For many years I didn’t know what that was like to be accepted for who I am. I had been brought up on conditional love. Maybe you know the type… I will love you if you clean the windows, run to the shop, do the dishes, cook your own food, play by yourself and be quiet … I won’t love you if you are noisy, messy, go against my wishes, ask me to do anything for you.
I had also experienced this within a framework of emotional and physical abuse so it wasn’t actually safe to ‘be me’ at that time. My efforts were mostly focused on survival. The main focus was on getting approval, working out what people wanted and giving it to them. This was often expressed as being the ideal ‘sacrificial martyr’ (the Catholic upbringing), the kind one who turns the other cheek, even if it meant letting someone beat my head to a pulp on the concrete floor!
I grew up wanting to be loved but I had no boundaries
How can you establish boundaries when you don’t even know who you are, when you are focused on getting your value from others? It led to me losing touch with myself as I hid away the little girl deep inside to keep her safe.
The survival strategy didn’t seem to work too well either since at the tender age of 14 I was unexpectedly and shockingly violently raped.
Later I also married a man who attempted to murder me on several occasions… first with electrical wiring, then a knife, then a hammer
… until I ran away! After that, I started to live life on my terms. Yes, I still made mistakes. But I was on the path of learning what it is like to ‘be me’ rather than staying with being what I thought people wanted and having no boundaries.
That’s when the miracle happened!
I met the love of my life. He spoke some words that changed everything for me. Those words were “I accept you just as you are“. This was the first time in my life I had heard something like that!
It started my healing journey. It gave me permission to also accept myself as I am. I began my search for the lost little girl inside. The one who just wanted to be loved and to be free to sing her song. I held her in a deep embrace of love and freed her from her prison to finally unleash her joy.
To be accepted as you are feels freeing. The chains have been removed. You can fly. You drop the exhausting and lonely struggle of always trying to be someone or something else in order to get love and stay safe. I am now taking continual delight in discovering how much power, peace and flowing expansion there is in me and look forward to life as one big adventure. I take responsibility for myself and the decisions I make and know how to set healthy boundaries. I rely on myself as I stay connected to my own inner wisdom. I am able to love without conditions because ultimately I understand that I AM pure love, the kind of love that doesn’t depend on anyone else for its existence.
No need to look for love on the outside. It is already here inside of me
And the love of my life?
We have now been married for over 30 years! Our love and acceptance of ourselves and each other have played a key part, allowing us to grow and express ourselves freely and at our own pace. Sometimes this has brought clashes and confrontation, yet always within a wider context of unconditional love, mutual respect and acceptance.