In a meditation about regret I did recently, I was asked to allow a moment to arise in which I felt regret – to not direct it but just be open to what needed to show itself. My thoughts traveled to, “I regret being born.”
I almost popped out of the meditation! This was so out of left field for me.
As I continued sitting with this and allowing my mind to wander to where it needed to next, I started thinking about the story I tell of being an “oops” baby. That my parents weren’t planning for me. And how my dad would say he was going to give me up, but then I was born with all of this red hair, so he decided to keep me.
Now, ya know what’s really wild – I actually don’t know if that is a narrative I made up or if it actually occurred or if I overheard adults joking or it was some combination of all of those!
This is wild I know — it is always amazing to me how memories can really shape us even when they are a blend of “real” and “imaginary” (check out In & Of Itself by Derek DelGaudio for a brilliant take on that!!).
But I do know I have held this story and idea of myself for as long as I can remember.
I’ve often shared it as a joke … but what I’ve really been doing without awareness is reinforcing the idea that 1.) I AM a MISTAKE and 2.) I was only kept because there was something about me that made me worth keeping and 3.) That I was kept also out of obligation, not a real choice.
someone who will CHOOSE me because they WANT to not because they HAVE to.
This combined with the sexual, physical, and verbal abuse … has all added up to me seeking in my relationships someone who will CHOOSE me because they WANT to not because they HAVE to.
But ya know, I could never trust that their wanting would come just because I was lovable … no, I had to be or do something in order for them to want to keep me (have red hair, be useful, be desirable).
Because I put my partner’s choosing me as validation of my very right to exist, this became a huge trigger. Any sign of displeasure with me, any sign of not being chosen would set off deep deep fear … in these states of fear, I do a variety of things … and mostly do things I regret, that cause harm, that are meant to punish the person who by not choosing me is reminding me that I am a mistake and do not deserve to exist.
Whoa! While somewhat blindsided by this layer of insight into myself, I am so glad to have the tools I have to really be able to sit with the feelings and fears and curiosity and ick that arose and to be able to translate this awareness into action, change, new energy, new beingness.
Today I know I am not a mistake. I do not need anyone to choose me in order to validate my existence.
To always growing!