Posts Tagged ‘self love’

Abandonment and Outer Child

January 19, 2011 1 comment

Abandonment has everything to do with Outer Child patterns – how they developed and how to overcome them.

If you want to overcome your most deeply entrenched self-defeating patterns, you must heal your abandonment wounds.

No, you don’t need 500 hours of psychoanalysis. You just need to learn how to use the program’s power tools – easy-to-perform exercises that you incorporate into your daily life. They are like physical therapy for the brain. As you practice them, you see change – and heal from the inside out.

I developed Outer Child (along with fellow psychotherapist Peter Yelton ACSW) when I was writing my first book on abandonment, looking for ways to help people overcome the aftermath of heartbreak and loss – those pesky patterns of behavior that interfere in our relationships.

Outer Child’s strong connection to abandonment is because most of Outer’s patterns were born during earlier times of loss, rejection, hurt, disappointment, self-doubt, disconnection – in short – abandonment. Outer’s primary role is defending (over-defensively) against the insecurity and fear seeping out of your old wounds. In fact, our most automatic, knee-jerk defense mechanisms, especially the maladaptive ones, are driven by abandonment fear.

This subliminal but ever-present fear not only triggers Outer to act out in our love relationships, but the residual insecurity causes Outer to take everything to the extreme – sleeping, watching TV, drinking, spending money, cluttering, procrastinating. For example, hoarders report that what motivates them to surround themselves with so much stuff is the subliminal fear that they’ll be left all alone with nothing and no one to care about them.

Learn more about abandoholism – the infamous Outer Child pattern of being attracted only to the available. Pre-order TAMING YOUR OUTER CHILD: A Revolutionary Program to Overcome Self-Defeating Patterns


When You Have Loved and Lost – What to do with All the Love? – Part II

September 14, 2010 Leave a comment

Self Love Not Narcissism
Caution: You don’t make yourself love’s object narcissistically. It’s more of a spiritual redirection of energy toward that central place within the self we all share – a universal place of quiet appreciation for the wonders of existence. Even if your existence has you currently writhing in spasms of torment, at least you can remember good moments in the past – and you can observe others appreciating these moments. Ponder these things and your own emotional state momentarily lifts a little. Notice I said “a little” and “momentarily.” This is not a magic pill. The benefits are gained slowly, cumulatively, through repeated practice. Use your appreciation of good moments – ponder self love – as a way of punctuating your journey with little commas, to create pause through the day.

If you want to move beyond punctuation and really gain traction to move forward, you need additional tools – power tools.

Self Love Leads to Connection
Let’s talk turkey here: For the vast majority of us, love must ultimately be satisfied in human connection. Your ultimate goal is, most likely, to find a new special someone. But for now, while you are bereft of that person, the idea is to throw yourself energetically into the act of loving yourself and the world around you. This does not happen by osmosis, by using specialized exercises that help you build a stronger relationship with yourself. These exercises act like physical therapy for the brain. They are carefully honed to help you convert love as a feeling into love as an action that you take on behalf of yourself and others in your life. I’ve filled several books of instructions about this [i.e. WORKBOOK:]. True, this process takes a little know-how and encouragement, but it is doable.

You Gain Gravitation Pull
This conversion of love-for-another into self-love transforms you from a satellite to a sun. You become a solar source of your own radiant warmth and energy – a glowing presence that others bask in as well. As you administer love to yourself in a real way through actions you give yourself (methodically prescribed through the exercises), you gain gravitational pull.

The love you give yourself must be unconditional self-love – love which compassionately accepts yourself, warts and all, as you would accept your loved ones. This kind of love is so magnanimous that people in your life are inevitably drawn in.

It’s not Idealistic Gobbeldy Gook
Does this seem impossible? Others have done it. This transformation is how healers are born. It’s also how people’s hidden strengths become activated. You see amazing people around you. Suspect that adversity prompted them to become who they are. All it takes is hard work and the right tools. If others have done this, why not you? And again, consider your choices: You can either drown in sorrow or rise to the occasion to become your higher self. Why not make yourself the object of your love and increase your potential as a human being?

