“…I see patterns everywhere, in everything. I can’t help making connections. It’s like the world speaks to me. Things happen to me that don’t happen to normal people…”
“…To me, love can be felt and lived and seen everywhere, even in darker times and places…”
“…People don’t often understand my sense of humor, because they can’t see the movie playing out in my head (trust me, it’s hilarious). Others have told me they are ‘intimidated’ by my book collection…”
“…I cannot imagine how hard it is to love me as a partner…”
“…Why can’t I just start with the most important information? It seems I cannot, because it is a web of interconnected aspects that spans across space and time. Words tumble in my mind, but as soon as I try to condense them into a concrete sentence to speak or write down, I get blocked and fall silent because I can never do justice to the web and all its nuances. This makes me feel sad and desperate to connect…” (Comments sent to me by blog readers)
Where do I begin, then, to talk about love? How in the world do I approach this topic when it is so darned complex, you are so darned complicated, and, well, I am intimidated by your book collection?
I will let the psychotherapist in me take the reins. She knows what to say. She has opinions, biases, and years of experience with you people.
This is what she told me to write:
Probably the most important message I can send you today is this: Make time to do the deep inner work that allows you to love yourself. An obvious message. But often misunderstood or dismissed or ridiculed. (This is not about selfishness or self-centeredness or new age mumbo jumbo. Keep reading.) Mind you, you do not have to love yourself perfectly and utterly. You can still have self-doubt and anxieties. But, the thing is, if you have grown up with neglect, abuse, or other types of trauma, or even if you haven’t and are *just* grappling with giftedness, it is very possible, you will have some difficulty with self-love. And, it is even possible you will misinterpret what love is. You might base your understanding of love on what you experienced in your family of origin and then find relationships (friends, partners) that provide that kind of familiar non-love. So, you may even have to figure out what love actually is. And, then, learn the self-love tango.
Sounds kinda daunting, I know. But if I can do it, so can you.
Inner work helps you untangle these intricate sticky vines and gain clarity about what real love might look like, feel like, and be. It allows you to break old family cycles and legacies and find new more nurturing, nourishing pathways. Pathways to love. Pathways to higher love, generous love, divine love.
Here is what one bloggEE wrote about this:
“… a non-understanding parent (mother in my case), as well as a non-understanding and jealous sibling, multiple trauma in my teens and after, as well as a history in the family from the war in Indonesia, second generation trauma. I write this first to explain the background, which became clear to me in my late 40’s. I’m 52 now, and looking back I can understand why some relationships couldn’t make it. Some were ‘doomed’ from the start because I didn’t know who I was, what I was carrying inside me. With the wisdom now of who I am, what I’m capable of… with my realization that I am in fact a RFM, an HSP, gifted (2 or 3E), and what not, I ‘know’ now that I did the right thing to stay single until I had sorted myself out. Came to accept and learned to live with my past experiences…”
I am not saying you need to stay single until you are sorted out. After all, sorting out may take a while. (And, then, in typical rainforest-minded form, you will not stop there. You may go from there to a tiny transformation so that your self-love spills out to family, friends, neighbors, adversaries, people you haven’t met, animals, and plants. You are rainforest-minded after all. And this is the deeper purpose of self-love, in case you wondered.) The more you understand and grieve for the lost, wounded child within, the more love (in various and sundry forms) will find you.
I speak from experience. Not just with clients but with myself. I started as a client in therapy in my 30’s, coming from a cold, avoidant, emotionally and sexually abusive, dysfunctional middle class white Jewish family immersed in lots of barely under the surface fear, rage, shame, and generational trauma. It has been a long journey of therapy, journaling, breath work, guided imagery, energy work, internal family systems, somatic experiencing, soul collage, acupuncture, reading, workshops, and more. I have been in two partnerships that re-enacted my early experiences of so-called love. Over the years, in safe relationships with therapists and other practitioners and in my trusty journal, I began to explore and heal the abandonment, loneliness, invasion, shame, fear, rage, and loss. And I tenderly reparented the lonely little ones inside me. I began to soften, to defrost, to unburden, to release, to grieve, to put the pieces of my broken heart back together.
And authentic love (in various and sundry forms) found me. And is still finding me. Deeply nurturing, intimate friendships. New connections with family. Spiritual community. Argentine tango. Work that feeds my creativity and passions. Meaningful, sweet, close connections with soulful clients and sensitive readers around the world who send me fan mail. Writing. Spiritual guides. A sense of humor. Music. Books. And a powerful, fierce, glowing, pure Light within that appears to be my new identity. Or my original identity, released. And now I freely spread the love around. Hither and yon. With abandon. And even a little glee.
So. The psychotherapist in me recommends it: The self-love tango. Rediscovering your own powerful, fierce, glowing pure Light. And, even in these hard times, especially in these hard times, spreading it around. Hither and yon. With abandon. And even a little glee.
To my bloggEEs: I have good news and bad news. The bad news is, I have decided not to write the book on rainforest mind love and relationships because, the good news, it can actually be covered in a few blog posts. (Did you see that coming?) I know you were quite enthusiastic about the project and many of you wrote to me. I am sorry to disappoint you but there are some excellent resources that may not be RFM specific but still provide the important information you need. (I will tell you where to find them.)
And, for even more good news, I am working instead on a book that will become a guided journal for rainforest minds. It will guide you in deepening your understanding of yourself through writing and drawing prompts and inspirational quotes/memes that will be fun, deep-diving, and healing. I will include some of my own personal journal entries as examples. This new book will be the third in a trilogy where you acquire self-understanding, self-acceptance, and then discover your path(s) to the future and to finding your particular rainforest-y way to create a better world.
So, my sweetest, dearest rainforesters, this is part one of the Love Posts. There will at least be one more where I write more specifically about relationships and partnerships. (And share more of your quotes.) Let us know what you think so far. I didn’t actually plan to share so much about me! Eek! But I suspect it might be helpful. Yes? Thank you, as always, for commenting. We are doing the love tango here for sure.