Monday, July 13, 2009

Loyalty

I am feeling a little better every day. Every once in while I get a little twinge, that knot of fear in my stomach. I am not sure where that fear comes from exactly. But I can usually distract myself from it.
I was reading one of the meditations in the book, Daybreak, Meditations for Women Survivors of Sexual Abuse, by Maureen Brady. I have had this book for years. When I first started working on healing from the incest, I bought this book and its daily meditations helped me quite a bit. Eventually I put the book away.
During this latest 'crisis' (for want of a better word), I found the book and put it on my nightstand and have been reading some of the meditations again. I have found them affirming which has helped me deal with some of that old Stuff. The other day I read a meditation on Loyalty. The first line was this: "The person who deserves my first order of loyalty is me."
Ah. Sounds like something I need to read.
She goes on to say that we (she writes in first person 'I' but it might as well say "we" or "me") have a problem with loyalty because we were taught from early on that we owed a loyalty to the family regardless of what was happening to us and that we did not learn how to be loyal to our own feelings and needs.
Ah. That could account for that knot in the pit of my stomach.
I keep getting this sense of guilt for turning away from my father. I know deep inside that these boundaries are healthy for me and necessary. I have no intention of giving up my Declaration of Independence.
But I keep fighting this guilt. Maybe it is not guilt. Maybe it is a misguided sense of loyalty. I have broken that long ago unspoken rule about being loyal to my father.
But Ms. Brady says that "my first order of business is to consider myself."
Then I read in another blog post -
Child Abuse Survivor - about how he usually advises people to do what they need to do to take care of themselves first. OK. I am getting the message.
And I knew all of this, of course. But I knew it in my head. I need to move the knowledge down into my heart now. And all of this is helping me to do that.
This reading and writing and praying. And all of the support from others, including my blogging friends.
So I will keep on working on this idea of being loyal to myself first. And who knows? Maybe that pit in my stomach will finally dissolve one of these days and just go away.

2 comments:

Patricia Singleton said...

Daybreak is a great daily meditation book. Like you, I put it away for a few years and only recently started reading it again. Putting yourself first is not being selfish. You can't do for others if you are an empty vessel. You can love others if you are empty. You are doing great and being very courageous and strong. You are worth it.

Colleen said...

Patricia, thank you. I do often feel like I am being selfish when I put myself first. But what you said about being an empty vessel is very similar to what I say to others in spiritual direction - you cannot give what you do not have. Thanks. Blessings!