You’ll do this Imperfectly
When you do this, you’ll do it not perfectly, but imperfectly. If you try to do this perfectly, you’ll make yourself the object of frustration rather than love. Plan to love yourself imperfectly. Give yourself a compassionate pass for those times you succumb to abject self-hatred and acute devastation. Love yourself affectionately for these feelings as they are part and parcel of the intense emotional crisis of abandonment. You’ll likely still feel demoralized, hopeless, helpless, and panicky at times – not to mention prone to constant self-doubt and idealization of your abandoner. There’s also the rage and feeling wrung out from all the shouting and crying you’re doing. You’re human, so attend to your wound lovingly. Reassure yourself: This will pass.

Accept all of these feelings as natural, part of the experience, part of transience, part of you, and administer to them compassionately as you would to a small helpless child going through this. Again, this will pass.

When you become conscious of being in heartache, don’t squelch the feelings, but gently remind yourself of the need to make yourself the object of your own love. Favor this idea as you would a mantra as you go through your day… and whip out those power tools and get back to work to do another round of physical therapy for your heart, mind, and soul.

Categories: abandonment Tags: , ,

When You’ve Loved and Lost – What to do with all the Love?

September 13, 2010 Leave a comment

Someone writing into my website asked a penetrating, thoughtful question:

“Dear Susan, In your chapter on Transcending, we learn about the `Higher Purpose of Love.’ “Is the Higher Purpose of Love, in general, that which is more than just wanting to be loved by someone special?”

The answer, of course, is Yes, but what is implicit in the question is: How on earth do you DO that? How do you take love so intense that it burns a hole in your heart – love for a person who wants no part of you – and convert this yearning, burning love into the “higher purpose” kind?

Surviving a Mortal Wound
The answer to the question may be “Yes” but giving that answer automatically breaks empathy with the person going through heartbreak because it becomes one of those easier said than done aphorisms. When you’re aching for someone who’s abandoned you, hearing a simplistic prescription makes you feel even more helpless and isolated. You’re struggling to survive what feels like a mortal wound, certainly not feeling emotionally prepared to snap your fingers and become an enlightened swami.

Back up. Wait a minute. Simplistic, extreme, radical, outlandish, yes. But when you take a moment to stop protesting the awful reality of being left, you get in touch with a strength you didn’t know you had – a strength that allows you, at least for a moment, to ‘face life on life’s terms.’

Protesting is a Universal Stage of Grief
Protesting is a universal stage of grief. It’s something we all go through and some of us are feistier and more stubborn about it than others. The truth is that protesting a loss doesn’t change its reality and only perpetuates the pain.

Trying to Change the Unchangeable?
When you catch yourself railing against the reality of your situation – digging in your heels to ward off having to accept what’s happened – and realize how futile your efforts are, you get in touch with your ability to calmly face facts and ask yourself what choice you really have. You can either continue gnashing your teeth and wringing your hands or you can use the same energy to Rise To The Occasion. What occasion? The occasion of taking the love that is bursting out of your heart for someone you have lost– love that has no place else to go – and convert it into the kind of love you can give to yourself and the world around you. This love is a transforming kind of love – a generalized, self-empowering kind of love that isn’t for one special person, that just IS.

This is love that you will first give to yourself as you would an oxygen mask on an airplane, and then bestow its life-saving sustenance on your loved ones.

How to Begin the Process
Converting love for an ex into love for oneself becomes possible only when you begin facing (and stop protesting) the simple, but painful reality that you no longer have that person to focus your love on. Who else but yourself to make the object of your love? This self-love thing is probably long overdue for you, anyway. You’re handy, that’s for sure – and most likely have nothing better to do emotionally. When you get the self-love thing going, it gives you a new beginning. As your self-love gains momentum, it automatically spreads to others.

To Be Continued…tune in tomorrow.