Self-Love is Greater Than External Acceptance
I grew up in a house where I felt consistently misunderstood, rejected, unaccepted and unwelcome, and because of this, I let go of the need to belong. I have always felt comfortable alone. In my late 20s and 30s, I did a lot of healing work to clean up a list of issues from childhood, but those “issues” have transmuted into something new.
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I'm always talking about the onion of healing and how when you release one layer, and another one is layer is there with fresh new "opportunities." As time went on, various incidents occurred that let me know just how alone I was when at times, it seemed like I was physically or virtually surrounded by loved ones. Let me know if anything resonates.
Your friends say, "OMG, girl, you can come to me," yet your sadness is so thick, and your darkness is so dark that you both know they can't handle it anymore.
You learn to keep things to yourself, so over time, your friends are clueless about your suffering, and when big things happen and everything gets exposed, they are shocked and in disbelief.
You experience some amazing things, and your "friends" change the subject, say something condescending or take a jab at your good news.
You keep the good and bad to yourself just to be neutral.
Over time you learn that you need to compartmentalize your life experiences and that everyone can't know everything about you.
You are right back to square one of feeling consistently misunderstood, rejected, unaccepted, and unwelcome so being alone is like being back at home. Due to the nature of the circumstances, no one truly knows you.
Eventually, they get to pick and choose from the selection of your personality that you put on display. In your most vulnerable times, they can see past the display case and into the workroom. You then feel overexposed and ashamed.
Every now and then, someone will see your brokenness and express gratitude for helping them feel less alone.
You might even put the shards of glass in a book and interview about it, but that is only after those shards of glass have been refashioned into Kintsugi art filled with the gold of your wisdom and healing.
There are new glass pieces, some large and some small. They were once opportunities shaped as onion peels that will soon be pieced together into a multilayered Kintsugi vase that will collect the tears of your next healing "opportunity" while also acting as a trophy for a battle won.
As people pick out the pieces of me from the display or within the workroom, they choose what they want and run with it. The best times are when they ask questions or engage in a conversation about what they saw. The worst times are when they take what resonates with their wounds without any dialogue. Platonically, romantically and familially, I love people hard. I've witnessed over and over again how that love makes it easier for my feelings to be hurt and how that easily spirals into a paralyzing depression. When you have mouths to feed and accomplishments to drive, you learn the signs of an upcoming depression and put up your hurricane shutters to protect your mind.
These days I give people space to communicate through time and/or a direct question. If that does not happen, I get them out of my sight. I'm a driven person that works within social media, and I don't want their words or their face to disrupt my mind. I've got time to pick up broken pieces of glass and heal to conjure the glue to make Kintugi art, but I don't have time to be emotionally triggered by unexplained emptiness.
It's easy for me to connect with people, and bonding has never been an issue. My people palette is diverse because I've been through so many different types of highs and lows. I can meet most people where they are without judgment. The realist in me knows I can never get the same out of what I give others. To keep me safe, my ego has started configuring custom boundaries for everyone I deal with because a Candace with no limits is the yellow brick road to heartbreak.
People in my life recently tried to hold their presence and acceptance as a value in my life. I'm not like most people. I don't deal with social hierarchies, and there are only three bonds in my life that I will not release at this time. If you aren't them, I will heal and be okay. The misunderstandings and lack of communication might annoy and confuse me, but that passes quickly. My mouths to feed and accomplishments to make keep me distracted. Being rejected, unaccepted, unwelcome, and alone are like home.
"When I think of home, I think of a place where there's love overflowing" - Charlie Smalls, “Home” performed by Diana Ross & Stephanie Mills
The Self-Love Key
Those feelings most would associate as unfavorable gave me the push toward consciously working toward true self-love. Misunderstandings, rejection, being unwelcome, and being unaccepted pushed me inward. My childhood issues were the foundation for helping me become a stronger woman. I used to hang on to the words of people outside of me - the good, bad, and ugly. People outside of me have given me great encouragement, love, and support, but in my experience, the very same people can also give you the opposite. This is often discovered when my footing isn't solid, and I'm vulnerable - not grounded and relying on my self-love and acceptance. When I least expect it, love, support, and encouragement are replaced with misunderstandings, rejection, and lack of communication.
So what is a woman to do in these times? I used to allow it to get to me, cry, worry, and desperately seek communication and understanding. The woman in me today cannot. I might ask a question, but by the next break of day, this situation has transmuted into a journal entry, blog post, or entry for an upcoming book. No matter how painful, confusing, or strange, getting clear about your feelings is essential to release what is there. After clarity, I call all my love and energy back into me while doing my best to block out the distractions and drama that used to rule me in the past.
Lack of self-love, understanding, and self-awareness will keep you reaching for the approval and acceptance of others who are committed to misunderstanding and villainizing you while misaligning you with your spirit. You eventually become a puppet for someone else's happiness. The best time to be a happiness puppet is when tending to people who happen to be infants.
The road to self-love is not easy. You have to get clear about who you are - the good, bad, ugly, and beautiful while loving all of those parts of you thoroughly because no one knows your purpose, heart, and intentions the way you do. When your self-love is vibrating at its highest, no one will love you more - even on your worst days. Unconditional self-love is something no one can take away from you.
The key to self-love is to keep working on it, to make it a permanent part of your lifestyle. We change, and the world around us changes, so why wouldn’t we be upgrading our emotional systems? Within the past year, my personal life has been so dramatic and, at times, traumatic that I have changed and, on some levels, transformed. I am not the person I was in September of 2021. Loving the highs and lows of the new me is extremely important. The worst thing that can happen to anyone is for everyone to turn against them, and because they lacked self-love and self-awareness, they joined and followed the crowd. I’ve been there. It’s not pretty. Know yourself better than anyone else, and love yourself more than anyone else. The people who will try to tell you and others about you are likely clueless and projecting their own wounds and insecurities.
Visit Soul Trine and download my book, 30 Days to Unconditional Self-Love. Because so much has recently happened in my personal life, I will be going through this program all over again because I am due for a refresher.