Do you try to get love & approval in order to feel good about yourself? This is a hard way to live!
Do you depend on how other people see you, for your own sense of worth? If you do, you are not alone. People Magazine wrote that Demi Moore is totally dependent on how other people see her in order to feel any sense of worth. The magazine states that Moore says she is afraid she is not lovable.
Why, with all her fame and beauty, does she still believe she is not lovable?
The reason is that one’s sense of worth and lovability has nothing to do with others’ approval or disapproval, or with fame, looks or fortune. It is all about how you treat yourself.
If you had a child, and instead of loving her, you went around to neighbors, family and friends and kept trying to get them to love the child, telling her that she wasn’t lovable unless these other people loved her – how would the child feel? Even if others did love the child, if you didn’t, she would feel abandoned, unloved and unlovable. She would conclude that there must be something wrong with her if you didn’t love her – even if others did.
This is exactly what happens on the inner level. In any moment that you are making others responsible for your feelings of worth and lovability, you are abandoning yourself and making yourself feel unworthy and unlovable. No matter how much money, fame or beauty you have, self-abandonment will lead to feelings of shame and unworthiness.
You might also be abandoning yourself in other ways - such as harshly judging yourself; or staying focused in your mind, ignoring your body and your feelings; or turning to various substance and process addictions to avoid feeling and taking responsibility for learning from your feelings. All feelings are informational – letting you know if you are being loving or unloving to yourself, or whether a person or situation is safe or unsafe, loving or unloving. Again, as with a child, if you harshly judge yourself and ignore your feelings, the sensitive part of you – your inner child - will feel abandoned, alone, unloved, unlovable and unworthy.
As long as you spend your energy trying to control how others feel about you – rather than loving and valuing who you really are - you will feel badly about yourself.
Simply put, shame heals when you learn to love yourself and define your own worth. What does this mean? Who is the ‘self’ you need to learn to love and define, and how do you go about defining yourself?
If, as you were growing up, you didn’t receive unconditional love for who you are – your true self – then you might have concluded that who you are is not good enough. You might have created a ‘self’ that you hoped would be good enough to receive the love and approval you needed. We can call this made-up self - which we all created – the ego or wounded self. Our ego wounded self operates from the false belief that who we really are is inadequate, unlovable, unworthy, not good enough.
Now, after spending many years ignoring your true self and acting as if your wounded self is who you are, you might have forgotten what your real self is truly like, Your true self can never be defined through the eyes of your wounded self. In order to learn to love yourself, and to define your own worth, you need to learn to connect with your higher self – your inner wise self. This happens easily when your intention is to learn to love yourself, rather than to control how others feel about you. The intention to learn to love yourself opens your mind and heart to the truth of who you are.
Elvis Presley is a good example of someone who didn’t know himself. In a recent book called “Conversations With the King,” by David Stanley and David Gruder, we learn that Elvis constantly asked David Stanley, his stepbrother, “Who am I?” David lived with Elvis from the age of four until Elvis died. According to David, Elvis was a very spiritual man with powerful spiritual gifts, but he didn’t know how to connect with his source of love and truth. Without this connection, he could not define himself, and kept turning to David and others, frequently asking, “Who am I?” Not knowing who he was eventually led him to avoid his pain with drugs – and to his early death.
Why not take back the power to learn to love and define yourself, rather than making others responsible for this? Through taking responsibility for your wellbeing in this way, you will fill yourself with so much love, and will receive great joy in sharing your love with others – rather than always trying to get love. You CAN move beyond emotional dependency into emotional freedom!
To begin learning how to love and connect with yourself so that you can connect with your partner and others, take advantage of our free Inner Bonding eCourse, receive Free Help, and take our 12-Week eCourse, “The Intimate Relationship Toolbox” – the first two weeks are free!
Connect with Margaret on Facebook.