A comment on the wonderful Zebra Sounds. “What would be different in my life if I had felt the love and support of my parents?”

I had highly conditional positive regard in childhood, and I complied with the conditions completely and absolutely. I do not know what Christie’s circumstances are, of course. But I think I have come out with very strong self-love, which has manifested itself in self-protection: I pretended to be a man, because I felt a need to protect myself.

At my best, it is “I want Life in all its fulness”- for me, and all I meet- and at its worst, it is a thrawn, wersh, amygdaline “I want to Survive”. I have twice seriously contemplated suicide, and learned from that how strong my desire to live is, whatever the situation, so that is immensely valuable. And- I find joy in helping people.

Christie wonders whether parental love could have enabled her to be more courageous and “embrace her soul’s desire”. I think I am courageous, and am showing courage now: but that parental fear and control gave me a great fear of the world, and the courage shows itself in facing the fear. This step has come after accepting and acknowledging the fear. I had a habit of collecting stories to increase my fear- look how badly the World treats transsexuals- and now I seek to see that it is all right really.

So much that I had always feared
has come to pass, and I’m still here.

I have a task today, in the particular situation in which I find myself: to let down my defences completely. Then, I can be in the moment and respond in the moment, unguardedly and spontaneously and, I hope, Well. I hope, too, that this letting go, which I have practiced a little and always found liberating and completely terrifying, will become my normal way of being. I hope, too, that this will enable me to see the people and World around me better, without my distorting lenses and blind spots overwhelming me quite so much.

I will let you know how I get on.

3 thoughts on “Self-love

  1. “I think I am courageous, and am showing courage now: but that parental fear and control gave me a great fear of the world, and the courage shows itself in facing the fear.”

    That’s hitting on something I’ve been thinking about. How sometimes the act of daring isn’t obvious because our fear isn’t obvious to the outside world. We act bravely (or don’t) many times a day and only we know the significance of our actions.

    Like you, I’ve found letting go to be both terrifying and liberating – letting go of expectation, of old ideas, of relationships that were chipping away at my sense of self. Letting go of the fear of letting go… that’s brave. I have faith in you.


    • Thank you. I knew a woman who had been agoraphobic, and who suffered from panic attacks in crowds. She was working with a support worker who went with her to the shopping mall; then asked her to walk from the bus station through the shopping mall so they would meet in the coffee shop at the other end; then set her further tasks. It is brave to face your fear, whatever that fear is, and fears which some might think ridiculous come from real experiences.

      I have been reading your John McCain posts from three years ago. They are beautifully expressed, and the development and dare I say maturing from there is beautiful. Oh, and- increasingly, I have faith in me too. Possibly you are wrong that “Our courage is not clear to the outside world”- with a little empathy they can see the courage, but it is my own judgment on myself that I should not need courage for this, so my courage does not count, somehow.


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