The anonymous comment helped me see that I was trying to give from an empty cup. I wasn't loving myself; I wasn't feeling loved; I was feeling attacked; and I was trying to offer unconditional love to someone else. A whole bunch of realizations came from this:
- I was love-depleted. I hadn't experienced love in a long time. What I had experienced was a long war, which alternated between my being attacked and my attacking. I was exhausted from this war and didn't have the resources to offer unconditional love.
- I felt that even most of the people who loved me, didn't really like me. They tolerated my personality. I was too loud; I talked too much; I was too edgy; whatever the judgment was. While I had to own this as my own projection, I also needed to move out of the toxic relationships that didn't feel good.
- I needed to stay away, at least for the time being, from friends who have issues with me, to allow myself to gather some strength. Why would I want to hang around people who just tolerate my presence? Or people who are constantly trying to fix me? I need to be around people who like me.
- More importantly, I need to start liking myself. This means that I need to stop judging myself and start acknowledging the things I do right. Yes, I have a temper, but I am basically kind. Yes, I intimidate people with my fiery nature, but I also cut through bull shit. I have good qualities.
I realize that most of my relationships are of the "fixing" kind. My friends are trying to fix me, and of course I am trying to fix them. Not to mention how hard I am trying to fix myself. But fixing is really an attack and it is continuing the war.
My intention is to stop fixing and start loving--first myself and then hopefully I can pass that on to others. I need to fill my cup before I can offer anyone else any kind of love or true forgiveness. You cannot offer what you do not have. Forgiveness must begin with self-love.