Relationships: Step Four
I am one with all souls, earthly and eternal.
I love Gayle King’s quote (above.) Growing up wanting desperately for my father, a convicted sex offender to love me, it took me some time to fully understand this concept. The four-year old little girl in me could not get past the idea that I wanted someone like my father to love me. In fact I grew up with an irrational jealousy of others who had a good relationship with their father. One day the hair stylist who was scheduled to give me a haircut returned from her lunch break late. She explained that she had had lunch with her father. She went on to tell me that she had always had a great relationship with him. I sat there and teared-up, thinking about how much I envied her.
When it came to relationships for the longest time, I believed the following dysfunctional ideas:
- People who have healthy relationships have them because they are lucky.
- Not everyone has the good fortune of finding the perfect friend or mate.
- The “success” of my relationships are measured by whether or not others validate and approve of me.
In my second marriage, I received a huge wake-up call. My husband of three months decided he was in love with someone else. What an eye opener! I had totally sold myself down the river in that relationship. Because he was so much like my father I could not imagine being anyone in that marriage other than who I thought he wanted me to be. I totally lost myself, but fate gave me back to me, and along with that wonderful gift, I realized I had to learn to love and respect myself before I could ever have a healthy relationship with anyone else. My connection to myself is my biggest concern since I believe that I can’t have a good relationship with others until I have a good relationship with myself.
Others will act as a mirror for me. When I slip back into my old behaviors, ideally I will know it, but that is one of the hazards of relationship addictions – we (I) can be totally caught up in a dysfunctional situation without knowing what I am doing. My first clue that I have gotten off of The Way is feeling resentful toward others because I blame them for making me unhappy. No one controls me, but when I start blaming other for my unhappiness, I am putting them in control.
As my mom used to say: “Don’t cry over anything that can’t cry over you.” ~Maureen Dowd
How do my relationships help me to see possibilities for the changes I would like to see in how I relate to myself and others? What strengths or resources have I gotten or could I get from others to aide me in moving toward positive change in how I relate to myself and others?
You can always go back in the fray if you’ve had a little time with your friends. ~Lalor Cadley