Creating the “Good Girl” Persona to Seek (Fake) Love
Most humans are confused about what Real Love (unconditional love) is…or shall I say I was confused about the world’s definition of love and all of the expectations put on me by myself and the environment around me. From my very young years, I created the “good girl” persona and would experience extreme shame when scolded or reprimanded in any way, with debilitating shame (sometimes for days) if I knew I deserved it because I made a mistake. I did not want to feel that shame, confusion and anger so I denied it and shoved it deep down inside. The denied darker emotions and energy became my shadow, wanting simply to be expressed. The shadow (ego) showed up as the “good girl” who was judgmental of others, needed to be “right”, sought validation or appreciation (fake love), never felt “good enough” and sometimes went into victim mode.
After years of suppressing the pain of certain emotions, I became numb, going through life like everything was fine, feeling nothing. I did not think I was an angry person or sad or grieving, however my face would tell a different story. Years ago, when I was working in an office, I would be walking down the hallway and a co-worker would stop and ask what was wrong. I would say “Nothing, why?” “Well, your face looks pissed or sad or something” they would say. “No, I am fine,” I would answer, believing I was. I felt “normal”, and I wondered what they were talking about. This happened more than once.
Illness from Denial of Emotions and the Beginning of a Spiritual Journey
Fast forward to 2007 when I got a severe bout of colitis and was in and out of the allopathic doctor’s offices only to finally be told in 2012 that there was no cure and no known cause of colitis. I was asked if I would like to go on immune suppressant drugs. No, I would not. Something inside of me just knew something was off. There WAS a cause and there WAS a cure to what I was experiencing. That led me on to a natural healing journey which evolved into a journey to explore spirituality.
The spiritual exploration and seeking went on for many years. I explored many different energetic healing techniques, meditation, one seminar to another, one book to another, one method to another. The care and attention given to my physical body and the emotional/energetic healing did heal my colitis. In 2017, it went away completely, and I thought I had the answers! (Since then, I have had some minor relapses, usually when I needed to pay attention to something I was ignoring.)
The Spiritual Ego. The “I Know More” Persona to Seek (Fake) Love
Thinking I had the answers created a spiritual rigidity (aka spiritual ego). When I intellectually learned something, I thought it was my duty to spread the word and make sure everyone in my life knew how things were, so I could feel validated. I had discovered the great design of the Universe and how it worked. (Yes, that is a steep dose of sarcasm.)
Throughout this part of the process, I discovered that I was deeply empathic. I had a tendency (either consciously or subconsciously) to take on other people’s pain and trauma without knowing how to transmute it properly. Part of the colitis, I believe, was not only my own unfelt emotions and trauma, but unprocessed emotions from others as well. Feeling all that was too overwhelming, so I decided to make myself not feel anything at all, thinking everything was “fine”.
This part of the journey cracked me open to be able to feel again but strengthened the “me” part of my ego (but now it was a “spiritual” ego), which led to deeper and stronger judgments about people, my relationships and the world. Acting from my patterned ego, I was still projecting my hidden and denied darker emotions (shadow).
Projecting the Denied Part of Me on Someone or Something Else by Judging, Resisting, or Rejecting
“Every part of you that hides itself from the totality of life — gets projected onto someone or something. Since nothing can be excluded from the totality of life, meaning that everything is included, it has to express itself somehow and somewhere. Your willingness to examine, with excruciating honesty, what is assumed to be separate from the totality of life, crucifies all that is false in you.”— Amoda Maa
This quote from Amoda Maa sums up perfectly what the ego does (hides itself from the totality of Life and projects onto someone or something). Life/Love gives us daily opportunities to accept and see the parts of us that we have hidden and denied. Life/Love is intelligent. Love includes EVERYTHING, which Amoda refers to as the “totality of Life” (dark, light, good, bad, us, others) and offers us the opportunity to come home to ourselves.
We are Life. We are Love. That is what every challenge, heartbreak, pain, grief, anger, rage, frustration and sadness offers every single moment. When we look “with excruciating honesty” at what we are judging, resisting or rejecting, we must honestly accept that what we see as separate from the totality of Life we have denied in ourselves.
If we examine honestly and invite that denied energy back home to us through acceptance, we will start to live in Truth. We cannot “judge” these feelings as wrong or bad (that is the spiritual ego trying to “get it right” or “be good”) but we must allow them, feel them, and love them free with our acceptance (which is another word for forgiveness). This takes courage and the willingness to stop and ask what in us wants to come home whenever we are feeling that the world or someone else outside of us is wrong, frustrating, making us feel bad, etc. and allow it all to be deeply felt.
What is “Real” Love? What does it “Feel” Like?
