What does it even mean to Love They Neighbor as Thyself?
What do you see in this photo?
I see water flowing effortlessly as a life-giving water source!
I'll use this photo of flowing water as an analogy, speaking about LOVE.
To fully heal from dysfunctional relationships, you must recognize the power of spirit, flowing effortlessly through you. AND, becoming aware of Spiritual love, that life giving source that feeds our soul. Both are found looking within!
I shared a quote that holds great impact for me and I felt confident for others.
These words are powerful!
Have you ever thought about your life and those who have influenced you?
I know many of you have been born into unhealthy families! I am so sorry this has happened to you. I promise you are not alone!
This is not a blog post about who had it worse, unhealthy relationships include many factors; abuse of all kinds, rejection, drug addiction, mental illness, to name a few. This is a blog post about HOW to undo the hurt and gain back peace of mind, in healthy ways.
I grew up with a mother that had an undiagnosed mental illness. Every day, my childhood was confusing. One day, I was loved and cherished. Another day, I was stupid and incompetent. I could add in other insults like lazy, irresponsible, idiot, ugly, fat, bratty, selfish, and the list can go on.
I would do my best but instead of progress being celebrated with a "good job!" I was told how much I fell short of my Mom's expectation. Of course, no human being in the world was capable of meeting my mom's expectations because no one was a good as her.
I could have let the cycle continue, and I did for several years. I grew believing I did something wrong. That, I was the mistake. If I could just figure out how to get my mom to love me then my life would be ok. My dislike of myself carried over to my children. I treated them like I was treated. It crushes me to admit that! Please know I have offered apologies and healing for many years since recognizing my parental shortcomings.
There is hope and a way out! I recognized my way out when I accepted the fact, I could not draw water from a dry well. No matter how hard I tried, no matter how much effort was given, the emotional well, I sought love from was dry. My mom had emotionally disconnected many years ago and I stopped blaming and hating her once I recognized she was not capable of emotional connection. Maybe with others, not with me! I didn't do or do anything that created her emotional disconnection! I sought to understand what was happening and realized there is no understanding of the mental illness. It just is!
Now, let's talk about how to undo the emotional pain and crush that negative cycle!
First, I had to get over my anger. I felt abandoned and left to nurture myself on my own. I was mad. How could she just leave me? Think about it like if you had a house to build. That's a huge project, right? How would you feel if you were left to build it on your own? No help, and no support. Yes, I had neighbors that would help out a bit, friends who did their best, but at the end of the day, I was left to do what was necessary. I was consumed with blame. Life was unfair and it shouldn't have been. I had to figure it out if I was to survive.
By turning the blame into ownership, I accepted what was. I began taking one step at a time! I developed gratitude for anyone who was willing to teach, love and support me. They became my angels and through appreciation and gratitude, I was able to recognize them.
Second, I found the, 100% ~ 0% theory! Bringing this theory into my life wasn't easy because I wanted to inflict as much pain onto my mom as I felt she inflicted onto me. Anger turned into a type of revenge. I was emotionally hurt and that hurt extended to how I treated others. I lacked trust. How could I trust anyone if I couldn't even trust my mom? And because I lacked trust, I became distant and found it difficult to emotionally connect. I was so conflicted! I loved my children so much and knew how I was showing them love was not healthy. It all shifted the day I saw the anger I felt as a child, in my sons' eyes when he was twelve. He reflected the feelings I buried as a child towards my mom. That was when I decided right then, my behavior would change!
By realizing the importance of the, 100% ~ 0% theory, I could stop feeding the resentment I felt towards life, and begin feeding self-care, self-love, and self-acceptance. Little steps! And feelings of accomplishments, no matter how small, grew into bigger steps and bigger celebrations of achievements!
By Loving Thyself FIRST, you can now love your neighbor.
I learned the hard lesson, I couldn't give to my kids what I didn't have. It became imperative that I learn HOW to love them in a healthy way. And that meant, I had to learn how to love myself in a healthy way!
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