The lead up to this new moon had my dreams riddled with uncomfortable confrontations with people whom I love. The pace of life is increasing and with the ages of my children, now 5 and almost 9, it is the phase of life we are in. My time is much more limited, I no longer have the reserves to orchestrate things beyond the simple and easy. Sleep, reading, and general self-care is my top priority right now. Being selfish has been so necessary and so healing. After years of sleep deprivation, crippling PTSD, anxiety, and raising young kids, I am finally able to tend to my own needs. Not only has it been necessary it is now non-negotiable.
During a particularly potent dream, I was confronted by someone's intense anger towards me. Underneath the anger, I knew this person felt hurt and abandoned. I had compassion for them but I was also innately aware of my own limits. I was able to honor them to the best of my capabilities, while also maintaining my own the boundaries, which I believe was the source of their anger. I was able to clearly communicate my capacity and despite it not being received after numerous attempts, I felt at peace. I understood my limits, I knew what led up to this confrontation, and I also knew that I was done sacrificing myself to uphold their vision of me.
This dream has been a powerful reminder of how I have grown. Until more recently I tended to negate my own needs and limits to uphold an illusion for others. To allow someone else to get what they think they want by sacrificing myself. It is much easier to be realistic about what we can do and communicate that in the beginning than trying to renegotiate later on. When other's are used to us bending over backwards to accommodate them, they get upset when it becomes unsustainable. I now know that while I do play a part in cultivating the expectations that other's have of me, I am not solely responsible. And while we can have compassion for other's, it is equally important for us to have compassion for ourselves.
As someone who has extremely high expectations for life in general, I know disappointment on an intimate level, sometimes with others but much more deeply with myself. It is time for me to stop internalizing other's disappointment of me; all this does is perpetuate an unhealthy cycle. As my friend Cara told me last month; "we can love someone unconditionally while simultaneously feeling incredibly burdened by them."
If someone lashes out at us for not conforming to how they want to be loved, they are mirroring their deepest wounds and showing us areas that are needing love and acceptance. The difficult part is understanding that no amount of self-sacrifice on our part could ever be sufficient. We need to learn to love ourselves first, rather than shifting that onto someone else.
Hearing this has allowed me to release how other people expect me to love them. I love them how I love them, not how often I talk to them or do things for them or show up how they expect me to.
Loving other's doesn't look like manipulation, or obligation, or resentment, or bending to someone's expectation of us, or upholding another's vision. It is simply loving someone, including ourselves, as best we can and knowing in our hearts that our love is enough.
Here's the mantra for this new moon:
Noticing how other's mirror their disappointment to me,
Is a powerful reminder of the love and compassion I am worthy of receiving.
This permits me to reflect on my own limits, boundaries, and capabilities.
Thus allowing me to gently adjust how I support, nurture, and advocate for MYSELF.