Our celebrations of Easter are both a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus following his crucifixion and a celebration of rebirth and new beginnings as symbolised by Easter eggs, spring lambs and baby bunnies. We often talk of spring cleaning when the clocks change, the weather (in theory) gets better and we feel more able to throw open our windows and let the fresh air blow our winter cobwebs away. April has been a month of inner spring cleaning renewal and resurrection for me. It has been a month of clearing away and letting go of hurt, pain, beliefs, values, thoughts and feelings that are no longer serving me well and some of which I didn't even realise were there.
It was also a month of aha moments, realisations and awakenings. Still processing what went so wrong in my relationship I was reading Something More, Excavating Your Authentic Self by Sarah Ban Breathnach. I read this and the penny dropped. 'Finally she realised that she had betrayed herself by "loving someone for what [she] needed instead of for what he was" and the curse was broken.' Sister Divas, my curse was broken too. In that moment I realised that my man and I had both fallen in love with what we thought the other person would fulfil, not with who we actually were. On my part I desperately needed to feel loved and he loved me fiercely, so fiercely that I was overwhelmed and a little unnerved by it, but nevertheless he filled that aching gap that I thought being loved by another would fill. For him, he was widowed and lonely and hated being alone, he needed someone who would just slot into his life and I did that. I got on with his family, his friends and slotted very nicely into his community. But I couldn't actually slot into him the way his dead wife did and that was what he really needed. And of course that was our downfall. I wasn't her, would never be, could never be and he knew that but struggled with reconciling it. His fierce love turned into fierce withdrawal and the aching gap I thought he was going fill became an gaping chasm between us.
Hideously painful though the experience was, the lesson was invaluable and I am grateful that I learnt the lesson before I thoroughly buried my authentic self. The aching gap of feeling loved cannot be filled by another person. We need to fill it by loving ourselves first and loving ourselves fiercely. How can you love another truly, if you do not love yourself? How can you expect another to love you if you do not feel you are lovable?
Confidence and self esteem/self love go hand in hand but they are not the same thing. I have managed to hide, even from myself, a lack of self love and a lack of belief in aspects of myself by being confident. And the downfall of this relationship took my confidence away and exposed me those aspects of myself that I did not love. I have a choice then - throw in the towel and hide under the duvet, perhaps for ever. Or to get up once again and fight for the most important person in my life - myself. I choose to fight once more, to pick up every aspect of myself one by one, examine it and decide if that is to be part of the lovable authentic me.