Recently I was helping a client work through some limiting beliefs and behavior. He did not realize that his beliefs were limiting him, but it couldn’t be more obvious to the intentional observer. He was explaining to me about a woman whom he is friends with but he wanted more from the relationship. His world revolved around her acceptance and response to him. His days become judged by whether or not she paid the kind of attention to him that he desired. He had confessed his love to her several times over. Every time he did, she would respond by telling him that while she appreciates his friendship, she didn’t have those same feelings of romantic love towards him. Time and time again he would try to win her over and time and time again she would turn him down. According to him, she couldn’t be clearer about not wanting a deeper romantic relationship. She was not leading him on.
And yet one of the reasons he came to me was to ask me to help him figure out a way to win her over. Interestingly enough, that’s not what I do. I help people recognize their own limiting beliefs and behavior patterns, and help them break those limits and choose healthier and more loving beliefs and behaviors. Anyway, he wanted to be with her more than anything and this pointed to one of his biggest limiting beliefs… “My value comes from other people’s acceptance and love.” So I asked him, “why would you want to be with someone who doesn’t want to be with you?” Without a thought he responded immediately, “because I love her.” So I asked him again, “but why would you want to be with someone who doesn’t want to be with you? And this time, for the sake of argument, you can’t respond that you love her.” Silence. Through a couple simple exercises we quickly got to the core problem. He had determined that he was not going to be valued unless a woman that he desired ascribed a value to him. It was that simple.
This brings us to one simple truth. Our value and worth is not based on who loves us and cares for us. It is not based on how many people love us or care for us. Our value is based on the Divine’s love for us, and subsequently, our love for ourselves. Stop. Go back and read those italics sentences one more time. We cannot find our value in the love we receive from other people. Because our value does not lie in other people. It lies in the Divine and the Divine within ourselves. And once we realize this, and choose to believe it at the core of who we are, we are free to actually love others without stings attached.
Now don’t hear what I’m not saying. I’m not saying that community isn’t valuable and necessary. I’m not saying we weren’t made to love and be loved. What I’m saying is that no person can ever give us our worth, identity, and purpose. So I’ll ask you. Why would you want to be with someone who doesn’t want to be with you? It’s one thing to share love with someone in service who may or may not want that love. But there are a whole new set of strings attached when we tie our worth and value to receiving love back from them. My friend has come to realize this. I would venture to say that he already realized this but never put it to words. His road forward is not impossible, but it will take some time to break those limiting beliefs and affirm truth. But it can be done. I know. I’ve done it.
Where does your value and worth come from? How many people respond to your status update? How many people read your blog? The amount of numbers attached to your paycheck? How your kids respond to you? We both realize that I could go on and on with these questions, but I won’t. I’ll end by asking this. Does your value come from the love of the Divine and your love for yourself? If not, email me. I’d love to help.
________________________________________________________________________________________ “There's nothing like rejection to make you do an inventory of yourself” ~James Lee Burke
“Rejection, though--it could make the loss of someone you weren't even that crazy about feel gut wrenching and world ending.” ~Deb Caletti
"I really wish I was less of a thinking man and more of a fool not afraid of rejection.” ~ Billy Joel