In our work hard, get a reward later society, many of us bring that to our relationships too.
Especially, those who were raised by emotionally unavailable people.
We think we have to do so much, to get so little. Waiting for pleasure, even saying no to pleasure; we don’t feel we deserve it. There’s often shame where pleasure could take hold.
“I must do more, be more, have more, succeed more and so on.”
This mantra is mainly subconscious, but sometimes it’s conscious. It’s what directs us in our next step. Do we go about it the hard way, like we always do, so we ensure feeling a degree of shame until we accomplish the ‘ideal’ relationship, or life?
We hear the voices of others in our heads telling us what we deserve based on their perception; it says nothing to what we really desire.
A mountain to climb, a valley to dig ourselves out of, choosing people who will force us (just by the dance they do unconsciously too) into the state of mind we say we don’t want, which in turn affects the choices we make, in what we think limits us, as we wait for the reward of being good. Perfect.
Pointing the finger, accusing the other person, or blaming circumstances keeps us stuck.
Losing ourselves in rules guaranteed for us to not receive, we become the martyr (to give our undeserving selves or shame a label). Martyrdom gives us illusive control in a relationship. It keeps us defeated, and working against our pleasure, rather than embracing it.
We picture the reward dangled in front of us, we chase it, trying to extract pleasure from pain, and it’s never the grand payoff; it lacks fulfillment.
Isn’t fulfillment the key to feeling good? Happy?
The sacrifice of self for any reward outside of us isn’t pleasure… it’s pain, filling us with misdirected anger.
Waiting for pleasure from someone else and not giving to ourselves is a sacrifice; we feel shame, because in our minds, we’re not good enough; as we twist and turn to get what we want, but never do.
We have to believe that we deserve pleasure and give it to ourselves. This is so foreign to some of us, but in essence we’re starving and it’s human to want more.
Giving to other people doesn’t mean they give back. We don’t teach people how to treat us, when our underlying current is “you’re disappointing me, unless you give what I want.”
Teaching people how to treat us is not based on telling them or how we treat them, it’s to give to ourselves first and revel in our own pleasure.
Shame has no place in bringing us what we want for ourselves. Ever. Especially in relationships.
I remember feeling shame when told, that perhaps, when my life or my business or my job or whatever it was at the time, became successful, then I’d be rewarded with what I desired.
Hearing this, I felt not good enough, but at the time….I’d no discernment and believed I was being punished.
I didn’t realize I could do something to change it.
Shame doesn’t need to be a part of how we feel in our relationships (or lack of one). There’s no reward at the end of the journey, it’s being present for the daily journey, allowing pleasure that’s always available.
How do we toss shame out and allow pleasure in and out of our relationships?
1. Recognize every moment that shame threatens to take over, remember: it serves no purpose, except to make you feel invisible or unworthy of what you really want.
2. If your mate criticizes, or uses language meant to demean you…ask yourself what is true about what they’re saying, then accept whatever kernel it is and LOVE it. Discard the rest.
3. Open your eyes, take the focus off what you usually see and bring in your surroundings…smiling is that simple. Good is present at all times, get used to seeing it.
4. Connect with other people who support you, no matter what you don’t possess.
5. Mistakes are inevitable, shame will keep you repeating the same one, because you’ll be too afraid to step out and risk…so remember: when each time it happens, purposely continue to choose what you really want.
6. Relax when you start to feel uptight by actually looking at…is the problem imaginary, or happening right now….and if it is not, learn to release it.