I am in the middle of a 6-week course called “The Mystery of Love” taught by Mark Matousek. He’s a writer and teacher who believes that “when you tell the truth, your story changes, and when your story changes, your life is transformed.”
Truth, Story, TransformationDuring the course I’ve had the opportunity to examine my own personal stories and beliefs around different facets of love. In the first week, we looked at our earliest experiences of love. The love we received from our mother and father.
Mark is a wonderful teacher and asks us questions that really help guide us into places where we can be honest with our truth and start to understand the implications that our “truths” have on our everyday lives.
First Memories of Love
Taking the time to review – really review – the things I remember and the feelings I have around early childhood was interesting. It’s so complicated.
There are the typical stories I’ve come to memorize and re-tell over and over when I’m asked to describe my childhood. And then there are the feelings that I actually feel around the experience that I haven’t really looked into that deeply. And finally there is the voice of my mother telling me what my childhood was like – filling in the blanks around the things I don’t remember or sharing with me the way she felt in the moments of my early life.
This means that there are at least three (very different) points of view from which I’m gathering information about my first experiences of love.
Through this examination I realized that there is a lot of incongruity between the stories I tell, the way I feel and the way the story is told back to me.
Filters and Incongruities
This first week’s exercise led me to reading Alice Miller’s ‘The Drama of the Gifted Child‘ which really helped me to understand some of these incongruities that I was feeling.
It’s easy to forget that our caregivers love us through the filter of how they know love to be and this of course is taught to them by their caregivers. Miller’s book offers a very interesting insight into repression and the nature of relationships between parents and children.
In addition, I found the chapters on Grandiosity and Depression to be very helpful in understanding some of the reasons why I find myself swinging between these two states at various times in my life.
Especially if we feel that we were always praised for external variables – like beauty, intelligence, hard work, school grades, achievements, etc. – we can grow up with a feeling of needing to constantly achieve in order to be loveable.
This is obviously not the case. We are loveable simply because we are. Period. Just plain existing is reason enough to be valued as worthy. And this isn’t just lip service.
I stopped to think about the people closest to me in my life and realized that I don’t care at all about what they do for a living or how they spend their free time. I love them just because of them. They don’t need to perform or achieve or do anything special. I simply enjoy spending time with them. I love being in their presence. Period.
And that made me realize that it was probably exactly the same for the people who love and care about me. People choose to spend time with me because of nothing more than who I am at the core. The energy coming from my source.
So what about you? Do you feel worthy of love when you’re just sitting still and being you? Do you find yourself in depressive states when you’re not working on a project or running full force towards a goal? Is there a chance that this is due to you tying your sense of worthiness to outside factors that really have nothing to do with who you are at your core?
These are just questions. I’m obviously not a doctor, but I’d love to hear your thoughts so feel free to share in the comments.
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