In order to start changing my relationship with myself, so that I could start changing the type of relationships I had with other people, I had to start focusing on trying to learn the True nature of Love.

This, I believe, is the Great Quest that we are on. Anyone in recovery, on a healing/Spiritual path, is ultimately trying to find their way home to LOVE – in my belief. LOVE is the Higher Power – the True nature of the God-Force/Goddess Energy/Great Spirit. LOVE is the fabric from which we are woven. LOVE is the answer.

And in order to start finding my way home to LOVE – I first had to start awakening to what Love is not. Here are a few things that I have learned, and believe, are not part of the True nature of Love.

Love is not:

Critical Shaming Abusive Controlling Manipulative

Demeaning Humiliating Separating Discounting

Diminishing Belittling Negative Traumatic

Painful most of the time etc.

Love is also not an addiction. It is not taking a hostage or being taken hostage. The type of romantic love that I learned about growing is a form of toxic love. The "I can't smile without out you," "Can't live without you." "You are my everything," "You are not whole until you find your prince/princess" messages that I learned in relationship to romantic love in childhood are not descriptions of Love – they are descriptions of drug of choice, of someone who is a higher power/false god.

Additionally, Love is not being a doormat. Love does not entail sacrificing your self on the altar of martyrdom – because one cannot consciously choose to sacrifice self if they have never Truly had a self that they felt was Lovable and worthy. If we do not know how to Love our self, how to show respect and honor for our self – then we have no self to sacrifice. We are then sacrificing in order to try to prove to ourselves that we are lovable and worthy – that is not giving from the heart, that is codependently manipulative, controlling, and dishonest.

Unconditional Love is not being a self-sacrificing doormat – Unconditional Love begins with Loving self enough to protect our self from the people we Love if that is necessary. Until we start Loving, honoring, and respecting our self, we are not Truly giving – we are attempting to take self worth from others by being compliant in our behavior towards them." – The True Nature of Love – Error! Hyperlink reference not valid.

Any kind of physical, verbal, mental, sexual abuse is also emotionally abusive. Any attitudes or behaviors that convey a message that the other is less than a being who deserves to be treated with respect and dignity – including objectifying and stereotyping – are emotionally abusive.

The overt forms of abuse are often much more readily identifiable than the more covert forms. It is relatively easy for most people to see that raging and yelling are emotionally abusive. That name calling and verbal put downs are emotionally abusive. It can be hard to identify some of the more passive aggressive forms as being just as wounding – as being abusive and damaging.

"Passive-aggressive behavior is the expression of anger indirectly. This happens because we got the message one way or another in childhood that it was not OK to express anger. Since anger is energy that can not be completely repressed it gets expressed in indirect ways. This takes the form one way or another, overtly or subtly, of us acting out the Codependent battle cry "I'll show you – I'll get me." As a kid I was very angry at my mother for not protecting me or herself from my father – but it was not ok to be angry at my mother so I was passive-aggressive in various ways. One was to not show any feelings. By the time I was 7 or 8, I was being cool in a passive-aggressive response to her attempts to be close to me – I would not let her touch me, I would not show happiness if something good happened or pain if something bad happened. I would just say "it's ok" no matter how much it wasn't. I also "showed" her and my dad by not getting the type of grades as I was capable of getting in school. I have spent much of my life sabotaging myself to get back at them.

Passive-aggressive behavior can take the form of sarcasm, procrastination, chronic lateness, being a party pooper, constantly complaining, being negative, offering opinions and advice that is not asked for, being the martyr, slinging arrows ("whatever have you done to your hair", "gained a little weight haven't we?"), etc. If we don't know how to set boundaries or will go along with anything to avoid conflict, then we often will agree to doing things we don't want to do – and as a result we will not be happy doing them and will get back at the other person somehow, someway because we are angry at them for "making" us do something we don't want to do. A classic codependent scenario is being asked where you want to eat and saying "oh, I don't care, wherever you want to" and then being angry because they take us somewhere we don't like. We think they should be able to read our mind and know we don't want to do whatever. Typically, in relationships, one partner will ask the other to do something and the person who can't say "I don't want to do that" will agree to do it and then not do it. This will result in nagging and scolding which will cause more anger and passive-aggressive behavior.

