Self-Partnering: How it Saved Me
I’ve had a somewhat emotional week. Why? I don’t know. Nothing of significance has happened – no deaths or losses or real catastrophes to speak of. My youngest child graduated from high school two weeks ago and in two weeks I’ll be forty-four years old… so, there’s that.
These things aren’t consciously worrying me, yet I’ve been through enough psychological upheaval in the last few years, and in fact my whole life, to know that not all of our troubles make themselves known to us on a conscious level.
The things that keep us awake at night; the things that give us that yucky generalised feeling of dread in our waking hours are more often than not old traumas that have been triggered. The crap that we’ve unknowingly been carrying around since childhood that resurfaces from time to time, more often than not because it’s been triggered by someone or something external to us.
My childhood fear of abandonment was triggered BIG TIME when my husband left me. Yet because I was somehow able to use my time of grief as a time of introspection – a time to go DEEP within myself to examine, dissect and ultimately heal my childhood wounds – I recovered from my ‘abandonment’ wholly and well.
Once our fears become our reality they somehow lose their power, and their potency.
I learned a lot during my period of grieving. I learned that generally, people will do what they want to do. People stop loving other people, people hurt other people, people leave good marriages. I learned that sometimes, oftentimes, there is very little we can do to change the minds of others.
And I learned that when it comes to the crux of it – none of this truly matters.
What matters is the way in which we DEAL with what’s been thrust upon us.
And maybe – just maybe – these things are thrust upon us so that we can heal – truly heal – once and for all. So that we can learn to self-partner and self-soothe. So that we can be our own partner, and soothe ourselves when everybody else is being horrible and shit and the world has become a terrifying place.
Learning to self-partner does not mean that we will never feel shit or abandoned or rejected or lonely again. We are still human, and will therefore still go through the range of human emotions and feelings and ups and downs of life.
It does mean that we learn to fix ourselves. It means that we don’t rely on or give other people the power to fix us. We know that we are responsible for soothing ourselves. We know that ultimately we are the only one who can fix ourselves.
We know that we must simply sit with the feelings and emotions and the crap and pain, and allow it. All of it. We understand that the feelings and emotions and the crap and pain will not last forever. Unless we allow it to.
So we choose to treat the feelings and emotions like passing waves. We allow them to come, we sit with them as best we can (without trying to numb or block them with alcohol, drugs, sex, men, women or any other external element). And when it’s time (we will know when it’s time), we let them pass.
And we get stronger each time we do this. The feelings become less intense as we become less afraid of them. Once our fears become our reality they lose their power and their potency. It is true that we attract that which we fear, and our feelings are NO different.
I have a partner. I have two adult children and a lot of beautiful and supportive friends. I still self-partner. I share my worries and feelings with the people in my life, of course (as they do with me). But I don’t expect them to save me. Only I can do that.
It has taken one failed marriage and one emotionally difficult childhood for me to learn the truth:
I ALONE am responsible for my feelings, my emotions and my self-worth.
My mother did not provide me with the kind of emotional support that a young sensitive girl like me needed. My husband left me. Ultimately, they both did me favours.
In withholding and/or withdrawing their love, they guided me back to me.
It took the best part of forty years for me to learn the truth, but it came to me eventually. It came to me when I felt I had nowhere else to turn but inwards. Because actually, I didn’t. So inwards I turned and in that place I found the love I’d been craving. It was my own, and it had been there all along. It had been waiting.
And it is this love that will see me through my current unrest. The feelings will pass; in the meantime I will take and learn from them what I can. I will gratefully allow them to teach me what they will, and when it’s time, they will pass. I will let them go. And I will be OK.