Confessions of a serial self-saboteur.

‘There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom’. Anais Nin.

Whenever I read these words, they are resonant at a different and deeper level of my unraveling, and unraveling I have been, the myriad lies and partly covered beliefs creating my life experience are being revealed thick and fast.

Have you ever considered what you are most afraid of revealing about yourself to your most loved other? Or, perhaps a more powerful question might be, what is it that you are most afraid of feeling in relation to your most loved other, or even yourself?

I was an unconscious master self-saboteur of my love relationships my whole adult life. The truth is, though, it’s all been a lie. In the fortieth year of this life on this plane, I finally learned to love being alone, it wasn’t always this way though. I am extremely fortunate, and grateful, to be able to say that I have both loved and been deeply loved in this life, by some truly beautiful women and brothers alike. The truth I have discovered, after an honest and sometimes uncomfortable inward inquiry, is that for the most part I had been unable to receive love in the fullest way that it had been given and intended, and more than that, I was unconsciously, and often angrily, pushing it away from me.

My heart is gargantuan, I can feel how fathomless the depths of love within me are, and yet at times I can also still feel the sharp, jagged edges of the cavernous walls of my experience, when my heart closes. It is a frightening place, tight and restricted, cold and dark, and bitter and angry, and very alone. It is a place that I had become very accustomed to being, a place that I yearned to be free from, and yet had been unwilling, or unable, to truly accept and see the state for what it is. Simply. Fear.

And so, I ask myself the question, what is it that I am so afraid of experiencing, that leads to this closure, this contracted and fearful state of being? What is the worst thing that can happen to me if I open my heart, and my life, fully to another? The madness of my response to this question has led me to pen this article: I have been afraid of losing that which I desire most. Love. In an extraordinary act of self-denial, I was blocking myself from receiving love from those who love me the most, and from myself. Paradoxical? Oh,Yes.

I decide to put finger to keyboard to express and share the creativity of this self-confessed saboteur and his programs, in the hope that the words may strum a chord of resonance in your own experiences and inspire some of you to real ‘eyes’ some of the illusions of the energy of fear and self sabotage. In the real’eyes’ation, and then voluntary expression, a transmutation and a release, or letting go can happen, so that we may enjoy the freedom that lies beyond the programming and the lies. Enabling a deeper connection with all of those that we love, with ourselves, and with life.

I consider myself somewhat of an expert in the field of relating, both the unconscious and the conscious kind; an expert in the sense that I have surely made every possible mistake in this field, and am therefore uniquely qualified to comment and cast some of my aspersions for wider consumption.

For me, this story begins, and ends, in the wider context of commitment. In my experience, the deeper the commitment and the more powerful the feeling of love, the greater the fear, and also the greater the opportunity for growth and depth of connection and intimacy with an-other. A commitment implies finality. Whatever it takes, we have decided to dedicate ourselves to the cause. That is to say, if it is a commitment to another, and a commitment to love which I have decided to experience, that I have chosen to experience, I am graced with the emergence of all of the strategic mechanisms and the unconscious programmed beliefs, that exist in resistance to this. With this emergence also arises an opportunity. To see them as they are, to experience them as they are, and then skilfully to let them go. Vigilance, dedication, devotion to the cause. A commitment is necessary to see this through, and as the great Joseph Campbell so famously once said, ‘The cave you most fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” Nowhere in my life, has this held more true than in the realm of romantic love.

In the alchemical fusion of a new love, in the merging of energies, in the dancing aliveness, in the sheer majesty of the mysticism of the reunion with an-other; the promise, the potential, the dreams, the fulfillment, the thirst, the hunger, the ravaging; it’s all consuming in its rawest vitality, it reminds us how magical it is to be alive as love, it reminds us of how magnificent it is to be human, and in the reflection of a love in which we can experience ourselves in our truest beauty. 
We wish to never leave this place, this state. To have experienced this extraordinary power and feeling, how can we ever relinquish our hold on such a heavenly, spiritual, mystical, connected, loving place of being? How can we fully know this state of being, though, without its opposite? As sure as night follows day, and hot becomes cold, in order to experience the one we must be able to relate to the other; and so begins the illusion of my game of self-sabotage.

