We come into this world so vulnerable and immediately dependent upon others for our care and well-being. This dependency moves from just our physical well-being to our emotional and spiritual well-being also. We learn very young how our behavior affects others, and if we behave a certain way then we get love and approval, but if we do not, the love and approval may be withheld. We become conditioned to looking outside of ourselves for our internal needs to be met. We look outside of ourselves to find validation and to affirm our worth. And yet, the greatest lesson we are to learn in this life is that everything we need on a soul level is found within ourselves and through our connection to the divine. Looking outside of ourselves for approval and validation can land us in a dangerous place.
Somewhere early in my life’s journey, I started to believe that I had to be perfect to be enough. Every time I fell short of perfection, which of course happened, and the validation or acceptance I was seeking was withheld from me by others, the self-defeating thoughts intensified. It is a foundational truth that thoughts that are repeated and emotionalized will become beliefs, whether conscious or unconscious. This became a core belief for me—I believed (mostly unconsciously at the time) that I was not and could never be enough. This propelled me into becoming a pleaser—I would do anything to please those around me, because if I did, then I felt like maybe I was okay and it would ease the deep pain of never feeling enough, at least for a little while. I would ignore my own feelings, deny my needs, and violate my own boundaries in an effort to please another person—to keep them happy, and to keep them in a space where they would provide the attention and validation that I so desperately needed to feel okay.
In this energetic space, I attracted in a relationship (my marriage) that would force me to recognize my worth from within rather than without. Not only was I unable to get the validation and support I needed, my sense of worth and value were often being directly attacked. When I found my strength and finally stood up and got out, I ironically attracted in another relationship that actually turned up the volume on this issue and made it even louder. At first however, it seemed the complete opposite. He seemed so kind and loving and offered the very things I had longed for. I turned over everything to him—my healing, my needs, my sense of self. Apparently I hadn’t learned the lesson on the level I needed to about seeking my sense of worth from within, and I ended up turning myself inside out trying to please him. Everything was my fault. And no matter what I did, it was never enough. Ever.
In my healing work, a mentor taught about the way energy works in relationships and the games that get played. One game is called the “pleaser” game. There are two players: 1) The first player signs up to be the pleaser, and they are driven by a need to please; and 2) the second player is someone who cannot be pleased, driven by a need to be a victim and stay stuck. Here is the most important truth about how energy works: If we need something we are in a lacking energy, and because of the way energy works, the status of lack will be maintained and we will actually push away the very thing that we need. The only way to bring something to us is by moving the needy energy behind it. So, if we have a core need to please, we will attract people in our lives that no matter what we do, we cannot please them. Let that sink in for a minute. When I came to this awareness I just sobbed and sobbed. It was absolute truth. Because here is the lesson: Another person can only meet us at the level we have met ourselves. We are to learn that our validation and worth must come from within and from our connection to the divine, not from outside of ourselves. So we will continue to be given this lesson until we get it—until we understand that until we see our own worth and provide our own validation and internalize that we are enough, we will not get those from another.
The relationship I was not enough for wasn’t my marriage or even the one after my divorce—it was the relationship with myself. I had lost trust in myself by dishonoring my own feelings and crossing my own boundaries. I had stopped honoring myself, moved into victim energy, and allowed others to dishonor me. I had attracted into my space those who would reflect back to me what I needed to learn and find within myself. After the hurt and on the other side of healing, I can truly say that I am so grateful to these men, and others, for showing me what they did. Until I am enough for myself, I will never be enough for anyone else.
This truth is profound and life-changing. With awareness, you can make a different decision. Be aware. What thoughts do you repeat and emotionalize and allow to become beliefs? Are the thoughts/beliefs empowering and supportive of you and your worth? Or are they negative and come from victim energy? Recognize that another person’s reaction is about where they are at, and not about you. Step back and realize that the people in our lives are there to reflect back to us what we need to see and heal within ourselves. When we recognize and own these truths, we begin to shift the dial from victim to victor.