06 May Worthy of Love
Un-love-able. That’s me, or so I believe. I am a spoiled, entitled rich kid who has gotten everything she has ever wanted and more. Compared to most, I don’t know suffering. I’m not actually a kid anymore, so I should know. I am 50 years old. I’m supposed to be a grown up. I have teenage daughters of my own.
But this persistent un-love-able idea won’t quit. It’s eating me alive actually. Truly, I can feel my insides freaking out from this notion that I am not worthy of love. Thankfully it hasn’t turned into something really serious like a chronic disease or cancer or something—I’ve seen that happen to some—but, I can tell, it’s festering.
Time to bring it out in the open. No more stuffing it under the smelly rug that’s been walked on for too long. What’s underneath can seem irrelevant with all the traffic endured. But it’s time to lift it up off the floor, bring it out into the sunshine, attack the grime, and see the truth.
Not seek the truth. I’ve been doing that for longer than I’d like to admit. I’ve done therapy, self-help, self-reflection, meditation, yoga, energy healing, clearing workshops, astrology, tarot, and intuitive readings. I’ve flown to Fiji, Paris, Barcelona, northern California, Florida, Big Sur, the San Juan Islands, southern California, Santa Fe, Sedona, Sun Valley, New York City, Boulder, the Pyrenees’, Maui to learn from teachers and shift my perspective. I’ve participated in sweat lodge ceremonies and ecstatic dance, had cranial sacral therapy, cupping, Rolfing, chakra clearing, past life regression therapy, hypnosis, Reiki, Healing Touch—all in my optimistic desire to find the love deep inside of me.
You see, I believe it’s there. Really, I do. I just can’t seem to find it. Or perhaps I don’t want to see it. I’m not sure I can tell the difference. All I can tell is that I am tired of seeking.
I’m even more tired of pretending. I am a master at pretending that everything is okay. More likely, I give off that everything is great. It’s not hard for me. On the outside I’m a pretty neat package. I’m organized, responsible, smart, relatively fit, attractive-enough. I have all the right stuff that gives off that I’ve got this life thing dialed: the kids, clothes, car, house, vacation destinations. I eat well and walk my dog. Some moments, I even dupe myself.
What’s even worse is that I have no excuse. I come from privilege. Money and support have always been available to me. I was raised by two very kind parents, along with a slew of great babysitters and a phenomenal housekeeper who was like an extra grandma. I have an awesome younger brother who has always been wise beyond his years. I grew up in an idyllic town and went to exceptional schools. Really, I have had the life everyone dreams about.
So what’s my problem? What’s going on inside of me that continues to be hung up on this deep-seated belief that I’m not worthy of love? And I don’t mean un-love-able in the nice “I love you” kind of way. I’ve got that. I am really sincere in my love for my friends and family. And conceptually I know that they love me. But somehow, authentic love from others seems to ricochet off of me like I’m wearing a bulletproof vest. “Don’t hurt me with your love,” I deflect.
It scares me. Getting in touch with my heart, my true desires and passion, and a genuine connection with myself and others may as well be like committing myself to living in the bottom of the ocean or a planet beyond this galaxy for the rest of my life. Because I am talking about love in the deepest level of my soul kind of way. It’s what I’ve always longed for and terrifies me most.
And is it even real? Is it a fantasy that I—and many poets—have construed to justify a reason for human existence? What is this thing called love that so many songwriters have crooned about? Is it God? Obviously it’s intangible as are all the really important things like contentment and wisdom. Every religion seems to preach about it, but then there usually seems to be rules mixed in the messages and then the whole love thing starts to feel contrived and unaccepting.
Even the Serenity Prayer is confusing. You know, the mantra of Alcoholics Anonymous? God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. The first part is great: acceptance. But then there’s that next line: change. That line emits a “seek to make yourself better” kind of vibe. As in, you will be more worthy of love when you are different than you are now.
I’ve been chasing this ephemeral carrot called love for as long as I can remember. In fact I’m pretty sure I’m addicted to the process. The more I do to attempt to reach my goal of becoming more lovable, the more impenetrable the fortress around my heart becomes. I cannot do one more affirmation. I cannot read one more empowering quote. Love is not in the glass of organic cold-pressed green juice, nor is it in a pranayama, if you are not feeling it within already.
The time has come. Time to bang down the castle doors. It’s time to look at who or what the hell is this person underneath all of the idealized outer perfection and what makes her, or anyone for that matter, worthy of love.