The way to stop being passive-aggressive is to start being honest (first of all with ourselves), having boundaries (the more we get in touch with our inner children the more we can have boundaries with the angry ones that are causing us to be passive-aggressive), saying no when we don't want to do something. It is easier said than done. On one level what we are doing is recreating our childhood dynamics of being criticized by our parents. It is because at our core we feel unworthy and unlovable that we have relationships – romantic, friendship, work – where we will be criticized and given the message that we are bad or wrong. Because we don't Love our self we need to manifest people outside of ourselves that will be our critical parent – then we can resent them, feel victimized, and be passive-aggressive. They are in fact just a reflection of how we treat ourselves internally. The more we can learn to defend ourselves internally from the critical parent voice the more we will find that we don't want critical people in our lives."

Any kind of physical, verbal, mental, sexual abuse is also emotionally abusive. Any attitudes or behaviors that convey a message that the other is less than a being who deserves to be treated with respect and dignity – including objectifying and stereotyping – are emotionally abusive.

The overt forms of abuse are often much more readily identifiable than the more covert forms. It is relatively easy for most people to see that raging and yelling are emotionally abusive. That name calling and verbal put downs are emotionally abusive. It can be hard to identify some of the more passive aggressive forms as being just as wounding – as being abusive and damaging.

"Passive-aggressive behavior is the expression of anger indirectly. This happens because we got the message one way or another in childhood that it was not OK to express anger. Since anger is energy that can not be completely repressed it gets expressed in indirect ways. This takes the form one way or another, overtly or subtly, of us acting out the Codependent battle cry "I'll show you – I'll get me." As a kid I was very angry at my mother for not protecting me or herself from my father – but it was not ok to be angry at my mother so I was passive-aggressive in various ways. One was to not show any feelings. By the time I was 7 or 8, I was being cool in a passive-aggressive response to her attempts to be close to me – I would not let her touch me, I would not show happiness if something good happened or pain if something bad happened. I would just say "it's ok" no matter how much it wasn't. I also "showed" her and my dad by not getting the type of grades as I was capable of getting in school. I have spent much of my life sabotaging myself to get back at them.

Passive-aggressive behavior can take the form of sarcasm, procrastination, chronic lateness, being a party pooper, constantly complaining, being negative, offering opinions and advice that is not asked for, being the martyr, slinging arrows ("whatever have you done to your hair", "gained a little weight haven't we?"), etc. If we don't know how to set boundaries or will go along with anything to avoid conflict, then we often will agree to doing things we don't want to do – and as a result we will not be happy doing them and will get back at the other person somehow, someway because we are angry at them for "making" us do something we don't want to do. A classic codependent scenario is being asked where you want to eat and saying "oh, I don't care, wherever you want to" and then being angry because they take us somewhere we don't like. We think they should be able to read our mind and know we don't want to do whatever. Typically, in relationships, one partner will ask the other to do something and the person who can't say "I don't want to do that" will agree to do it and then not do it. This will result in nagging and scolding which will cause more anger and passive-aggressive behavior.

The way to stop being passive-aggressive is to start being honest (first of all with ourselves), having boundaries (the more we get in touch with our inner children the more we can have boundaries with the angry ones that are causing us to be passive-aggressive), saying no when we don't want to do something. It is easier said than done. On one level what we are doing is recreating our childhood dynamics of being criticized by our parents. It is because at our core we feel unworthy and unlovable that we have relationships – romantic, friendship, work – where we will be criticized and given the message that we are bad or wrong. Because we don't Love our self we need to manifest people outside of ourselves that will be our critical parent – then we can resent them, feel victimized, and be passive-aggressive. They are in fact just a reflection of how we treat ourselves internally. The more we can learn to defend ourselves internally from the critical parent voice the more we will find that we don't want critical people in our lives."

 

1 Comment
  1. wide4u44 14 years ago

    Thank you Nightgroover,

    Forgiveness of our wrongdoers,ourselves, and our higher power is a powerful cleansing tool, Our anger and resentment is a poison to our souls! Man is the only living creature on this planet that punishes him self continualy by holding on to undesirable memories ,events and experiences that cross his path. We need to let go! As in the above it start with the Self !

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