practice acceptance

An Unexpected Path to Self-Love through Relationship by Pixie Hamilton

I love Laurel's blog entry about Surrendering to Difficult Relationships.

 

But in reality, what is missing for me in this blog is the “reality.”

That reality, for me, is that the answers to these very important steps can only arise from a state of spiritual maturity, growth, and self-love. 

Authentic handling of these steps requires a space of clarity and openness; a willingness to be vulnerable; and, most important, a space in which you first love yourself, without the affirmation of those around you and outside the boundaries and expectations of our social world.

I lived this reality.

My marriage was in tatters in 1996. For the next seven years I tried everything – anti-depressants, counseling, self-help books, church(es), more counseling, alcohol, and obsessive working and career climbing. Thoughts of suicide became more and more common. 

I now know that I fought for this most intimate relationship in the most absurd way – first, without any self-love and self-worth, and second, in the company of others, allowing their influence to take precedence. Social norms and pressures prevailed, keeping the marriage vows and knot tied for more than 20 years.

Finally, I could not take the relationship any more. I garnered enough courage to somehow edge out my fears. I left. Broken. Shamed.  I left feeling like a failure. Socially, I felt unacceptable.

No doubt, I left my marriage in fear and resistance. I didn’t surrender to the relationship out of love.

I couldn’t.

I had to first connect to me - my spiritual core to love myself. I had to tap into the universal love, abundance, intelligence, and peace that were in me all along before I could love someone else, authentically.  Only in that space could I ever surrender to a difficult relationship like my marriage.

Over the last decade, through gratitude, meditation, prayer, friends, and mentors, I returned to love. It’s in that space that I can authentically develop, maintain, surrender, and, yes, leave relationships (if my true self leads me that way).

I realize now that my soul won. I left that relationship to save myself.

In 1996, these "relationship steps" most likely would have annoyed me. I wouldn’t have understood their essence.

Today, in my space of self-love, the power of those steps is amazingly alive and resonating.  In fact, in a space of self love, surrendering to relationships in this way becomes a natural way of handling life.


I now view all relationships as gifts—opportunities to surrender to myself, others, my core, offering more views of forgiveness, boundary setting, self-realization, acceptance, awareness, and life.

I also see relationships as dynamic. They can’t be possessed or bounded by a time frame (and certainly to a "death do we part" perspective). I accept that each will change. I depend on my true self to guide me on their shape. I now know that it’s ok to let them be or go, and if that means leaving a marriage or changing a relationship with a parent or child to evolve into something else, that’s ok, too. As long as the changing occurs in a space of self-love.

Many years after my divorce in 2005, I reached out to my ex-husband from my space of love (not fear or resistance) to establish a relationship at a different level. I remember it as one of my most scary, courageous, vulnerable and forgiving acts. Unfortunately, he was not receptive and that relationship never evolved.

And that's ok.

It wasn’t about him.

It was about me, and the continued growth of my soul.

The relationship was one of my greatest gifts in this world. And, I love him more for that gift every day.

How can your Ego help You? by Pixie Hamilton

I have always thought of the Ego in a somewhat negative light. I saw it separate and as the part of me that “steals” from my Divinity and my “truth.” I have been taught in church (including the New Thought church I currently attend) that my Ego is bad – that it Edges God Out, so to speak. Over the past 15 years I have looked at my Ego through “black and white” eyes; my Ego was the “Fear” in my life, whereas my Divine Source was the “Love.” My Ego was “evil,” and the Divine Source in me was “good.” My latest breakthrough, or “AHA” moment, was that I have been giving Ego a really bad rap. I need my Ego. I especially need my Ego as defined by Webster and other dictionaries: “Ego is the mediator in the material world around me; it is that part of me that is thinking, feeling, and willing; it is that part of me that experiences and reacts to the outside world and mediates the demands of the social and physical environment; it is that part of me that controls my thoughts and behavior; that part of me that facilitates me with the external world and reality.”

What if my Ego was also my mediator between me and my Divinity?

What if my Ego wasn’t all bad? What if my Ego was my friend and my ally?

For 15 years, I essentially (and unknowingly) gave it up for Divinity. Sounds strange, but I gave up my Ego to save my soul.

So, at 57 years old I began to ask what does my Ego look like? What does its voice sound like? Is it manic? Sinister? Kind? Smart? What would it (essentially me?) look like if it were illuminated?

I threw my “black and white” glasses down and began to look at myself with clearer eyes, new clarity and awareness. I stared and stared at the mirror. Literally. I looked hard and wondered who it was. Blankly the image stared back. I stared harder, and longer, and more longingly to embrace a new view of this person. It wasn’t long that I realized a lot about my Ego. Sure, it can be negative. I see why it gets a bad rap. The Ego gives me the urge to inflate, to assert, dominate, interrupt, compare, manipulate, insult, lack curiosity...I could go on. But, after observing “me” with this new clarity, I see that my Ego—my thoughts, my mediation of the world around me—is also very kind, caring, energetic, playful, smart, inquisitive, listening, persistent, hard-working…and, yes, I could go on.

Why would I give that up? Why not embrace and own that part of me and my personality and my behavior? Why not simply become more aware of when my Ego runs amok and those times that my Ego behaves out of alignment with my Source? Why not just sit with a feeling of simplicity and the grace of being myself in those times? Why not watch and “simply be?” I can choose that deliberately– after all, the Ego is my thoughts and mind. If I want to, I can refuse, for example, to make that phone call and gossip. Or refuse to denigrate myself. I can just let it go. My Ego is my vehicle to choose, thoughtfully and deliberately.

LivingConciously

I now realize that avoiding my Ego; hating my Ego; pushing back my Ego; creating that separation over these last years has not allowed me to fully accept “me.” In fact, I am now convinced that it is only up to the last few weeks that I truly accepted and embraced the full ME!

I look again in the mirror, fully without hesitation or questioning. I see the Divine and the Ego. I see the good they can do together. I haven’t fully learned how to tap into “me” yet – my full Ego – but I am now willing to accept and own who I am. I acknowledge the potential raw power. I know that I am unique. I know that I am exceptional. I know that both my Ego and my Divinity are necessary for my wholeness. I need my Ego—my personality, self-image, my projection, my thoughts, my behavior, and my gifts—to express my Divinity, the highest expression of who I am.

Getting to know the Divine and all its universal power, love, abundance, and grace over the last 15 years has saved me. But now I step further into enlightenment. I realize I was only halfway there.

Today and every day forward, I now fully accept my Ego (me) as my critical tool to shine. It is there for realizing that everything that happens is for the expression of the Divine coming through me. What a wonderful thought to think that my Divine Source is using my Ego to serve its (my) glorification. How wonderful to think that when my Ego is in alignment, it is my trusted ally with which I can move forward in this material world – completely, fully, and with Divine love and grace.