I started an inquiry about what Love really is because I was pretty sure I had it all wrong. What is Real Love? Why am I (and so many people) constantly seeking, grasping and chasing (fake) love? Why, when I got something I thought I wanted, did I still feel empty? I had a sense that I had been hoodwinked by the “spiritual ideas” that pervade the “spiritual” community and I was regurgitating them from an intellectual perspective. I am forever grateful to all who helped me heal and the intellectual knowledge I had gained, but I also felt a gaping hole and deep longing. I was tired of intellectually talking about “light and love”, especially when I did not feel it. I was aching for Real Love. What did Real Love feel like?
I was given the opportunity to be in a group where after about a year of practice, I was able to crack my heart open and drop my defenses (very, very strong defenses, I might add) to share real, unconditional Love with another. Finally, I was able to experience (not just talk about) real Love. I knew how it felt…the unity, the oneness of unconditional love. I continued this exploration for another year and then started feeling like I was hiding out in this very controlled (almost lab-like) environment and at some level I may have formed an attachment to it.
Maybe that is when I started to feel (for me) that the space was restrictive and rigid (as it probably needs to be). The space’s rules allowed no spill-over to the “embodied” world except in the fact that one could take that feeling of unconditional love and (as best they could) integrate that into one’s own daily life. There was no outside interaction allowed with the people that we felt that Love with. For me, that feeling of constriction was my own inner self telling me it was time to move on, of which I had inner resistance to for some time before I had the courage to conclude my membership. This space allowed me to open my heart and know how unconditional Love and Unity feels. For that, I am forever grateful.
Real Love is Accepting and Generous. It Has Nothing to do with “Getting What We Want” or “Avoiding What We Don’t Want”
As a human collective consciousness, we are waking up, but there is still much confusion about what Real Love is. It is not rigid. There are no rules about what it has to look like or how it has to be given or received (that is only the ego’s involvement, and the ego knows nothing of real Love, only artificial love through getting and protecting behaviors which can be twisted to look like love if we are getting what we want). Real Love does not have to be “nice” or “polite”. Real Love is unwavering in telling the Truth. I created a lot of turmoil for myself by thinking I was “loving” when I was people-pleasing, being a martyr or telling people what to do. What I was doing was using getting/craving behaviors or protecting/avoiding behaviors to get what I wanted (fake love/acceptance) or avoid what I did not want (pain/rejection).
Life is Love. Life is Sometimes Tough to Wake Us Up.
Love shows up in different ways depending on the needs of the humans involved. Each human is a mirror or plays a role for the other humans to receive what they both need (we are all interconnected). We are One big intelligently crafted puzzle that never fails, and Life mustn’t express the same way for everyone. The ego will fail, but the Love of the perfect present moment never fails. We have everything we need in every moment and we don’t have control over it. The suffering comes when we try to control the present moment, which may end in suffering, anger, disappointment or even when we think it is “good” it does not last because it is not Real Love and real acceptance.
Love Is…And Words Cannot Touch It
I have a new appreciation for the verse from 1 Corinthians 13:4–8 (NIV) (My comments in bold parentheses.)
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking (getting behaviors), it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs (unforgiveness and defendedness). Love does not delight in evil (separation/untruth) but rejoices with the truth (unity/Love). It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails (in Every. Single. Moment.). But where there are prophecies, they will cease (Love is timeless with no past or future); where there are tongues, they will be stilled (all words are, at some level, lies because they can only point to a concept); where there is knowledge, it will pass away (Love is beyond knowledge, it is a felt experience).”I Corinthians 13: 4-8 (NIV)
Real Love is experienced through a felt experience right now, not through an intellectual understanding and not through seeking (fake) love. Love moves everything. Love is everything. Everything is Love. Love is patient and eternal and intelligent and diverse and never-changing, full of paradox and has no opposite. Love is deep. Love is…and words cannot touch it.
** I would like to acknowledge Greg Baer’s book “Real Love: The Truth About Finding Unconditional Love and Fulfilling Relationships” which has been an inspiration to me to practice giving and receiving “Real Love”. This book has given me the opportunity to see myself more clearly and identify where I use “getting and protecting” behaviors to seek “imitation love” because I have felt empty and afraid.
** I would also like to acknowledge Amoda Maa’s teachings which have pointed me to more acceptance of Life. The simplicity of her guidance helps me reduce the confusion about any “shoulds” that I have put on Life, including myself, others or the world. Amoda’s book, Embodied Enlightenment, inspires me to sink more deeply into presence and openness in each moment. It is a work in progress. Both of these guides have been influential for me in the awakening process.
Photo courtesy of Patty Brito on Unsplash.