Saturday, 1 July 2017

Unconditional Giving as a Symptom of Approval Seeking

I’ve got a bit of an obsession with Bindweed at the moment!

Over the past 17 years it has mutated, from being a rather pretty climbing vine with lovely white trumpet-like flowers in the corner of our little back garden, into a rapidly growing, infiltrating, triffid strangling all my lovely plants and shrubs, and suffocating them out of light and life.

This summer I’ve  spent hours at a time in that garden unravelling the binding growth from fragile stems and branches. Each time the compost heap ends up with five or six armfuls of the stuff yet within a few weeks it has grown back again with a vengeance.

I’ve had a series of friends recently who were just like that Bindweed in my garden. People who at first seemed exotic and alluring from afar. People who claimed themselves unjustly judged. People for whom my intuition was screaming ‘Beware-they’re dangerous’ (and I disregarded the warnings because I wanted to prove my programming wrong). People who hinted that they were weak and fragile and in need of some support. To these people, metaphorically speaking, I invited them to grow up into the trellis-work of my life.

As the years have gone by, the weight of their vegetation and the suffocation of their foliage have taken their toll on me, draining me of my creative energy and vitality.

I’m sure I’m not the only one this has happened to. Until fairly recently I was a prize people pleaser; a total sucker for validation from wherever I could find it. I got pleasure from sensing  gratitude from others for the gifts of attention, touch, love, money, food, and rounds of drinks I would bestow on them. I was happy to offer myself as a resource and allowed myself to be used by others as and when they pleased.

Unfortunately this approach attracted individuals who were happy to accept my gifts and took the resources I allowed them to access. But rather than this resulting in a natural Yin-Yang balance of giving a receiving, I eventually began to feel drained, depleted and used.

I came to recognise that the fertile soil of my generosity was simply cultivating fields and fields of Bindweed-like users and takers.

I felt a bit sad when I abandoned my approach of unconditional beneficence but, with the help of the Faeries, as I grew to love myself and came to honour the queerness of my own true nature, I no longer felt the need of approval from others, at any cost, to shore up my confidence. I began to recognise that there was nothing ‘enlightened’ about what I was doing. I was simply taking my own natural power to continue becoming my truest authentic self and just pissing it up the wall!

I could easily spray a weedkiller on the Bindweed in my garden but, for now, I’m enjoying the hours and hours I’m spending meditating on the delicate balance of give and take in human relationships!

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