I begin to observe the real madness of my mind; the lies and all the transparent beliefs that crouch hidden, lurking beneath the surface of my experience and beneath the masquerade of that which I thought I believed. Ready to strike. The energy is fear, and the narratives are stories worth sharing.

The first usually to emerge from the master self-saboteur’s repertoire of beliefs was that ‘women can’t be trusted,’ and with it the green eyed monster emotion of jealousy. This gem manifested into life experience as evidence that any woman that I loved in my life was bound to either leave me for other, finer more dashing derring do-ers than I, or that a woman’s love cannot be trusted as she is bound to abandon me, ‘like all the others.’ Of course this is utter nonsense, as my experience has shown me that I have almost always been the one to leave my relationships, to prevent myself experiencing the rejection and severance of love that I imagine I am so afraid to feel, initiating my own creative counter-measures to deny myself an opportunity for a deeper love.

Anger and passive aggression arrive next to be counted. ‘Women are exhausting, over emotional and I don’t need this drama in my life’. This has been a favorite, albeit less effective measure, and has carried with it a chauvinistic undertone from some place and time in my life. This idea that a woman’s probing into the very nature of my feelings and being in any given moment as an affront to my masculine sovereignty and my right to be ‘just the way I am’ without the need to share my emotional landscape at any moment of request. The chauvinistic undertone had twinges of contempt and disdain added to the mix, the perfect combination to enrage and further push away the partner and the relationship, and ultimately to reconfirm my rejection of self and denial of love.

Numbing myself was number three. Convincing myself, that I no longer felt anything for my partner, physical, emotional or otherwise. Cue closure. With the numbness, a generous dolloping of coldness and lack of empathy usually worked a treat, either pushing away or convincing myself of the rational validity to leave the relationship.This mechanism has generally been the hook, line and sinker strategy. It had never failed me, until now, as I determinedly shine the light of awareness on all the trickery that my mischievous mind has been playing on me. Despite its effectiveness, this strategy has created the most retrospective shame from my unconscious treatment of others. Again, it is a rejection of love, manifesting as rejection of the one giving the love, denying myself that I so desire. Madness. Perfect.

The further down the rabbit-hole I go, the more creative the beliefs and lies that I uncover. Next up is a confusing mix of love and hate, stemming perhaps from the deep love I hold for my mother combined with a childlike anger apportioning blame to her for the break-up of my family in my earlier teen years. Again, stark light of day realisation that a 40 year old man was still caught in the beliefs and emotions of the 14 year old boy. Time to let these go, oh yes. The journey continues, and the discovery of another association between being loved and being left. If I love someone really deeply then they will leave me. What? No, begone foul untruth.

The very last lie, and the most painful to write about, now that I realise it, is that ‘love hurts.’ This creates not only that people hurt me, but also that I hurt people, all in the name of love. In a bizarre twist of sadness, at times I have measured the amount of love a person can show me by the amount of pain I can unconsciously bestow, and they can take. Ouch. Ouch. Wow.

And so on, and so forth. The point to all of this as I reflect on a life rich with emotional experiences and a beginner’s mind approach to learning, is to pay very close attention to all the words I have taken on as beliefs over the course of my lifetime which are defining who I am.

I am committed to a new path, a new course, a new love, my new partner and a new possibility. I am dedicated to the exposure of all the old lies of who and what I am not, and a self-determined and committed dedication to allowing myself to experience exactly that which I choose. Come what may, bring the nonsense to the fore, it is time to turn off all this old energy and liberate, and create myself anew.

‘It is never too late to be what you might have been’ George Eliot.’