“Nothing can give it to you because you already have it… And not only do you have it- you are it, you are what you’re looking for already… the ‘I am’ that is stripped of all this and that, the pure experiencing of knowing yourself as… life itself; I don’t have a life, I am life.” – Eckhart Tolle
When I relate to others from a hungry heart, there is this feeling of intense neediness, of strong reliance on them to keep me “together”. This is why I’m so passionate about being whole in and of myself, of valuing myself as I am, for who I am. It’s not self-centered. I want to be whole in relationships too, and that all starts with the sense of my unique and worthy self.
I used to react to others who treated me poorly. There was always things “stringing along” feeling… this anxiety that I had to be just the right way around them in order to be treated well. For the subtlest reasons I would cower inside or adjust my behavior in order to win their favor. Sometimes I would get very quiet. Or other times I would be verbal and defensive, spilling all my emotions and putting myself in a very vulnerable place. For me, the heart of my reactivity was to try to correct their behavior so that they would treat me as valuable. I was trying to correct the “mirrors” to keep telling me I was “okay”. I relied on their treatment of me to define my worthiness. By attempting to correct their treatment of me, I was attempting to keep my small sense of worthiness intact. I gave a lot of my power away and opened myself up to be hurt time and again.
Building on a new foundation of beliefs about who I really am sets me up for a different kind of relating. I don’t need to depend on others to define me anymore. Inside, there is this growing sense of my own value. Just as I am, now. I exist in this moment with all my strengths and weaknesses, my personality, my hopes and quirks, my unique perspectives. I’m not defined by other people; my past reactions and hungry heart behaviours don’t define the real me either. It’s just a simple unalterable fact that I exist as a valuable part of this world. When I enter interactions with others from this truth, everything changes. I don’t have to hop around inside, adjusting myself to someone else’s requirements. Most importantly, to summarize Eckhart Tolle, I’m not relying on someone else to give to me what only I can give myself.
*Special Note!: My article Contexting Geese (click to visit) was published recently on the multi-author blog, Wisdom a la Carte. I found this blog via facebook, and it’s another great resource for thought-provoking insight! I’ll be writing more on that theme here, in coming weeks!*