How Do You Abandon Yourself?By Dr. Margaret Paul
December 31, 2006
How often do you feel alone and empty inside, or anxious, depressed, hopeless, angry or hurt? These feelings may be the result of self-abandonment.
There are many ways of abandoning ourselves. We abandon ourselves when we:
Do not notice or give comfort to our core painful feelings of life - loneliness, helplessness over others, sorrow or grief
Do not attend to our fear over real and present danger, taking loving action in our own behalf
Do not advocate for ourselves in the face of others' angry, blaming, invasive or disrespectful behavior toward us
Allow our wounded self to tell us lies about ourselves and others which cause our fear, anxiety, depression, guilt, shame, hurt, anger, jealousy and envy. We then continue to abandon ourselves when we judge ourselves for these feelings and the resulting avoidant behavior, rather than move into compassion and the intent to learn.
Expect others to take care of our feelings and needs, rather than take full responsibility for our own feelings and needs
Blame others when they don't take care of us in the ways we want
Make others' feelings and needs more important than our own, and take care of others' feelings and needs while ignoring our own
Numb ourselves out with food, alcohol, drugs, TV, overwork and so on, rather than attend to our feelings
- Emotionally withdraw by staying in our heads or spacing out from our own inner experience, rather than stay in our body and attend to our feelings
All of these are ways that the loving adult is not showing up and being present to take loving care of our inner child.
Our Feelings Are Always Informational
Our painful feelings of anxiety, depression, anger, hurt, guilt, shame, aloneness and emptiness are generally telling us that we have abandoned ourselves in some way. When we do not comfort ourselves through painful feelings, when we do not open to learning about how we may be causing our pain, and when we do not stand up for ourselves in the face of others' anger, blame, neediness and disrespect, we are abandoning ourselves
Inner abandonment will always energetically create an empty place within - a place that wants and needs love. We create that inner vacuum when we refuse to open to spirit and bring the energy of love to our inner child. We create that inner vacuum when we refuse to be an advocate for ourselves regarding health and wellbeing, and in difficult interactions with others.
Self-Abandonment Causes Codependency
Like any vacuum, our inner vacuum will automatically pull energy from others. Our abandoned child, desperately needing to feel safe and loved, energetically pulls on others for love and attention, hoping to externally fill the emptiness and feel safe. Even when we don't overtly pull from others with our behavior, our energy will be automatically pulling on them, because the empty place within needs to get filled to feel safe.
Many relationship issues center around this mutual state of inner abandonment. When each person is abandoning themselves and energetically pulling on another to get filled, both people will end up feeling abandoned by the other. Other than situations where a person is incapable of taking care of themselves, such as a young child, a very ill person or a very old person, feeling rejected or abandoned by another is always a projection onto the other person of our own inner abandonment.
Until you are devoted to practicing Inner Bonding and becoming a loving adult for your inner child, it is likely that you will continue to feel the aloneness, emptiness and sadness that comes from inner abandonment.
When you are loving yourself, you will feel a deep inner sense of safety, peace and fullness. Nothing other than taking loving care of yourself will ever give you these feelings in any permanent, ongoing way. Getting love from others is a temporary fix, whiile loving yourself and then sharing your love with others brings great joy.
Join Dr. Margaret Paul for her 30-Day at-home Course: "Love Yourself: An Inner Bonding Experience to Heal Anxiety, Depression, Shame, Addictions and Relationships."
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When being loving, we are not grasping, demanding, needy or clingy, because love has nothing to do with getting or taking. We give freely, to ourselves and to others. We also receive graciously when the gift is freely given. When being unloving, we may try to manipulate a gift - whether it be of time, money, attention, emotional support, approval, sex or affection - but when we are loving we know that a gift not freely given is not really a gift. Notice when you are being loving or unloving.
By Dr. Margaret Paul