Immediately after posting my latest tangled up blog about recent inward struggles the following message came into my inbox.
I consider “if only” to be two very dangerous words. They dangerous because they distract us from the real cause of our unhappiness. “If only” has us looking outside ourselves forever trying to change how others behave in order to feel better about our own lives. It turns us away from the one thing we can change how we feel about our own lives. And that is looking within to know how we really feel about ourselves. Because in order to feel peace and truly content about our lives we must first and foremost learn to love ourselves.
Timely advice Christian Carter and what I really needed to hear at the moment.
Over the past four years and even much longer I have constantly felt myself to be pulled off my inner centre by the trials, tribulations and illnesses of others. This has occurred to such an extent that it seems I have been in a state of psychic blindness to the understanding that actually my life is well and healthy much more when I keep the focus on myself and stay at the centre of my own life, instead of being pulled into the dramas of others.
What stops me doing this is the feeling that I am being selfish. A few months back my mother fell down some stairs after lugging a suitcase of clothes down them (alone at 90) while engaged on a mercy mission for a sister who had fallen down due to toxic drugs in her system.
What did my inner self want to do. NOT GET INVOLVED. STAY THE FUCK AWAY FROM THE ENTIRE DYSFUNCTIONAL MESS. What did my compliant false approval seeking self do? It wrestled around, swallowed down its truth and fronted up by making visits to hospital, cooking soup, curries, devising outings to distract said sister from her pain which she deeply needs to engage with in order to heal and grow. I exhausted myself, ran myself ragged. Lapped up all the kind words while secretly swallowing down my true rage and resentment at my own self abandonment. I was being a “nice” person as I was conditioned to do, empathetic, caring, sensitive, attentive to others, blind, deaf, dumb to my own needs and feelings.
Over the past two weeks as Mercury has moved backwards I have slowly woken up to the pull of the deep self that needs to rest, to stay centred in my own life, to pull back and nurture me. I couldn’t fully act on it until this Saturday. I sent my sister the following text : I am sorry not to call but am feeling very tired and need to rest quietly at home today. I give as much support as I can but I get tired of being the one that has to support endlessly, I hope you understand.
Did I receive a reply. No. How long did I hold off on the caretaking. Just 24 hours. By midday yesterday I was back on the phone offering to get things for my Mum, then told in an agonisingly sad voice by Mum that Sue sadly would have to get a taxi back to her unit as no one could pick her up, implication I should jump to offer which I did while secretly resenting, feeling guilty, mixed up, tangled about. Within less than an hour huge fight with my Mum over non recognition of my own needs. Tearful call to my sister who told me not to come. Entire mixed up mess over and done.
Could I let go with grace, even at that point? No. Needed several calls to therapist to sort it out. Then found a moment of peace before jumping online to write huge blog. All part of the process I guess.
The best solution today is to follow Christian Carter’s advice. I read a beautiful blog on An Upturned Soul – What is my inner centre – She Asked which on some level spoke to this need and the tangled up conundrum I have with resting quietly within and living from that centre.
The truth is, and I do know this on some level. I have at my disposal all that is needed to love myself and be at peace in this life. I just need to be aware that I can be my own worst enemy and trip myself up with I try to be so selfless and caring of others, at the expense of myself.
The question I asked in the title of this blog seems to be one I need to make a central source of reflection, meditation and reflection at present. What it might mean to myself to act in a loving way to myself is something to explore and to put into practice at the moment.
Like everyone else I can loose touch with my inner centre so easily. I can allow myself to be drawn to things that don’t nourish me or put me on the circumference of my own or other people’s lives. Is this really the way I want to live for the rest of my life? Is it going to make me happy? I don’t think so. If it is true that happiness rests in knowing myself, accepting myself, even all the dark confused messy parts then I have some of the answers I need for how to love myself at my fingertips and through engaging with others who are living from their centres too, can learn about new ways to be loving.
It seems for me at present, the need I have is to turn some of the love I have focused outward back within. To learn it isn’t selfish to care for and love myself. For if I don’t I will suffer and everything I give will be tainted and untrue on some level. This it seems is my necessary lesson for today.