You don't say it, but I hear it.
It's because I've been there, too. It's in the mostly wordless shame and doubt and unworthiness that comes through in between the lines of your written words. The words may be different, your stories may be very different, but the unspoken feeling is the same:
You feel like this is your punishment.
This common theme emerges. I'm being punished for something.
If we trace this back, its roots are deep within our culture, deep within our religions, and deep within those people who meant well but somehow passed along the opposite message of what they intended.
We feel we failed.
We feel like we made poor choices, we made mistakes, we did something wrong. This life we are living, this seemingly endless search we are on, we feel this is our punishment.
This feeling of unworthiness, this lack of love in our lives. We believe it's all our fault.
We feel like we can't measure up, that we failed the test, that we can never make it up; that we are unlovable, unworthy, and this loneliness, this pattern of being with men who treat us this way, this pattern of coming close but never quite getting to real love, is our punishment.
And the worst part is, we believe we can't make up for it. It's a heavy judgment we allow ourselves to bear.
If you know all too well what I'm talking about, then I have something especially for you to remember. Wherever you've been, whatever you've been through, there is so much still to come for you. It is still your birthright to love and be loved just as you are.
The effects of thinking like this, of seeing this so black and white with such judgment on ourselves only feeds these feelings of unworthiness that leave us stuck and missing out on so much that love and life have to offer us.
It's not true.
It might serve our culture well to continue the pattern of blame, and shame, and punishment, but it doesn't serve you well, my beautiful friend.
It's time to throw off those deep, dark feelings of shame; to refuse to take on any more of their stuff. It's time to lighten your load, to remind yourself of all that you are and all that you have to offer someone worthy of you and to get out from under that oppressive belief system.
It's time to stop believing that you deserve to be punished.
Here's the truth.
You are loved, you are worthy, you are deserving of all that is loving and beautiful in the world! You deserve nothing less than this, my beautiful friend. And when you finally see the truth in this, when you finally realize that in your heart, you've known this all along, you will see what is waiting there for you.
That's where love is.