I’ve had this idea poking at me for a while now. I’ve wanted to write a blog post in which I could define me for you. Not an easy task, since I am still figuring out exactly who I am.
Do any of us truly know who you are? It’s something I wonder about. Do you really know yourself and can you be honest enough to bare your belly and show all?
I work a 12 step program, (Al-Anon) and one of the principles of this (and any 12 step program) is honesty. Honesty with others, but more importantly, honesty with ourselves. I work with a great number of women in my program and one thing I tell them constantly is: Know and own your truth. Know who you are and why you do what you do. They love me and hate me for it.
I’ve learned to be honest with myself about a great many things. I’ve had to look deep inside and review my motives, my thoughts, and my actions. I’ve had to be willing to cut away the parts concerning everyone else and only look at my own actions. Not easy. Today, I have a pretty good understanding of what makes me tick. Why I do the things I do, think the things I think, and why I get hurt so easily. None of this stops me from being hurt, though. It’s a problem that seems to plague me.
Recently I was doing some research on my birth sign. I’m a Cancer. The Crab: Hard on the outside and extremely soft on the inside. I learned some very interesting things that I already suspected about myself. More insight. Yay!
Did you know that Cancers are the most emotional sign of all of the Sun Signs? I didn’t know that. Did you know they are the mothering ones too? And that they can be quite moody? Everything I read was spot on for me in the most eerie of ways. Things I knew about me already, but defined so clearly in print. Now, I realize that this astrology stuff is subjective right? I mean, you can take anything you read like that and twist it to fit your own life or situation. In my case, I tried to be objective and at every turn was slapped in the face by another clear definition of myself.
My father once told me, “You get too attached. You have always been that way, even as a child.” I’ve written about that before. It seems that every time I turn around I’ve gotten myself into another situation where I get hurt.
I wear my heart on my sleeve. Hell, who am I kidding? Truth is, I wear my heart all over my entire body. It’s there for all to see and touch. Available for you to appreciate or to harm. Choose your poison.
I give my all to my friends, even when it’s not asked for. I love too much, give too much, expect too much and leave myself open to be hurt. Not everyone wants or needs my brand of love. Not everyone has it in them to give back to me what I find so easy to give to them.
That’s okay, you know? I accept that, and in most cases I expect it. Though, there are a select few that I let inside my soul that are dangerous. For example, people that are emotionally unavailable. Those are the people that I tend to gravitate toward the most. Only God knows why.
I call it my broken picker. I pick broken people and fall madly in love with them. I cherish them. This goes for friends and romantic relationships. And I get hurt. I suppose I see something in them that others don’t. Maybe I think I can be that soft place they’ve never had before. It’s not completely clear why, and the reasons vary. One thing is for sure, if I see something inside you, then I dive head first into that friendship or relationship and I give and give and give until there is nothing left of me. When there is not equal reciprocation of my loyalty, affection, and attention, then I am hurt. I am let down. I am disappointed. Have I not just set myself up for this hurt? If I am honest, then yes, I absolutely have.
I take full responsibility for the fact that I do this to myself regularly. I seem to need to learn this lesson over and over again. Here’s the deal: I don’t give to people expecting a return on an investment. I truly do not. But if I dig, and if I am honest with myself, then there is always a bottom line motive behind my love and affection. I’m looking for that love and affection, appreciation or loyalty, to be given back. It’s almost entirely impossible to give to someone without some sort of self-will involved. All roads lead back to self, in my opinion. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous talks about this.
“Selfishness--self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles. Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate. Sometimes they hurt us, seemingly without provocation, but we invariably find that at some time in the past we have made decisions based on self which later placed us in a position to be hurt.”
What does that mean? It means I keep going to the hardware store for bread. Does the hardware store sell bread? No, of course not. So why would I go there to buy bread? Basically, I keep going to the wrong people to make me feel better inside. To shower me with the same love and affection I give to them and to give me the same undying loyalty I show them. What happens is I end up with a broken heart, and that’s never pretty. Then I retaliate, or lash out, or worse, retreat into my hard Cancer shell where I am safe and can lick my wounds in private. When I retaliate, it usually isn’t received well and people get pissed off. Pull back from me and no longer want to be my friend, aka hostage. Because believe me, it can sometimes feel like that to them.
Basically, I step on the toes of my fellows and they retaliate. Sometimes they hurt me, seemingly without provocation, but I invariably find that at some time in the past, I have made decisions based on self, which later placed me in a position to be hurt. The other clincher in this is that no one person or persons can do this for me. People are human and are usually walking through their own stuff in life. They cannot be all things to someone. That’s just not possible. I know this, I understand it, yet it makes no difference at times when I seem to have forgotten that my brand of love and affection can, and has, driven people to want to retaliate, and then run for their lives. The world does not revolve around me. Although in truth, if I am honest, I really wish it did.
I’m a pain in the ass. And although, depending on your personality, it’s not like this with everyone I am in a relationship/friendship with, it is still definitely a problem I have with some. I seem to not have this issue with Virgos or other Cancers. They understand me in ways that many others don’t.
Ultimately there is a price to be paid for my friendship. It’s a risk many may not want to take. But it’s also a benefit too. You’ll find with me, a place where you can always have love and acceptance. You’ll find with me that I will always be honest with you when I see you screwing up. That I will always be there when you need someone to hold you and just listen. You will also find with me a loyalty that knows no limit.
As I mentioned above, you may not be the kind of person who wants or needs this brand of love and friendship. Many are not. I get that. Yet, I still wear my heart all over my body and I leap before I should. Simply to scoop you up and love on you.
What can I say, that I am sorry? I’m not sure I am. But believe me, I’ve paid dearly with my bleeding heart, considering some of the things I have suffered due to this little trait in myself. Sometimes I truly wish, with every fiber or my being, that I was not this way. But then again, that really wouldn’t be me would it?
I’m not sure I was able to capture in these words all my thoughts on this subject. There is so much more to it. Maybe it helped you to see something about yourself, maybe it didn’t. Either way, at the very least, I hope you might consider seeking your own truth and finding out what makes you tick. Peel the layers of the onion, it’s worth it, but be careful; when you really dig, what you find tends to stink a little until you air it out.
I wrote this today as I listened to many Alanis Morissette songs. Her lyrics are a great muse for me and they are also very real, raw, and honest.
Playlist: Alanis Morissette
Flowers of Entanglement
Not as we
Limbo no more
Orchid (one of my favorites and most accurate)
The guy who leaves
Under Rug Swept
That particular time
You owe me nothing in return
City of Angels