I seem to be on a kick lately about this subject...likely because it is active in my life. I am learning a lot of lessons in this department it seems and so writing helps me process them. Hopefully something I share is relatable...
Once upon a time there were a lot of people in my life. I had a lot of friends and a lot going on. Over the years, especially getting sober, that changed. When I got sober, I lost a lot of “friends”. In truth, they were never friends at all. They were drinking companions that I dubbed with the title friends since I didn’t know at the time that there was even a difference.
For a little while, there was a gap. A hollowed out place in my life where I didn’t have a lot of anything. Not a lot going on, not a lot of dates and very few friends. But active recovery changed that to the degree my self esteem would permit. I was thrust into action and the action brought people into my life. Soon lots of people. And those people became actual friends. Real friendships born of love and understanding and a desire to be there for each other. To show up and support each other through the decades. I am really lucky to have so many long standing friendships but I have noticed that some of those friendships have died in the last few years. Why?
As I said yesterday, I think that I had no idea of my own worth. Like it was a mystery to me. I didn’t know or understand my own value so when I entered friendships or relationships with people, I generally felt lucky to have them in my life and I wasn’t in the habit of evaluating whether or not the friendship or relationship was actually good for me. That process changed four years ago after my heart got wrecked and I had to really begin to look at who I was letting in and why. It has been a very eye opening but painful process...
It was four years ago yesterday that my heart and world stopped. I was devastated about this relationship that I named “love of my life” ending. Unbeknownst to me at the time, I was embarking on a journey inward towards myself that would cause me to re-evaluate many relationships in my life going forward. It would be a very painful process but it would cause exponential growth in my life that continues to this day.
My life is always about things being removed. I seem to learn almost nothing from addition. And this process would be no different, I would have to have things, people, relationships removed from my life to get my attention to see that many of these people and attendant relations not really all that great to begin with...amazing how much and long I fought to keep the unworthy going.
I do not mean to say that the people I have lost along the way were unworthy. I don’t believe that anyone is unworthy. But instead, I mean that the relationships and my participation in them was an unworthy use of my time, energy and heart. And my being left or my decision to leave were the best thing that ever happened to me even though it often came to me as a great loss.
What I have noticed as that once this process began, it spiraled. I have lost more relationships over the past four years than I have since I got sober. But what I have found is that once I began to really learn to value myself and my life, the people that didn’t began to fall away. Not without pain and a few claw marks, but away they went whether I liked it or not.
I struggled in the beginning as I do not enjoy the feeling of things or people being taken from me. But today, I hold myself and the universe in a much more open embrace, I trust that those people, places and things not meant for me, will be removed in God’s time and really only require my cooperation in allowing them to go.
So the last four years seems like there has been a great exodus but in reality it is just all the relationship and people who were no longer vibrating at my level being allowed to orbit onto their own plane and allowing me to soar upward no longer tethered to an evolution that served me poorly.
While I have enjoyed the upward trajectory, it hasn’t been without pain. A great deal in some cases. Some that I will likely grieve for the rest of my life. But those persons who have moved on and no longer occupy space in my life have created new places for relationships I currently have to deepen and grow. And have allowed for some new growth also. I feel very blessed about the loss and the gain.
And this is what losing unworthy looks like. The more worthy I became for myself, the less the people who didn’t see it or refused to allow it showed up in my life. The mass exodus in my life was more about me coming into my own to realize my own worth than it was about losing others. But I had to lose the others in order to grow and change and move forward to where I am today.
Today I am especially grateful for the losing unworthy process that has occurred within me and has resulted in a better life for me and those about me. To be clear, if you are in my life today it is because you are loved and wanted, and that is directly because I have learned to love me and want me just as I am...without all the extra stuff that I thought was critical to a life well lived. Life is great because all of the stuff that was killing me fell away and because I stopped clutching to my chest people who were intent on binding me to my feelings of lack and unworthiness. Today I relish the loss of all my own unworthy and know that the foundation of everything always begins with a huge feeling of loss.