Who is in charge of making you feel good?
How many times a day do you check your social media for likes and engagement? Be honest, is it more than 3x a day?
How do you react when someone says something nice to you? Do you feel secretly relieved, animated, enlivened? And how do you feel when there is no response to what you say, do or post? Do you feel flat?
If so you might be outsourcing your love.
What does that mean?
In a relationship or other communication, are you looking out for nice feedback about you?
I can feel the kick it gives me. I love it. I love when people say something nice to and about me.
It really makes me feel good. And it calms an underlying anxiety that’s humming away in the background. The “am I ok the way I am?” fear.
The more people say “yes you are amazing! Outstanding!” The less I have to believe the “well you’re a bit nuts” voice.
Of course I hear that one too. And it doesn’t bother me much. Except when it comes thick and hard from people close to me. Or when I am in a tender place.
The closer, the harder.
Outsourcing your love is when you make someone else validation more important than your own.
Its not unusual that this happens in relationships.
Or in high validation nurturing environments-
In fact I notice when that happens that people start validating and applauding me, I unconsciously give them the role of taking over the “making me feel good about myself” role.
I no longer have to tell myself how amazing and loveable I am- and hey- it was a bit wanky anyway this self-soothing stuff- no, now! I have a real person validating the concept. Prooving it. It’s science. It’s not “jsut me”.
So now that person/those peopel/that medium becomes the director in charge of that part of my life.
Be it a friend or lover, partner or fans- the idea is THEY are now in charge of sending me the love I need to know I’m on the right track.
And that works super well…it feels right. And good.
until they don’t perform the way I need them to. Either over perform (too much responsibility) or underperform- hey where is the love?
Or until the emptiness creeps up. Because we need more and more and more and we just don’t get full.
As a former performer I am very used to orient myself at my audience’s reaction. I love applause. I like performing and that always comes with reaction if you’ve done it right.
The addictive tendency is gripping- and there is a reason why many stars of the entertainment world are using drugs- the gap between the attention, love, validation and the utter loneliness off stage is huge and you need a lot of capacity and personal strength to hold that serenely.
Now that we have social media we can get those applause kicks with likes and shares and needless to say people like me, really fall for it. Hook, line and sinker.
More people get a taste of the “ big issue of fame”
We feel we are doing business when we are checking our stats. But we’re not. I am needing a hit of love.
Love that I have outsourced. Taken away from myself.
And here I am crying that I just want to be loved for who I actually am. Not for the way someone sees me and for their projection. I want to be wholly loved and held for all that I am. In my messy, my genius, my weakness, my absolute power.
There is one person who can actually do THAT in the fullest. But she aint’ going to do much for me on Facebook.
Now we can go a level higher into the spiritual realm- when I say “you” or “I”- we can also speak about the divine self. We can also talk about God’s love. God’s love only works for you if you let it in- so it’s a part of you, not an external source. But it’s a cool way to bridge the idea that it isn’t “just you”-
It’s time to take back the reigns.
Your love has to start with you. It’s yours.. Let other people join the party by all means, but it’s YOUR party and as much as we want them to have a good time, we don’t want that at our expense. We want it to enrich our experience. And that is the art.
So I had a press release for the dreaded “What are you doing these days?” question that well meaning friends and family members love to ask no matter how insecure one might feel about one’s life…
“I’m studying Musical theatre”. Or “ I’m living in NY these days studying with the best acting, singing and dancing teachers I can source”.
The reaction was generally “wow!” It sounds cool, we can all agree that’s something. I am doing “something right.” And I can get on with my business without having to spend days working through my reactions to judgements, clearing myself of the sticky negative energies. They don’t need to know that I have no clue what I am really doing, that I spent hours each day in meditation, self-guided voice journeys, shamanic work, confusion and oscillating heavily between melancholy and high hopes with energy levels raising from barely making it out of bed to unstoppable changing every few hours. Happy days.
I found the press release version a great way for sensitive individuals who are in the midst of a deeper process to communicate safely. To avoid the judgement that would crush them in those stages of the development.
Just like when you write a book, nobody expects you to share it before it’s ready. When you learn a song, you don’t perform it when you’re learning it- if you do, it just won’t do you or the song justice. You want to really work it into your voice, body and spirit so you can bring it fully.
Why would you give your whole process to the world when you’re not ready to share it? Give yourself the space to work it through first. I honour you for even going into a process especially when you’re past your early twenties. This is brave. The older we get, the more we feel the weight of expectations and the press release will protect you. And why would you choose not to?
I’ll tell you why. Because living authentically and sharing deeply separates the wheat from the chaff. It’s the bravest thing you can do and it will give you deep, rich and intimate connections to people you actually want in your life. It sets you free. And it liberates others.
The real light shines when we dare to expose the darkness.
When you meet me, don’t give me your press release. That every day chitter chatter you can have with everyone, save it for everyone.
I want to meet YOU. That soul that’s so drenched in human experience it’s dripping from it. I love to see the vulnerability, the places that are not polished, not worked through, not owned. It’s so heart-warming and refreshing to me to meet souls brave enough to let me in.
Perfect vulnerability is perfect protection.
If you find what I share too much, too personal, you can’t handle the truth- fine. There is nothing wrong with you. You don’t have to. But you’re not for me.
I’ll hand you a press release and you can read it in the corner. This is rather useful at family gatherings if the family part is too tender to fully show yourself- come on we’re all works in progress, so let’s give ourselves a break. From time to time.
The press release is an awesome tool. But we don’t live through the newspaper. Meet me and let me show you the off the record me. Let’s go offline. See the real deal. Let that be recorded and shared. Because this world doesn’t need more perfect Facebook threads.
I am not on the planet to feel jealous about the perfect lives I don’t have that they don’t have either. We are here to shine and grow and set each other free. I will destroy the illusions I see that cast a clouded shadow on that brilliant experience we all deserve. I will tear it down when I see it, I will smash the veil that holds you back from seeing the real radiance that is you and your life.
I am tearing up the press release. The judgment I want to avoid is really the judgement I hold on myself. And I am done.