One of my absolute favorite agonizing beliefs to do The Work on have been stressful beliefs about being liked.
Especially when someone actually DOESN’T like you.
Ooooh, isn’t that just the juiciest thing?
Yowser, it can hurt if you believe someone should like you, care about you, appreciate you, love you….
….and this person appears to dislike you, disown you, cut you off, and hate you.
A little argument with reality going on here.
But let’s look.
I’ve shared it before (and I’ll probably share it again).
I had a friend.
Notice the key word “had”.
She learned something about me one day, a partial piece of information that was actually said in jest as a joke in a written article, and she believed it was true.
It’s one of my favorite situations and relationships for The Work because I felt so innocent. I felt like I really didn’t do anything wrong, and it was such a big fat misunderstanding.
But she stewed, analyzed, struggled within, and then reported me to the state as a counselor who has sessions with people naked.
Yep, it was that insane.
(I have to chuckle because I am so modest and shy, through my historical conditioning, that I wouldn’t be caught dead in front of anyone outside of a locker room or bedroom).
The fascinating thing is this friend adored me, and I adored her as well. I found our conversations joyful, fascinating, and soooooo in depth.
We were very close and our intellects were thrilled to trade ideas back and forth.
Of course, since I was someone who expected to be liked, who planned and tried hard and worked to be appreciated…..
…..I had no idea of her thought process and didn’t realize for months and months that she was so concerned.
Except I got the hint when she never returned my calls, didn’t respond to emails.
I was thinking….”did I do something wrong, did I say something rude….what??”
This is a really fascinating thing the mind does, that thinks “I” am the important thing here.
It’s all about me.
I must have done something wrong. She should keep liking me.
I could have prevented this dangerous event (betrayal, withdrawal, cut off, anger) from happening.
I had to do The Work a lot on that friendship ending, against my will (ha ha) and because of a ridiculous assumption.
But who would I really, really be without the belief that she should like me, and hang out with me, and see me as brilliant and “right” instead of wrong?
And what is this idea all about anyway…..where it feels safer and more comfortable if people appreciate me, rather than find me threatening?
What is going on there?
There’s this kind of core, deep, yet unnecessary sense physiologically that I’ll die, or be killed, if she doesn’t care about me.
I’m in danger. I’m unimportant. I’m worthy of being betrayed, or dissed, or pushed away. That’s what this means.
Boy, I love the way this assumption and attempt to gain control of the situation grabs for responsibility.
If it’s my fault, I can do something about it.
Trouble is….it’s not really my fault.
There’s a whole host of things happening when someone decides someone else is a piece of dung.
Everyone has their glasses on from their past conditioning, and what they believe, and what they think will be safe, and what they feel they need.
I had to ask myself, many times in that painful work…..
…..who would I be without the belief that I need to be liked and accepted?
By her? By anyone?
“If I had only one prayer it would be this: God spare me from the desire for love, approval, and appreciation. Amen.” ~ Byron Katie