From time to time, I dip back in to my old blogs to visit the woman I used to be. It's always fun to revisit me and see if my attitudes have changed, if I've learned more...it's like..."so here's where I ended up"
That woman tho...She was brave, she was a bit irrepressible, she lived life out loud and well...she was incredibly human. I still am all of that...just a few shades lighter on the "outrageous and irrepressible" spectrum.
So...let's dip into my life on November 9, 2006 , shall we?
GRAVITY IS A LAW
Starr reporting her from the dating Jungle! Holy cow is it ever thick out here!
Sometimes I feel like I’m on safari, really. I’ve been single for two years and it has been quite the roller coaster ride as I’ve discovered the many aspects of me. It’s all about lessons, I suppose.
A year ago, I talked about the journey I went through to discover, to finally fully love myself. And I do, I absolutely love and accept all of me. However, even secure in this knowledge that I am fabulous, I am still capable of casting doubt and cruelty upon my person. I’m still capable of de-valuing myself. And it’s frustrating.
You would think that you would learn a lesson once, and then move on. But as my cousin Gerri says, it’s like the layers of an onion. You learn a lesson and then you learn it again at a deeper level. Sigh. Damn.
And what have I learned this time? It’s about seeing my worth.
In times past, I have thrown all that I have in the ring. I have put it all out there only to come up short; only to find that I was dancing by myself. That Is not placing value upon myself…that is giving it all away for free. And really, if something is offered for free…does it really have value? I thought, at the time, that it was because I was willing to love unconditionally, and I needed to show it, to put it on display in hopes that someone else would do the same.
Guess what? Unconditional love should be earned, not given away.
The only people who come into our realm immediately worthy of unconditional love are our children. Anyone else…you damn betcha, they need to prove themselves worthy of your unconditional love. Wanna know why? Because maybe…just maybe they are NOT worthy. In jumping right ahead to unconditional love, you tend to ignore glaring issues. Sometimes acceptance of these tissues is not a good think. Sometimes these issues point the way to the exit door.
So…lesson 1…is more of a look before you leap kind of thing. I’m getting better at it…after a fashion. There are some serious gymnastics happening in which I take the leap…get caught in mid-air and think “whoa shit…no no…not yet”. Think Wyle E. Coyote.
And that’s where learning to value myself begins. Because the truth is, no one will value me until I value myself. My love is worth earning, I am worth earning. And until I find that value within myself and treat myself as such, no one else will. And…the reality is, once I find that value within myself, no one else will need to.
That right there is a powerful statement. I feel the power of it. And the next layer of the onion is to live it.
Wow...it's so funny that I got that...but DIDN'T GET IT!
It took me a few more years and a bunch more heartache, plus the guidance and love of some really good friends and coaches to help me learn the key to the simple statement of "no one will value me until I value myself".
And every time I thought I had it right, the Universe would come along and prove to me that I still had work to do. It took some more heartbreak, a marriage, subsequent divorce and several adventures beyond some pretty fuzzy boundary lines to figure it out. But...I eventually learned to LIVE IT rather than just talk about it.
But...don't think for a second that it means I'm all better now...I am still "capable of casting doubt and cruelty upon my person". There are still times when I de-value myself...yet instead of being frustrated by such things, I accept that such false thoughts are part of the experience of being human.
I have friends who are out in the dating jungle right now who sometimes prevail upon me for my take on things. My advice is pretty jaded sometimes, but it comes from the experience of someone who spent a lot of time searching in the wrong places. There's rarely judgement...cuz who am I to say what their lesson should be or how many times they have to go thru the stupid shit before they finally get it?
The funny thing, was once I figured it out, I stopped looking for "the one" and decided to just have fun. Sure enough, within a week, Scott showed up.
I had always heard it would happen that way...but I never really believed it.
Scott was just as jaded, just as not interested in finding "the one". I always say if you can imagine two porcupines trying to mate...that would have been us in the beginning. And yet...that sense inside of me that I was fine as I was and it was ok to be authentically me was finally true just enough to attract someone who believed me and agreed.
The old habits were there, the willingness to bail if the signs or red flags were there were still there...but I was different on a profound level. I had taken the time to figure out what I wanted to experience rather than painting a picture of WHO I wanted to experience it with. I had enlisted the help of my friends to keep me grounded and told them what my warning signs were, I had plenty of love from them so that I had an example of how I wanted to be treated.
The hardest part at that point in my life wasn't so much finding Scott...it was staying. Because finding the person who seemed to fit what I wanted to experience meant that I now had to allow myself to be vulnerable. After 10 years in the dating scene...OPENING my heart scared the crap out of me.
It was hard for both of us.
So...what made the difference?
In the beginning, I did everything the opposite of my regular MO...I slowed things down and I waited for him to make a move instead of charging forward. I'll be honest...he was my Kryptonite...he had absolutely everything that made my knees weak, starting with his beautiful smile and ending with his incredible geekiness and complexity.
That slowing down gave me the opportunity to see that he was worth the risk. Slowing down allowed us both to see if there was an actual connection beyond a physical one. We had both been skipping that part...but it turned out that was the part we needed.
So...is there advice that today me would give to 2006 me?
But the nugget that sticks out is one from a conversation Scott and I had about it the other day...
here it is...get ready...
"You have to walk thru it... Dunno why... But you do
Don't beat yourself up for the craziness... It's just all part of it"
That's it, that's all I can tell you. Having gone through all of this crap in the past 13 years since I separated from my first husband, Having been a relationship and break up recovery coach, having had my heart broken numerous times, all I can tell you is that it's about lessons and you just gotta give yourself a break, because at the end of the day...the love you are seeking is there already and it's inside of you...or to even say it better...
"Because the truth is, no one will value me until I value myself. My love is worth earning, I am worth earning. And until I find that value within myself and treat myself as such, no one else will. And…the reality is, once I find that value within myself, no one else will need to."