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Want to join the the community of teachers and practitioners who write for About Meditation? Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…says Lady Liberty. I would put all my energy in trying to make it work, trying to help you heal, but would abandon my own needs or truth in the process, because the desire to recognize or honor my own worth was not as strong as it was for me to show you yours.
One day the light bulb turned on as I went from six years with a man I was engaged to marry (and before that in an eleven-year relationship that sucked my soul dry) to an emotional affair that had left me more raw and exposed than before. I was the common denominator in this series of events, but what was I contributing that left my soul and heart so ravaged? My search took me back to my childhood, as it would inevitably for all of us adults struggling with conditioning or behavior that we just can’t seem to let go, even though it does nothing to serve our higher purpose.
Through my teens and early adulthood I struggled with trying to understand her choices, her inability to love me and support me the way that I needed. I was not brought up to understand my intrinsic worth, to know what a healthy and nurturing relationship looks like, and most importantly that I deserved to be in one. I turned to the metaphysical, spirituality, and yoga to shed light on what I just couldn’t see. With each year, I was able to piece together a little more of my toolkit for understanding, but the toolkit my mother gave me for tolerating emotional unavailability and abandonment in my closest relationships seemed to win out.
I could support, tell all those around me in their darkest days how beautiful, how amazing they were, but when it came to myself, those words were like bitter tasting medicine that I just couldn’t swallow. Subconsciously, I ached for my partner to help heal me—to echo the sentiment I would bestow to them—but it never came in the quantity or consistency that I required. It never occurred to me that my relationship with my mother, and all the hurt it brought, would ever affect my adult relationships with men. I was not brought up with clear emotional boundaries or the ability to validate my own worth—not on the level I required to be a strong, confident woman. I talked myself out of many opportunities or shied away from experiences because of my inner demons.
I saw, objectively, what had happened and what I wanted to and needed to do differently to end the cycle.
I spoke my truth and came from an authentic place when communicating with this newest partner. That being said, I’m still human, and sometimes I catch myself falling into that old, familiar pattern. I do not have to fear being emotionally abandoned by another, because I won’t abandon myself anymore. About Barb SmeltzerBarb Smeltzer is a social change agent by day in corporate philanthropy. But you echo so much of the self-help advice that I’ve been pouring over, that resonates in me so deeply, to find the strength to fully live in myself and my power for the first time, and that I do have a right to establish boundaries without being guilted or shamed, and I do have a right to validate myself and not seeking anyone else to validate my worth. Last weekend was my wake up call when I became furious at a man for not showing up at an event when he had promised friends to do so.
Hello, thank you for taking the time to reply with such honest and raw emotion that is equal to my post. I began this journey whey I was ten, and nearly two decades plus later I have arrived at a place of peace and acceptance. So continue your work and know that if your self love and self worth are your first priority you will begin to attract like minded people in to your life, they will help you on your path of healing.
One thing I learned is when I started to treat myself with the highest regard like I would treat others my energy vibration rose to a higher level, and those emotional vampires as I refer to them can’t be in my field anymore. Hey Barb that was a very vulnerable post, congratulations for being able to put that out there in public.
For guys there is something called “Nice Guy Syndrome” (coined by the author of No More Mr.
Your writing about self-worth really hit me, because combined with my Nice Guy-ism, and being bullied as a kid, I had a hole in me that I did not know how to fill. Then boundaries started getting set, Nos were said, and so on… I started valuing myself and not allowing people to walk all over me. All of my relationships drastically improved – with friends, family, and with dating partners. The more healthier we are as individuals, the more ready we are to date and deal with others. Thank you Noam for your feedback ?? Men and women alike can find themselves in this very situation, I know some men who are affected by that Mr. It is amazing how what is happening internally is mirrored externally…being able to say no in a powerful way for your own sake is a beautiful thing. I posted the books I found helpful in one of the other comment replies but I can’t recommend enough Return to Love by Marianne Williamson. This blog made me realize, once again, I keep repeating the same mistakes, until I’ve learned my lesson. A VERY dense and INTENSE book that can help is Journey From Heartbreak To Connection by Susan Anderson.
And yet the message you received the other day, you decided you didn’t agree with, so you deleted it.
The reason what you are saying is falling on deaf ears is due to the fact that you operate at a higher vibration, meaning, those that aren’t at the same level will never give you what you are asking for.
The books I mentioned in another reply are really a great help and of course working with a counselor or life coach.
Betty, it is very true that being empathetic, helpful and understanding are gifts to share with others. Fiona, thank you for your kind words and I am so pleased that my journey has moved you so much. The outcome of whether they forgive you are not is not your concern but the act of asking for forgiveness is.

Thank you so much for sharing, I am going through a rough path in my life right now where i am just starting to realize that i havent taken care of myself since ever.
