Always Well Within

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The Only Anti-Abandonment Strategy You’ll Ever Need

Never Abandon Yourself

Do you fear abandonment?  You may not be quivering in trepidation every single moment of the day.  But when triggered, does an avalanche of insecurity, distrust, and worry descend from the hidden corridors of your mind?

The fear of abandonment comes into play often enough in my life.  Here are two examples.

Will They Be Here for Me?

After meeting with a new therapist a few times, I asked for assurance that he wouldn’t move away.  He’d been on the island for about a year.  But knowing the transitory nature of this place, anyone can be here in one moment and gone the next.  So I needed to hear he’s sinking roots and won’t just vanish one day.  I needed to hear, he’ll be here for me.

I met an amazing doctor who exuded so much centered, loving calmness that it felt like connecting with a genuine spiritual teacher.  He assured me – not with bravado, but with gentle and genuine confidence – that he fully understood my condition.  “You’ve been alone with this until now, “ he said.  “Now you have us to hold this as well.”  Tears streamed from my eyes, feeling the depth of his care and commitment.

Later that evening, a scary thought flashed through my mind, “What will happen when the treatment doesn’t always work because I’m hyper-sensitive to sundry pills and potions.  Will he just abandon me?”   I felt my cheeks wet with tears, that proceeded to roll over my chin.  Drops of fear, drops of sadness, drops of uncertainty.

I instinctively put my hands on my heart and said, “I will never abandon you. I will never abandon you.”

Fear Stays Alive Unless You Lean Into It

I don’t know where these disconcerting fears of abandonment come from.  My parents were always there for me, at least physically.  But my father suffered from actual abandonment at an early age.  I can’t help but wonder if his silent but bleeding wounds somehow infiltrated my being, leaving indents in my neural pathways and this catching feeling in my heart.

Whatever the origin, I know this fear stays alive in me because I never pay heed to it, not in a curious, thoughtful, and careful way.  Instead, whenever it appears, I shove it back inside.

No more.

I know this new path of greater self-sovereignty means making and holding this promise to myself,  “I will never abandon you.  I will never abandon you.”

How Much Can You Rely Upon Others?

I don’t remember the exact quote, but I recall this sentiment from Anais Nin,  “Every human being is treacherous to every other human being because they must be true to their own soul.”

I believe in healthy relationships.  I believe in sweet friendships.  I believe in supporting one another and depending upon each other in a non-sticky way.  We need each other’s love, care, and support in this complex, topsy-turvy world.  And simply because we’re human.  As the Dalai Lama has said, “Love is not a luxury, it’s a necessity.”  Babies need love to thrive.  Why would humans be any different?

But I know everything changes as well.  The person you love one day may be unavailable or gone the next.  People move, they drop off the internet, they get involved in a different flow of life.  When the karma between you and another person finishes, the attraction or connection might dissolve in a flash.

I realize that after death, as my mental body travels the in-between states, I’ll only have my awareness and good karma to rely upon.  It’s said that if you have devotion to a spiritual teacher, they will appear and guide you at this critical juncture when you could take birth in a pure realm or instead be propelled by your karma to take birth in another crazy world.  So I may not be alone during this period, but this too depends on developing the self-reliance of my own mind in the present time.

Undoubtedly, this fear of abandonment will pop up again whenever the opportunity for a genuine friendship, caring partnership, or loving relationship appears.  But I have my simple, single anti-abandonment strategy, the only one I’ll ever need.  I put my hands over my heart and whisper sweetly to myself:  “I will never abandon you.  I will never abandon you.”

People may come and go in my life, but I will never abandon myself.

P. S. Keep Going, You’re Doing Great:  The & Paradoxes of Personal Growth

Does the fear of abandonment effect you?  How do you manage it?  I would love to hear.

Thank you for reading!  I appreciate your presence.  Have you signed up for my monthly note – Wild Arisings – yet?  Learn more and join here – you’ll get some goodies too.  May you be well, happy, and safe – always.  With love, Sandra

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19 Comments

  1. I think my major fear is that I will outlive everyone and be alone. I do not handle it very well but I do like your ritual of putting your hand over your heart and telling yourself that “I will never abandon you.” I will try it the next time I start to feel that fear. Thanks, Sandra <3

    • I appreciate your openness, Jean. I had’t thought of that one from this perspective! I can see how it might feel very lonely. It seems like maturity brings wisdom and confidence along with a new set of fears related to aging. My heart is with you as you work with this one.

  2. My husband passed away Sept 28, 2015. Since then he has been with me guideing me in the right direction to what ever I need- assurance that our love for each other will continue even after death. Last night asked him to not leave me please, as I am comforted by his connection. I guess I do fear that he will move on to another place and not be able to contact any more. But then I am told that will not happen unless I abandon him, which I have promised to never do. When he passed my watch stopped at 6:30 then started again at right time. This morning it did the same thing but has not started up again. Is this a sign that he has moved on? I really hope not as so many things have just fell into place for me. We had such a loving relationship but he was very ill and I gave him permission to leave his body if that was what he wished to do. I told him I would be ok and it was ok to move on and find healing and peace. I would always love him no matter what. Then this morning your web site came up first thing on my e-mail. I would really appreciate your feedback that is on my mind this morning. Thanks . Shirley Murrell

    • That’s an amazing story, Shirley. I’m glad you were able to let your husband go because he was so ill. That takes tremendous courage. I’m glad you are confronted by the connection you have now.

