the love we think we deserve"

“We accept the love we think we deserve.”   That line from “The Perks of being a wallflower” haunted me, and became the core of yesterday’s Diamond Hour show.  The reason I’m working hard to put the “core” aspects of my programs on the “pay what you want” program is that I see so much pain in the world around that issue.

That means that abuse, neglect, negative self-images and more damage the connection we have with our own hearts.  The   “heartbeat meditation” technique is incredibly powerful for this, especially combined with the “Ancient Child” method.  Add journaling and the Five Minute Miracle and you have something incredibly generative.    Let me list a few of the varieties of heart-damage I’ve encountered.   In every case, the relationship history was disrupted—no marriages, bad marriages, or inability to bond to another human being.

1) A biracial woman raised in the South, whose mother had been raped by a white employer.  She spent her whole life knowing it would have been better had she “passed.”

2) A man neglected by  his parents, who had a string of gold-digger marriages, who now faces a massive health crisis due to eating patterns.

3) A woman raised within an abusive family, sexually abused by her sister’s husband among others.   Luckily, this woman has found her way to embracing a goddess and heart-centered belief system, and is finally spewing up the venom these monsters pumped into her.

4) A boy abused by the husband of a famous author whose fans denied it was going on until there was no more room for denial.  The last I heard, he sleeps in the street and trades his body for drugs.

5) A girl abandoned by her father who has chosen mentally ill male partners, and struggles to leave their orbit and influence.

6) A man whose mother encouraged him to sleep in her bed into his teens, who became a sex addict.

7) Endless men and women who married people who abused and manipulated them, had children with them, and used those children to control and drain their resources.

I could just go on and on, endlessly.  In childhood, we desperately need the approval  and protection of adults.  Our neurologies are wide open, and we are genetically and socially programmed to drop our ego walls to let them in…or construct our identities  to gain their approval.

In adolescence, we begin to wonder how to gain the notice of the people we are attracted to, and start shaping ourselves to the approval of our peers.  In young adulthood, we seek a steady supply of sex and love.  The psychological moulding that occurs during high-energy human encounters…especially when you combine the emotions of sex, love, and hope, CANNOT be overestimated.

In a sense, we are all children looking for love.  And when that love is twisted against us, ESPECIALLY when the first “twists” (even if it involves love or parenting, not sex) occur before puberty, it can and, I dare say will,  shape us for the rest of our lives.

But we can heal. The healing starts by finding SOMETHING that we love in our lives, and realizing that we only feel the love we have within us.  That if we feel loved by someone else, we are just allowing that person to release loving emotions we already had…within us.  Love is our natural state.

But love and fear compete for the same space in our hearts.  

Find someone or something that you love, and grasp that you can only feel it because it comes from within you.  Find a time you felt love, and connect with that feeling…and it is ALWAYS there.   Babies who are not held and loved, at least at SOME point in their infancy, wither and die.   If you are alive, at some point someone loved you.    Go deeply enough into your memories or imagination, and you can find an image or remembrance of love: for you, from you.  Whatever.   FIND IT.

Then…bring it into your heart.   Almost everyone has a son or daughter, brother or sister, niece or nephew that you love, and who love you.    DIVE INTO THAT LOVE.  Let it wash over you.   Cry for its power.  

And commit to love yourself as much as you love that child.  You deserve it, with every fiber of your being.  All you have ever done in life, even the bad things, was an attempt to feel that love and connection in one way or another.  To return to the peace you know you felt, if only in the womb.
You are now a grown-ass man or woman. YOU are now the “parent” of the “child” self within you.   You must commit to protecting your heart with the fierceness of a mommy lion.    Turn your anger and self-loathing against the people who harmed you: true, eventually you will want to forgive even them.  The chain of damage and spoilage goes back forever, and they were doing the best they could, just as you have done the best you can.  Forgive yourself deeply enough, and you begin to understand how you have been and done and created your life.

The reason you hold onto the fear and anger is that you are afraid that without it, you will be hurt again.  LEARN THE LESSON, AND YOU CAN RELEASE THE FEAR.    Vow to protect your heart to the death, hold your heart, your emotions, your “child image”  tenderly and fiercely, and it will blossom for you in ways you may not have experienced since…forever.

You have a 100% responsibility to protect yourself, love yourself, nurture yourself.    You have a 100% right to feel love and passion and creative flow, to feel safe in the world.  ANYTHING that stands between you and that state is artificial, and was added to the mix somewhere along the path of your life.

Learn the lesson, and you can release the negative emotions.    If you don’t, you will pass that pain on to others.  You can’t help it.   

You can end the chain of emotional violence, by accepting love.   Love does not mean pain.  Sex is not love.    Love does not even mean trust.  You can love someone, and know that they are mentally or physically diseased, and will hurt you. 

Love does not oblige you to destroy yourself, or accept abuse, or neglect.  But if you don’t love yourself, you will seek it from outside, and the BEST you will be able to do is a co-dependent relationship, two one-legged people bonded together and limping through life.  Sometimes they can help heal each other, and that is a blessing.

Too often, the gentle, wounded souls attract predators, like wounded gazelle attracting lions.  It is these souls who have my full support and concern.

However damaged or needy that “child” part of you may be, all of the love and happiness and health it seeks is already within you.  The world conspired to convince you otherwise.   You don’t need anything you don’t have.  We can WANT relationships, someone to share our life path, love and passion with…but if you NEED them, there is work to do.

Your heart needs love…but you are the only one who can actually supply it.  Connect to that source, and you are healed…and free.



Sarah said...

I thought it was a good radio show yesterday. I will be downloading it and listening again. I wanted to thank you for sharing your thoughts on the radio show and in your blog posts. I have been reading for a couple of years. It has taken me a while to figure out how to incorporate some of your ideas into my day and how I go about things, but I have been working on it. I figured out how to rearrange my day to carve out a half hour to an hour between when I finish running in the evening and when I go to bed to work on a creative project. I realized a while ago that the reason I am generally restless and dissatisfied is because I don't let myself do what I really want to do or be who I want to be. And like you said, I'm grown now. It doesn't matter how many people have dismissed my ideas or been unsupportive in the past (or present). It is up to me to give myself the courage. So I am. And even though it has only been a short while that I have been working on it and I have no idea where it will lead, I feel much better already for having started. Last night, I was looking through some photos I took a number of years ago searching to see if I had any photos of bluebells that I could use as a guide for a drawing and I stumbled on a couple of pictures of the man I was with back them. I thought I had gotten rid of all his pictures, but a few evidently slipped through. I think it is progress that I looked at the pictures and didn't feel ill. I still deleted them from the main disk and the back up disk. Anyway, I wanted to let you know that I find what you talk about useful and I have benefited from it and I am glad you take the time to share your thoughts. Best of wishes. Sarah

Steven Barnes said...

You're very welcome!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Steve.