I woke up to the thought machine somewhere around the hour of 2:00am. Maybe I was dreaming. Maybe something clicked and triggered a thought, which caused me to go back to an old lesson that I need to be reminded of from time to time.
I thought about my interaction with people, which is not a thought that helps promote sleep. But nevertheless, I thought about the difference between the words priority and secondary.
I thought options and the first place, second, place, and third place models of priority and the unfortunate truth that although we prioritize others, we are not always treated in the same regard.
However, in some regard, this is often internalized as rejection, which is not the case.
In the case of anxiety and insecurity; I am a firm believer that all roads lead back to rejection and fear. I believe in the natural fear of not being wanted or accepted or fit.
I believe in the ego’s ability to see inaccurately and overreacting to protect the soft facade of our vanity.
I believe in the consequences of subconscious programming and the pathways of thought, which lead back to the concerns of fear, rejection, abandonment, and social banishment.
Therefore, in our own defense; I believe we respond to old and inaccurate programs that keep us categorized with the same people, over and over, who repeat the same behaviors and the same cycles of influence.
There was a girl I knew for a short time. She was pretty in her own way, cool, and able to laugh; however, she was always wondering why she found herself in the same kind of relationships with the same kind of people and suffering the same kind of consequences.
I see the world this way. I see the people we attract and the people we are attracted to as part of our subconscious programming.
I think about the concept I once wrote to you about when I suggested, “Often times, there are no victims. There are only volunteers.”
I think about an old poem I wrote about the survival of a broken soul. It is my belief that a broken soul can only care for itself. There is no such thing as selflessness here.
I think of me at my worst times. I think of me in my different phases of life. I think of my angriest phases when I was hurt, frustrated, pissed off at the world, and believing in my crazy psychosis and a theory about life and how what goes around, comes around.
At the time, I believed what goes around, comes around; however, since I felt that my position (via my depression) was at the underbelly of this cycle, I believed it was my right to respond out of anger and seek retaliation.
I believed that I was broken soul; and since I was broken, I could only care for me. It would be unthinkable to care for anyone else because this would lead to an open opportunity for deceit, rejection, and all the vulnerabilities I did my best to hide from.
A broken soul cares only for its own. And since the eyes are the window of the soul; I would look for the eyes that would allow me a moment to climb inside.
This way I could use them as a commodity. This way I could devour their resources. I would take without replenishing. I would steal to survive on their heart and when all the resources were spent and all else was shattered, I would be asked leave and wonder why . . .
This is the other side of codependency.
This is the abusive side, which I admit to, wholeheartedly, and with regret. I was sick at the time.
Hurt more than anything else, I was afraid. I was afraid of the dark and the unknown features of people places and things. I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop. I was always waiting for the bad news and I never knew how to build or create. I only knew how to take, degrade, damage, and destroy.
This is when I learned the abilities of anger and outrage. I learned that even the deepest heart can go in crisis, and if left untreated, even the most wholesome of souls can become parasitic and destructive.
I once told you the depth of my love is equal to the span of my heat. This is how I came to such a conclusion because as loving as I am and choose to be; once, I was equally as hateful.
I was this person. However, I am not that person anymore. Instead, I listen when people talk about their life and their relationships.
I listen when people wonder why they find themselves with the same kind of people and experience the same circumstances.
There is a saying that goes, “Hurt people, hurt people,” which means people who’ve been hurt tend to pass along the pain to others.
I believe this is true. In fact, I know this is true because in full disclosure, there are times when I stand counted as someone guilty of this.
Those who are hurt most in relationships like this are those who remain longest. These are those who inhale so their counterpart could exhale and vice versa. This is how we feed each other’s sickness. There are two sides to codependency. This is a detailed map of how a relationship like this works.
Keep in mind, there is a way out.
The concept is simple and true.
Put simply, do not volunteer to be a victim.
One of my
favorite scripture quotes comes from Matthew 7:6
“Do not give what is sacred unto dogs or cast your pearls before swine. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn, use them against you and tear you to pieces.”
Do not give yourself to anything or anyone that does not deserve you. Do not give away your resources or prioritize anyone that does not replenish what you give them or prioritize you the same way.
By 3:00am, my thoughts were all over the place. I came to an idea and wrote my thoughts as I had them. I noted the thoughts and saved them to revisit in the morning when I came here to sit with you.
Best lesson I ever learned is a lesson about matching intensity, which means never give more, oversell, or underperform. Always match intensity.