      I deeply believe these kinds of exchanges can take place. I don’t know what will happen in the future with your connection with your husband. There may come a time when you will feel strong enough that you are ready to let go of this connection with your husband too and feel at peace with that. It wouldn’t necessarily be abandonment as a time will come for your husband to move on in whatever realm he’s in. Whatever happens in the future, it’s nice to be grateful for the warmth of connection that exists now. I wish you the best with this.

      And please remember, if you ever feel alone, you can reach out for support in a bereavement group or for the help of a therapist.

  3. My husband passed away several months ago and we have made ad connection between us. I guess I want this connection to continue but I wonder how much longer he has before he moves on. Our love for each was so strong we said that it could survive even death. He has been in touch with me several times thru sighs that I understood. I also know he is watching out for me and guiding me to what I need to do for myself. I really want this to continue but I wonder if it is possible. I always relied on him for emotional support and realize I must be there for myself. I would appreciate your feed on my mind at this time. Thanks Shirley

    • Hi Shirley,

      I think it’s healthy that you realize you must learn to be there for yourself, to be your own emotional support. Maybe this can proceed in small steps while this supportive connection to your husband still exists. Maybe you will both be able to let go at the next level once you feel this inner emotional strength is in place. And please remember that you can always receive support from a bereavement group or therapist. I wish you the very best.

  4. Oh wow this touched a chord Sandra. It reminded me of when I was a little girl and would lie awake waiting to hear some noise downstairs to confirm that I wasn’t alone. I have no idea where the idea came from, maybe I arrived with it…but I understand all to well your feelings about abandonment.

    I’m so happy for you that you found a way to soothe and comfort you. Hand on heart is a lovely way to connect with the divine within. 🙂

    • It’s fascinating that we have these chords within us that can be touched all of the sudden out of the blue. I can just imagine that little girl waiting and wondering and how that turned into some fear of abandonment.

      Yes, soothing is nice. I haven’t though of hand on heart as a way to connect with the divine so thanks so much for that.

  5. Oh boy! I am right there right now! Have been for a few years now. I have been doing Matt Kahn’s saying “I love you” to my own heart over and over and over recently and just yesterday as I walked my dog I said exactly what you said in this article, I told myself that although everyone else (or rather every two legged) had abandoned me, I would never abandon my own heart. So that and my collie are kind of getting me through just now. X

    • Hi Barbara,

      I’m glad you have these tools and your your collie to support you through this time. I wish you the very best. Sending love.

  6. Fear of abandonment, rejection was one of my biggest fears and then it happened. My ex husband walked out on me after 19 years of marriage. Guess what? I’m here. I survived it and came out stronger. I learned that it is not someone else who abandons me, it was I who abandoned myself. That was my lesson. Glad I learned it 🙂

    • That’s a powerful lesson, Peggy! I’ve had similar things happen and it’s exciting to know that we can survive and thrive. The most important thing is not to abandon ourself! Wise advice.

  7. Sandra, I do this every single night, after everyone falls asleep. In the quietness of the night when I pray, I tell the angels, God and all the powers higher than me, to give me strength to BE. Simply be.
    I was twenty 22 when I took the decision to divorce my cheating, violent ex. But I knew my sanity and peace of mind were far more important than my fear of being alone. Fast forward to now, I have love, I have pure love and I have it because I love me above all else.
    So yeah, I have a love affair with myself first. I don’t fear abandonment anymore, I crave my solitude infact. Such a contrast from the 19 year old needy girl I used to be.
    Thank you for sharing your heart here. You are helping so many to own their hearts with this.
    P.s. I’m always here 🙂 Ain’t dropping off the internet, or the face of this planet anytime soon.
    Love always,
    Z~

    • You’ve been through so much, Zeenat! It’s amazing to see where you are right now. And, I see you never feel alone because you have your angels and the higher powers looking after you as well. But most importantly, you’ve actualized the lesson to never abandon yourself. So inspiring indeed. Yes, this one poured out straight from my heart. Good to know you’re planning on being here! Love my connection with you!

  8. My most recent experience has been with Drs who you have worked well with to understand you not so traditional approach and you call to make an appointment to be told they are no longer there.

    Yes as Zeenat says just be, when we fully are loving and accepting of ourself embracing the love that we are, one’s attitude changes too. Love your post, thank you love Suziexx

    • That can be such a disappointment, Suzie! It’s rare to find those doctors. I completely understand. You are so right though, the answer is always coming back to ourself. Thanks for sharing your experience and for your kind words. I appreciate our connection.

  9. Thank you for sharing your self-compassionate whisper and practice. I will try it when feelings of fear come up, which they often do. <3

  10. I say ditto to the author, the only anti-abandonment strategy is to never give up, lose hope, and abandon oneself!!

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