Many years ago I read Self Matters by Dr. Phil, In the Meantime and Value in the Valley, by Iyanla Vanzant, this was in the 90s, at that time I was under the silly notion that reading these books was going to make me a better person for the next relationship.
Here it is 24 years later, and I revisited these same books and the message is much clearer. Why? Today, I have better understanding that seeking to be a better me for the sake of a relationship was at the root of me thinking that I needed validation as a women, and this validation depended on whether I was successfull in a relationship.
What I did not understand then was how to value my experiences even when they were painful, and emotionally damaging. I did not receive the lesson that I was supposed to be better for me. So the more I worked at being better for the next relationship the less I knew about me.
I did not know that I was supposed to learn lessons about why I seeked out men who were only interested in the physical aspect of the relationship. I did not comprehend that the time in between relationships should be used for self reflection. I did not want to be alone and I thought the cure for my loneliness was a man. I was unaware that the period of transition from one relationship to the next is called the “meantime”… a time to heal, reflect, and wait. My in the meantime meant crying, depression, drinking, and trying to figure out ways to make him come back. It was always about the relationship because I did not know that self mattered until I read Dr. Phil’s book. What I gathered is this that a dyfuncational self leads to attracting dyfuncational and abusive men.
The value in my experience taught me what wasn’t working and why. I was putting too much attention nursing my pain and thinking this isn’t going to happen again, but it did happen more times than I care to count.
I blamed men. I convinced myself that they were mean, abusive, cold, heatless, lairs, cheaters, cheap and can not be trusted. After years of soul searching, healing and learning about myself, I understand my role in opening the door for the abuse. I believed the lies because I did not want to face the truth. I knew the men I was involved with were cheaters and cheap. They weren’t heartless and cold these men did not want to be emotionally connected to me they way I desired. The men from my past knew that I had low self esteem, and that I hadn’t discovered my self worth. They saw me as an opportunity and a means to an end.
As difficult as this may be to hear there is Value in our Experiences. While we are going through the darkness we can’t see the lessons. It is when we step away from the drama, and push through to the light we can come to terms with the experiences that teach the lessons that brings awareness.
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