There is a searing hole inside of me that I now really realize only I can repair. All of my life I have walked around with this hole patching it up temporarily through validation from the outside but nothing or nobody could ever fill it for more than a little while.
Yes, I glowed during the temporary high of someone falling for me, or an exhilarating rush of success, but soon enough I was left feeling empty and alone. I tried to fill up with food, or attempts at perfection in various areas, but it never worked and I was always left feeling not good enough. This theme played itself out in every area of my life, as it does.
Recently, grappling heads-on with a relationship where I feel judged, claustrophobic and unappreciated; I got the strong sense that nothing I could possibly do would ever be enough. I felt myself gasp for breath as I stumbled about trying to prove myself; going beyond what I was able to do. I foresaw that I would never experience peace at just doing my best, and that all the doing in the world would only ever be futile.
But a friend reminded me that what this other person actually thinks is unknown and irrelevant but what is important are the feelings going on for me. When I let myself feel the feeling, tears sit strongly behind my eyes, and an empty hole pierces my chest. I see a little girl, peering out from behind the curtains, watching her brothers go away with her dad for the weekends and get spoiled, while she remained behind. She felt tainted and different and unworthy.
That little girl inside of me is still riding on those mistaken beliefs. Though the adult me is certain I was excluded due to practical and messy divorce matters, and due to the limitations of the people concerned, this little girl lives with this hole and only I can fill it and choose to love her, aka myself, unconditionally and genuinely with my whole heart.
It’s really quite amazing; an example of how we live our lives as if in prison yet we possess the keys to get out. So many times, we long for others to love, treasure and appreciate us. But we need to do that for ourselves.
So, I tried this exercise: writing out all the things I want x to think of me and to do for me. Examples: “I want x to love me”. “I want x to see the best in me.” “I want x to truly be my fan.” “I want x to make me feel safe.”
And I changed x to me: “I want me to love me”. “I want me to see the best in me.” “I want me to truly be my fan.” “I want me to make me feel safe.”
And then a step further, I turned them into affirmations. “I love myself.” “I see the best in me.” “I am truly my fan.” “I make me feel safe.”
Such relief to hear these revised statements. How freeing and empowering to know that we complete ourselves. How important too, for how can we possibly love and be compassionate to another if we cannot love and care for ourselves first?
And so, operation fix the hole is in progress. The little girl is still weary that the deriding voice that insists she is not good enough is in fact the one of truth, but more and more, the wise and compassionate part of me is at the reigns – listening to the little girl, empathizing with her, reassuring her, and making it better.
I think that we all have some kind of hole – some kind of pain, that only we can heal. My prayer is that we do so, and that through healing our individual holes, we help heal the whole world.