Regardless of whether you would like to have an unlimited supply of attention and compassion to give to everyone in the world…you are human, and therefore limited in the personal resources you have to give others. Many of us ignore our limitations or are afraid to admit we have them. What happens when you disregard the amount of energy you have to give, or your own personal boundaries? You must care for and respect yourself in order to engender the respect of others. There is an absolute correlation between these two relationships: that with yourself, and that with others.
How do you feel, as a survivor, when you contemplate meeting new people and extending yourself when entering into new relationships? If your answer is that you feel terrified, then you can rest assured that you are not alone. It is an act of courage to walk the pathway of becoming vulnerable and allowing others into your life. You are brave. This is a statement of fact. If your life journey has lead you to reading these words, then I know that you are motivated to heal and recover. It’s a matter of taking present actions towards a future goal of learning how to develop healthy relationships.
You are responsible for who comes into your life. Is that true?
What if we can call “bullshit!” on the above statement? I give you permission to be 100% free from the belief that it is your fault that you were a victim of abuse, rape, incest, violence or abuse. There are many writers and spiritual leaders out there who are trying to make people believe that they are responsible for manifesting everything that happens in their lives. This can be so damaging and harmful for survivors. It can make us feel that we will never be free from the endless hamster wheel of abuse. It places far too much weight and responsibility on the survivor for events that were out of your control. This is called “victim blaming.”
There are damaged people in the world who seek to ignore their sickness by inflicting further damage upon others. Whose fault is it that they choose to hurt people? It’s certainly not yours. There are many factors that contribute to someone becoming a perpetrator, but right now that’s not our concern. I want you to know that you have resources, support and a pathway to choosing who you would like to share your life with.
When you meet someone new, I invite you to stay present as you get to know them. Take time, this is not a race to some imaginary relationship finish line. Many relationships are stressed and overburdened with future-pacing. As survivors of violence we can have a tendency to need to control outcomes and therefor we try to imagine every possible outcome of a relationship before we have the opportunity to actually get to know someone. When you give yourself the gift of being present, and learn to trust your capacity to make healthy boundaries, then you free energy that is otherwise wasted in trying to “play God” by divining the future of a relationship.
An affirmation to support your pathway towards healthy relationship development:
Today, I give myself permission to choose who I want in my life based on my needs for self-care and safety. I deserve to be loved and treated with respect. I can trust my choices.
© Amanda Lee