When a friend recently complained about their sister in law’s unreliability, she engaged in an offensive weapons approach to get the relationship back on track: criticism and contempt.
Criticism: “She said she would call me back but didn’t” (complaint about her character)
Contempt: “what’s wrong with her? She’s such a ____” (name calling and sarcasm)
Under that complaint, I heard a much clearer message – I don’t matter.
To protect from going there, she did what most people do when they sense a stop in the flow of love: they lay blame at the other’s doorstep. This way they get to feel better than.
This is a way to distract from allowing the true feelings to be felt.
When I asked her what it would take to “approve” of her sister-in-law, she was confused.
In truth, when we disapprove of individuals when they don’t show up in the way we expect them to, despite having a history of never having done so, we set ourselves up to experience the pain of “not mattering” over and again. It’s a way to continue the socialized conditioned pattern belief in our innate sense of worthlessness.
This is how it may have been done in your family of origin – you, being one of the Matryoshka dolls nestled in it. By approving of them exactly as they are, knowing this is how they operate you get to offer the greatest gift there is:
Loving them where they are.
It’s a big leap.
Those who are willing to do the “real work” of Self-Leadership will experience that flow of love by virtue of approving of each individual without the need to change them, or you, nor the need to either blow up their village nor run for the hills.
The 5 Qualities of Self Leadership are curiosity, compassion, clarity, courage, and calm. They are also core practices.
Whether in a romantic, professional or familial relationship, applying these core practices to support yourself in learning how to approve of others is the foundation for courageous love and resilient intimacy.
Most importantly, the pattern of innate worthlessness gets to stop with you.
What a legacy of love you can leave when it does.
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