Worthy of love?

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Worthy of love?

Postby oak » March 19th, 2017, 3:09 pm

May I use my words?

I have plans to meet someone this week.

Trite as it is, an "I feel" statement:

I feel unworthy of love because I made mistakes.

I feel sad because I have neglected the intimate side of my life.

I feel grateful because someone is taking a chance to meet me.

I feel unworthy because I am medically described as "obese". I am 5-10, just over 200 lbs. I am taking action each day to eat better and exercise more.

I feel scared because I fear the me I present to her won't be "the real me".

I feel like I treat my own sexuality as a joke.

I feel like I have to perform, when I know a certain proportion of people tend to like me as I am.

In conclusion, I feel much better having said all this. I am only as sick as my secrets.

I very much appreciate this forum. Twenty years ago we didn't have anything like: the internet was not social, and we rarely talked about mental illness and/or feelings.

I feel safe posting here more, as I am moved.

Thanks for listening!
"Work is love made visible." -Kahlil Gibran

"When the doors of opportunity swing open, we must make sure that we are not too drunk or too indifferent to walk through." -Jesse Jackson
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Re: Worthy of love?

Postby oak » March 19th, 2017, 3:11 pm

I used to be drunk and broke.

Now I have a responsible position at respected institution.

How can I shake that image in my head? I am not the same person I was back then.

Asking this question is the best I can do today. I feel pain, sorrow.
"Work is love made visible." -Kahlil Gibran

"When the doors of opportunity swing open, we must make sure that we are not too drunk or too indifferent to walk through." -Jesse Jackson
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Re: Worthy of love?

Postby Beany Boo » March 19th, 2017, 5:11 pm

First of all, great job coming out about your weight.

Secondly, I struggle with the same dating fears you lay out here. But I don't necessarily have a handle on it any more than you do.

I 'survived' a second date on the weekend with a lovely woman, who sadly, didn't feel a 'spark' for me. Sad for her; an almighty relief for me. I'd had about as much of being myself in front of a stranger as I could humanly tolerate. Actually, I feel liberated now that I was able to be somewhat vulnerable with someone I was attracted to and then walk away with my boundaries intact. Also, she did say something particularly hurtful in a moment of reflex defensiveness so, I'm not too disappointed that I didn't bring the requisite spark.

For me the fears you describe are symptoms, not questions to resolve. In the end, for me, it came down to, in my own mind, being as clear as I could about what I was consenting to, by asking for the date in the first place. More specifically, how much I was consenting to.

Once I was able to keep that clear, I felt like I had given the amount of consent that I was comfortable giving; and as importantly, would be comfortable withdrawing.

It also allowed me to consider what she seemed to be consenting to, and also, that I could confidently, safely accept her withdrawing consent at any time. It would have nothing to do with, for me, my worthiness, or appearance because I hadn't yet given her consent to cross those particular boundaries.

A lot of this will go unspoken, but it meant that when she finally did withdraw consent, I had not given up anything of value, that I had not already consented to put out there.

The bad news is you're going to get it somewhat wrong every time. The good news is it's going to matter less when it goes wrong and gradually, your boundaries will become healthier and also, begin, in an unspoken way, to attract people you would want to be attracted to you.

Don't try too hard to get this particular one right. Focus on your boundaries; what you consent to, and what is off limits. Be ready for her to withdraw consent at any moment; either altogether, or just to a safer distance. Even if the date bombs, she'll respect you more for respecting her boundaries. Eventually you'll get your deepest needs met like you never imagined!

Good luck!
Last edited by Beany Boo on March 19th, 2017, 5:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Emotionally,

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Re: Worthy of love?

Postby Beany Boo » March 19th, 2017, 5:33 pm

By 'consent', I mean, what, about your body, your emotions and what belongs to you, are you giving others specific permission, verbally or otherwise to touch, or share in. It's the clearest and most immediate way I know of defining your own value and what's important to you. The moment you withdraw it is just as defining as the moment you give it. Withdrawing it can be as simple as saying, "Stop!", without any further explanation. They talk all the time about sexual consent, but emotional consent for men as much as for women, is vitally important.
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Re: Worthy of love?

Postby oak » March 22nd, 2017, 5:57 pm

Thanks Beany Boo!

All in all it went real well. The official report: sparks.

Following your excellent example, I sat down beforehand and wrote out what I was consenting to.

This included not allowing my value to be decided by a stranger, but also giving myself consent to be aroused, if appropriate.

Example:

In the last few weeks I have had my mouth/teeth probed, exposed every inch of my nude body to a stranger, and shared my social security and income numbers.

These were appropriate, and even good, as I was at the dentist, the dermatologist, and completed my taxes. I consented to each of these, and everything was handled professionally.

Likewise, your post got me to thinking that it is expected (and healthy!) to be intrigued, and yes, aroused on a successful date.

After being functionally, de facto non-sexual for years, this was wonderful. Scintillating.

Your advice gave me a chance to breathe. Thank you.
"Work is love made visible." -Kahlil Gibran

"When the doors of opportunity swing open, we must make sure that we are not too drunk or too indifferent to walk through." -Jesse Jackson
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Re: Worthy of love?

Postby Beany Boo » March 22nd, 2017, 8:40 pm

Congratulations, it's heartwarming to read about how present you have been being. :clap:
Emotionally,

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Re: Worthy of love?

Postby _mlmlmlm_ » March 24th, 2017, 8:08 am

Hi Oak,

Just wanted to let you know that I randomly thought of you the other day - even though I don't know you. I was, let's say, connecting with an oak tree during some mindfulness meditation and you came to mind. Somebody in Arkansas was thinking about you!
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Re: Worthy of love?

Postby oak » March 24th, 2017, 3:45 pm

That is so sweet, mlm. Thank you.
"Work is love made visible." -Kahlil Gibran

"When the doors of opportunity swing open, we must make sure that we are not too drunk or too indifferent to walk through." -Jesse Jackson
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Re: Worthy of love?

Postby oak » March 28th, 2017, 3:12 pm

Setting aside the bigger question of if I am worthy of love, I did discover that I am worthy of going on a date, several in fact, and being treated kindly and respectfully on them.

For today, that is enough :)

I'll take it.
"Work is love made visible." -Kahlil Gibran

"When the doors of opportunity swing open, we must make sure that we are not too drunk or too indifferent to walk through." -Jesse Jackson
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Re: Worthy of love?

Postby Beany Boo » March 28th, 2017, 8:53 pm

Yes, be proud. Let it show.
Emotionally,

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