When it comes to personal interaction; match intensity. Never allow yourself to be secondary to someone you treat with top priority.
Always match intensity.
Be mindful of expectation and its connection to disappointment. Do not do for others in expectation of return.
If you give willingly and wonder why there was or is no return; then nothing was freely given at all. Instead, there was a failed expectation of trade.
So, match intensity. Else, we will often find ourselves giving more, feeling more, and finding us on the poor side of an interpersonal trade.
Thus, I go back to the beginning idea: Always match intensity.
Meet respect with mutual respect. Give time to those who give time to you. Love those that not only receive your love but respond in kind.
And charity . . .
Charity is not charity if you expect anything in return. We need to be mindful of this and not fool ourselves. Keep in mind, charity with expectations is not charity at all. Now, it’s just a business transaction that will frequently fall short of what we hoped for.
Remember: Love is a living breathing thing. But like all living things, love dies in a vacuum.
So to move forward in the healthy direction of positive self-preservation, never give the attention and time you deserve to someone that does not deserve you.
Be mindful of the lopsidedness of friendships; whether this is business or personal or intimacy because lopsided relationships lack balance, and thus, so do we if we enter negotiations with those who promise, but yet give less, show less, or more accurately, care less than we do.
Do not chase people. Else, we risk feeling unwanted and feed the emotional quicksand of rejection.
This way we realize our own worth and that our time is truly valuable.
By giving more and accepting less than we deserve, we discount our worth, which takes a toll on us on a much bigger scale.
Stay clear from the point of diminishing returns. Understand that relationships of any kind are also investments.
So invest wisely.
And never place others on pedestals; hence you save yourself from the emotional injuries that come when competing against an uneven tune and finding out that no one among us is fit to be placed on a pedestal of perfection.
I used to know someone that trained in Brazilian Jujitsu. He talked about injury. He talked about something he called “White-Belt Syndrome” and how inexperience and fear can often lead to physical injury. Said, “I learned to match intensity to avoid injury.”
Said, if someone trains with me at 50%, I train at 50% too. If they are at a 100%, then I give the same. This way I protect myself from an unnecessary risk.”
Then again, physical combat is still physical combat and injury can be inevitable. However, minimizing unnecessary risk is helpful.
Match intensity and stay safe is the point he was trying to make.
I believe this rule applies to emotional injury as well.
True, I don’t think I will be placed in a rear naked choke anytime soon nor have the need to pull guard, pivot, and look for a sweep to get from my back and pull a more dominant position. But I do agree to match intensity to keep from personal injury
Do not give more, oversell, or underperform. Do not prioritize without receiving priority and do not promote the lopsidedness of one-sided relationships.
It helps save us from the foolish pain of unnecessary risk . . .
The word priority has a few different meanings according to the dictionary. The definitions I appreciate most say priority is the right to take precedence; to precede others, to be given special attention; to rank, and more accurately, to be important.
In my best estimation, in order to have a healthy balance in life, both personally and interpersonally, we need to define our priorities by prioritizing the way we interact with the people in our life.
Look around you. Look at the people you interact with. Look at how you are treated by the people you keep in your life.
Is this relationship fair?
Is this relationship mutually beneficial and reciprocal?
If the answer is no, then why do you keep people like this in your life?
I will close with this.
I interacted with a client that mentioned her love life was poor. Her home life was unsatisfying. But she stayed.
I asked her why . . .
She said, “It’s not that I loved him so much. It was more that I couldn’t figure out why he didn’t love me back the same way.”
She told me, “I didn’t stay for him. I stayed to prove the wrong things to myself.”
She said, “I stayed because I was trying to win something I didn’t even want anymore.”
She said, “the idea of loss meant that I was being rejected and I have always been afraid of rejection.”
Like I mentioned in the paragraphs before; I firmly believe that in the case of anxiety and insecurity, all roads lead to rejection and fear.
Fear of being alone
Fear of not being enough
Fear of not being wanted or desired
Often, we stay in bad relationships for reasons close to the above.
In order to find freedom from this, one would have to walk away, which, I agree is not so easy.
(It’s just easier said than done.)
What happened in my life; the pain in my sadness and lonesomeness outweighed my fears. When this happened, I was able to walk away.
Not saying this was easy.
Just saying this is what had to happen for me to talk away from the wrong people in the wrong places that did the wrong things.
This is how I began to define the road to my freedom by making it my priority . . .