The dimmer my light became, I the farther away from love I walked.
I walked away from love, until it became easier to pretend it didn’t matter. It didn’t matter what someone else forced upon me because it got easier and easier to believe I didn’t matter.
And that’s where I found my strength, in the belief that I did not matter.
That’s also where I found my sadness.
How could I not matter?
What was wrong with me?
What kind of God looks down on me, watching me, sits in judgment of me and always finds me lacking?
That didn’t feel like love to me.
I would ask myself, “Why should I be good when others aren’t good to me? Who is going to save me from the very people who are supposed to be here to protect me? What is it about me, that makes others so angry with me that they are unable to see anything worth loving?
I became passive, full of self-pity and completely at the mercy of those who only wanted to do me harm. When no amount of attempting to play on their sympathies could invoke the love I was searching for, I learned to endure.
I endured until I was old enough to explode against the violence and fight aggression with aggression. I learned to go to extreme measures to get the attention and the love I was searching for.
I learned to become the aggressor.
I wanted to right the wrongs that I believed had been done to me.
The day came when I wanted to teach other women how they could right their own wrongs.
I followed that path until being the aggressor no longer held any satisfaction for me.
I couldn’t understand why vengeance no longer satisfied the anger that was still buried deep within me; the anger that would always find a way to hijack my thoughts, my words, my emotions and my actions.
When vengeance and being the aggressor no longer felt satisfying, I longed for another way to heal the hurt, the anger, the shame, the guilt and the underlying feeling of being judged for my past.
I had many teachers in my life; teachers who taught me I was helpless and would always be a victim, teachers who taught me how to fight back. Then I found teachers who taught me that fighting would never bring me the peace of mind I was searching for, and they were the most difficult teachers to learn from. They were teaching me to look inside myself, to find the love of who I am.
But I didn’t believe it existed, I couldn’t because the rage inside of me was too strong. Once again, I became the aggressor as I raged against these teachers of love. I tried to prove them wrong. I tried to prove to them that there was nothing in me worth saving and because of that, I had a right to be angry, to accuse, to fight.
Gradually, I began to understand what love is not. Love is not hurt. Love is not anger. Love is not violence. Love is not guilt. Love is not shame. Love is not vengeance.
When I finally accepted what love is not, I was able to open my heart to what love is. Love is kindness. Love is happiness. Love is joy. Love is abundance. Love is prosperity. Love is looking in the mirror and being happy with who you see. Love makes it possible for you to receive your heart’s desires.
So, remember this, before you can know love, you must learn what love is not. You are the only one who has the power to let go of the hurt if you’re ready to choose love. Nancy Mueller ~ Life Sensei