This form of meditation that was once associated with new age-y folk and tree huggers has suddenly become very trendy. Take time to explore and contemplate these profound words from spiritual masters, teachers, and guides. Now, more than ever before, we can share the incredible diversity and power of spiritual traditions from around the world. Contemplating the words of a spiritual teacher is a time-honored way to access your own deeper self. When your intention is strong and you relish the opportunity to sit in meditation, that is a great gift.
She was speaking to immigrants wanting to start a new promised life in America, but those words could be my tagline for the men I have had my most intimate relationships with. Perhaps on a superficial level, but it didn’t truly emerge until I ended my most recent long-term relationship last summer. She too was broken from her childhood experiences, which shaped her choices, mostly the not so good ones as she aged. Through my search, which I was fiercely committed to, I came upon a psychological term coined by Freud: repetition compulsion.
So in adult life, we’ll attempt to heal the traumatic event that took place as a child through intimate adult relationships, but the outcome will end up the same. This education was put to the test this past winter when I ventured into a new relationship that had great promise.
And when it looked like the same thing was happening again, I did something that I didn’t know I could do. It mattered not if he understood or heard me; it only mattered that I said what I did and took responsibility for my own outcome instead of placing the power in the hands of another. It’s not about being defined by ego or conceit, but knowing, from an inner wisdom, that others cannot define the value we all possess; only we can do that. So now the tagline reads, I can help show you your worth, not because yours is more important, but because I firstly see and honor my own.
That my judgment can be law is so new to me when I’ve been trying to be positively judged by others for forever. I long to be a writer too, and this is such an inspiration to me, the level of emotional availability you have reached in your writing despite having these similar pains as me. I did intend for my experience, learning and wisdom to be a light for others…and I am so very touched that you see it that way. I can only offer further guidance based on my path that it is key to have a good mental health practitioner or life coach to help support.
Those of us who tolerate so little when it comes to treatment of others but so much when it comes to ourselves have big, caring and nurturing spirits. It was only when I started loving myself (as hippy-ish) as it sounds, and being FAR kinder to myself… did things get a lot better. That book, for me, is a great healer and allowed my heart to be open all the while going through some painful emotional experiences. I think it runs around 400 pages though but it is all inner child and emotional exercise-based. I had to learn to forgive (not forget) my childhood hurts, and then start forgiving myself for the pain I have subsequently caused others and ultimately to myself.
So you have two choices; accept them and what is knowing that you cannot change them or walk away completely.
As a new mother, the fact you are aware and conscious of wanting to give your daughter what you didn’t have is a very beautiful thing. I also have a mother that did not give me the tools and love I needed as a child to become a strong, whole person. Your words were like a sword in my heart, Sometimes i think i cant go through anything, but then i read cases like yours and it gives me hope.
Large companies are organizing instructional workshops, and features routinely crop up in the press about high-power CEOs who depend on meditation practice.
Taking time to slow down and consider the words of a more advanced practitioner can help catalyze the inner conditions for meditation. If you are a more experienced meditator, read our empowering article on The 5 Hidden Signs of Your Success. Whether you want to relax, stimulate creativity, gain enlightenment, or cultivate compassion and mindfulness, we help you learn how to let go. Difference is, she chose to stay in that place of un-healing and unawareness, whereas I knew better. I would have bursts of drive and chutzpah at times, but I spent most of my energy feeling not good enough, not lovable enough, not worthy enough. I cannot undo the past but I certainly can lay the groundwork for my present and my future, to cultivate fertile soil where my needs are nurtured and my worth is evident. Reading your words has definitely reflected light and love back in my life in an area it is sorely, sorely needed. I had been losing my hope with no social support to be found around me except in the company of myself.
This line in particular resonates with me: Subconsciously, I ached for my partner to help heal me—to echo the sentiment I would bestow to them—but it never came in the quantity or consistency that I required. Having grown up with a father who was emotionally unavailable I have always fallen for men who exhibit that same trait.
As I navigate through my current relationships, I consistently struggle to know and express my worth as I, too, was not taught that when growing up.
It is a process not an event to come to that place of healing, so always keep that in mind.
My counselor helped me see that I indeed had a toolkit for high tolerance of emotional unavailability in others, something that didn’t register completely until I talked it out with her. Robert Glover) where men cannot set boundaries, fail in sexual relationships, are afraid of their masculinity, and have a terrible time feeling good about themselves. I was able to come from a place of love and peace and see that all of us have emotional wounds, whether we are aware or not. I realized this week that he wasn’t capable of loving me in the way I desperately wanted.
It was only then that I began to honor and speak my truth, let go of toxic relationships before they could even take root, and be open to accepting love and support that comes from a place that is genuine, honest, and simple. Became the doormat, the bank for all expenses and I realize how I need so much reassurance of others feelings for me. Doing everything I felt I could for the relationship, and even more, and having been cheated on for a year as I accidentally found out.

I can’t say anyone thing brought me to that point, all of my experience created that learning.
