Anchors and Freedom

I remember the pain – the pain attached to my attachment.

Let that just sit there for a moment: the pain attached to my attachment.

We give so much importance to the words and the appraisals of others.  We give so much weight to their approval, that it can be to the detriment of ourselves and our self-worth. Our voice and our love of self is suddenly replaced by that of another. With each slight, each passive aggressive punch, we shrink smaller, we hurt deeper and we retreat more painfully to a dark, less realized space.

It was that way for me for over a decade. People who should have occupied a very sacred and love filled place in my life, instead chose to devalue me. My gifts were regarded as fodder – traits to critique and distort. Gratitude was replaced with greater expectation. In short, nothing I did was ever good enough or worthy of praise and love – the only currencies I ever wanted. And it hurt. It was all I thought about. And what comes of such mental preoccupations? Nothing. Except worry. There was no growth, no personal development, and no joy.

So, I ask you this question: when will you realize when it’s time – time to cut the rope that positions itself around your neck and squeezes the space around your heart. When will you recognize that the ones you placed your faith in are neither willing to deliver on the investment, nor wanting to contribute to your success story.

I do not ask you to start putting people in categories, and certainly not all the people whom you will encounter should receive the same weight of want or expectation. The school parent who takes a moment to rap about the kids is not the man I married, or the parent who raised me, and the aunt who nurtured me. Not everybody will fill your cup in the same way or to the same degree, nor should they.

The individuals about whom I write could have been so instrumental in my growth and my joy. And I waited. I waited for their approval. I waited for their love. And it never came. Their love could not be rationed to include me in a healthy and affectionate manner.

And then I stopped. I stopped expecting. I stopped waiting. And I started living my best self.  And the day that happened is the day I began loving myself. My pulse softened, my pressure relaxed, and my smile deepened.

Dr. Abha and her insights came pouring out of me when I released the weighted anchor and set sail on a course that did not rely on crewmembers who were neither invested in my voyage, nor interested in its course.

I invite you to dig deep. Dig deeply inside of yourselves and find your best self. Tell her, invite him, ask them: What is stopping you. And if a person(s) is revealed as an impediment to your growth and capacity, remove the weight of their importance in your life. You need not cast them adrift altogether, for that robs them of redemption, and you of any insights you may derive from the relationship. I merely invite you to place less importance in others and nurture greater faith in yourself.

Yours in health, Dr. Abha

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2021