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Woman Gazing out over Hiking Hill
Wed, April 1, 2015
Abandonment: If You Always Have You, Can You Ever Truly Be Left?
Abandonment has been a strong fear of mine. I find it interesting that on a planet of 7 billion people that it would be a fear, but there it is. Fears are funny things.
 
Turns out quite a few of us share this one. Abandonment issues, the fear of loneliness, can feel insurmountable, like a huge obstacle blocking our path.
 
I used to spend a lot of time as a child unconsciously worried about who I was going to spend time with and for how long and when. Lots of planning and strategizing went into this, schedules and phone calls, conversations and the like. As I grew up and became an adult I started a long process of learning to love myself. I've found that one of the wonderful side effects of that journey has been that I don't worry so much about being alone anymore.
 
I didn't even know how I felt about being alone until it started to get better, until I had begun to love myself enough that the fear started to fade a bit.
 
Much of that fear was unconscious as was all of the things I was doing to avoid it. I would engage people in conversations longer than I needed to, listen to people that I wasn't interested in listening to, hang out with people I didn't really like and do things that I didn't really want to do. I'd do all of this thinking that I was being generous and kind or at worst just filling free time, if I thought about it at all.
 
And why not? There's nothing wrong with being with other people. With helping people by listening to their problems, supporting them with my time and energy and getting the same in return.
 
Except that the motives weren't clean. What I didn't realize was that I was doing these things not out of pure compassion or a clean and clear need for help. I was doing these things from an unconscious fear of being alone, of not being liked, friendless, lonely, unloved, abandoned. Icky.
 
These unconscious fears drove me, and since often I didn't really like what I was doing or who I was with, I wasn't giving the best of me nor was I able to receive the best from them. The whole situation was messy and unfulfilling for me and I imagine for them as well.
 
Until it all started to change. I didn't make this change on purpose. I didn't even realize it was happening! What I did do was slowly start liking myself more and more over time and that allowed me to see, “Hey! I don't really want to do these things! I don't really want to hang out with these people! I'm not really happy with these interactions!”
 
Shew! What a difference liking myself has made! As I like myself more, the parts that I don't like become more clear. As I get more comfortable, the discomforts become more obvious to see and feel. And to stop.
 
I'm happy to say that I am much more conscious about how I spend my time and whether it's fulfilling or not. At this point I don't worry much about being alone on a social level, and the personal level is slowly unwinding itself as well.
 
How did I go about liking myself more? How can you go about liking yourself more? Those are great questions!

Honestly, I don't know which of the things I did were a necessary part of learning to love myself. I'm sure that the people who've scaled that mountain all the way to the top can share a better overview of the process than I can. There are lots of books and courses you can take, so look out for those to inform your journey to self love.
 
One thing I can say for sure is that loving myself as much as I do now means that I have me and that I am enough.
 
What ever your journey towards self love, if you choose to take it, the view from the top will be worth it. I know because the view from here is totally amazing, and I'm only part way up!



Elena Maria Foucher blogs her experiments in joyful living on the Joy Lab at ElenaMariaFoucher.com. She  teaches meditation and stress management in Hong Kong and is the creator of simple, quick meditations  you can learn while brushing your teeth at ToothbrushMeditations.com.

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