You most certainly are not alone on this journey, and take comfort in the fact that because you experienced what you did you are better equipped to know there is a better way, for your sake and your daughter’s.
Knowing that is fact, then know that when we are not at our best, not getting our needs met or our soul nurtured, we do sometimes unintentionally hurt the ones we love. So the first step, from my experience, is to recognize that when you caused hurt to someone else that you were hurting yourself at the time otherwise you would have not hurt them.
Billionaire Ray Dalio of Bridgewater Associates, the world's largest hedge fund firm, swears by it, as do a host of unlikely practitioners, from Russell Simmons and 50 Cent to Bill Ford (chairman of the Ford Motor Company), if media coverage is to be believed. That I can have fun and have a right to nurture myself with all the beautiful accomplishments and learning lessons that entails without beating myself up. I had felt so weathered, like a ship lost at sea, with the realization that one abusive parent wasn’t enough, and that I have two doozies of a folk to deal with in hurting my worth. In that instant I realised: this was exactly how he had treated me the whole year while we were having a fling. The fact you are aware of this behavior and that you deserve better is the first step…it is a process and not an event as I say.
Can you suggest any changes (that aren’t very drastic) in one’s behavior to stop attracting the wrong kind of people? I was never taught how to see my own worth and how to love myself so I grew up thinking and believing I was unloveable although I was not consciously aware of this at the time.
I give and give and then lose as someone else is controlling me instead of me guiding myself. What I can say, is that saying when the student is ready the teacher will appear is quite accurate.
I accept her and have compassion for she is a wounded soul but that doesn’t mean I will tolerate her bad behavior. It has been 5 months and counting, im not really hoping she comes back, we are not compatible and were both stubborn but i consider myself as a person that can come to an agreement instead of your wish or order. I’m working hard on efforts to move away very soon and have become sad, too, that even leaving will not magically present the emotional availability in our relationship I had needed and wanted for so long.
But eventhough I knew it wasn’t right, and I was hurt over and over again I just swallowed and took every crumb I could get from him. I too entered into relationships with men who had issues and I neglected myself in the process.
I hate myself, will never be good enough and will die lonely because I clearly am a doormat. I have very limited contact with her, it’s a choice I made so I could be in a better space. It sounds like from your experience you are clear about that and knowing you deserve better. Speaking authentically, without agenda or condition, tell your partner where you are coming from and what you have learned. Lately I have become aware of the relationships in my life that was like a poison for me, and I will not let people who behave like that be a part of my life anymore. Mindfulness meditation increases focus and productivity, reduces stress and impacts the overall wellbeing of their employees.
Such a sad way to live, and yet I consciously denied myself happiness for decades because I thought I didn’t deserve to be happy.
It’s been a huge relief to come to that understanding and your words came at the perfect time!
I know my sessions with my counselor were invaluable and shaped my perspective on how I see things today.
It took me a long time to learn that people can only rise to the level they are at, only do what they know how to do until they know better. The fact that mindfulness is in fact a Buddhist practice that has been around for thousands of years seems to have been left by the wayside.
I, like you still have days where I get echos of past patterns but I guess the key is that I’m aware now of when that is happening so I can make a different choice. Now that I am alone, started to think about that I repeated my mother’s weak and victim-like attitude. It has helped me greatly acknowledge that I was let down by others, I was, yes, but I can always always always find beauty and solace in not letting myself down and not abandoning the worthy care and keeping of my heart.
I now have a one year old daughter and I promised her on the night she was born that I will be emotionally and physically present for her and i will teach her about self love, self care, healthy relationships and boundaries so she doesn’t go through the hell I did.
First I thought that being understanding and forgiving and being there for someone is a bad thing and should not have done what. It’s about observing emotions and sensations, rather than impulsively reacting to them. Thank you for your story its comforting to hear other experiences and feel like I’m not alone in my journey! I have gone out of my way to appreciate his actions, took interest in whatever he was engaged in. He always let me do whatever I wanted but had no interest in them, was kind of insensitive at times too. When I realized that he became distant, I did try to get closer and everything I could think of. And, unsurprisingly, stress reduction is just one of many payoffs that comes with a daily mindfulness practice.
As he is genuinely a kind person, although very withdrawn, sometimes I could not put my finger on what was wrong. MRIs show us that the parts of the brain associated with decision-making, problem-solving and emotional adaptability and resilience all light up during practice.
And when I found out about the cheating, or rather the affair, and I felt really hurt, he was telling me that I was not humble enough in my reaction.
New neural connections are made, while old, useless ones die off — a phenomenon that is known as neuroplasticity.
But I think this is a good find, through your writing, that what I thought as a mistake (being too emphatic, helpful, understanding etc) is in fact good traits but if someone does not value them, could be easily abused. However, I cannot change my personalty so I cannot say that I will change myself in this respect, but have to realize that not everyone appreciates people like me in their lives.

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