I was doing my morning meditation today and an old thought/memory came to mind. I'm not sure why this came up now, again, but it was suddenly there, in the front of my mind.
When I was with my ex-boyfriend, he still had pictures of him and his ex-wife in this large multi-picure frame. It wasn't hung up anywhere (when he moved in with me, it was in the closet), but the pictures were there. Him and her together, smiling, framed, in my house.
There were also pictures with her in them at his family's houses (his parents' house and his sister's house) that were out, hanging on the wall, that I'd see every time I went over there.
It drove me crazy... when I thought about it... which was somewhat frequently. Perhaps a more secure person could simply forget about it. They're old pictures, after all. But I couldn't.
I felt "bad" for feeling this way, though, like I should be stronger or something, so I didn't bring it up to my boyfriend. Until one day we were putting up some of his decorations (mostly sports memorabilia) in my (now our) house and the big multi-picture frame with the photos of him and her was sitting out (not being put up, mind you, but sitting out with the rest of his framed stuff, as we reorganized).
He could tell something was bothering me, and eventually it came out. Not in the most graceful way on my part, but it came out. I told him it bothered me that the pictures were there. I, for one, do not have any pictures of old boyfriends. Anywhere. When I let go of the relationship, and moved on, I let go of the pictures. I didn't see the point in hanging on to them.
My bf said he wasn't going to throw them away... claiming (and I guess I do believe him) that it wasn't about the fact that she was in the pictures, it was what else was in the picture (one was the two of them with the Super Bowl trophy and another was the two of them with my bf's dad, dressed up for a football game).
But he did take them out of the frame and put them somewhere. I don't know where. I felt relieved. It seems like such a minor thing, but it really helped.
I realize now why this came up during my morning meditation. I was thinking of the movie, "The Help" again and specifically the part where one of the maids told the little white girl she was taking care of, every day, "You is kind. You is smart. You is important."
Having pictures still hanging around of my boyfriend with his ex, even though he was with me, made me feel not important at all. Like I was some "after thought." Or like I was "there," but not really valued.
I realize this is my own limiting, and false, belief. It's a deep-seated shadow belief that (of course) goes back to my childhood. I didn't feel important to my father (he left me and my mom) and I didn't feel important to my mom (for a variety of reasons).
I started to get emotional again, about the pictures of my bf and his ex, and thinking how I should have said something sooner in our relationship, how I should have spoken my truth and how it made me feel... etc. I was trying to relive and recreate the past.
Then I reminded myself that's all over now. It's in the past. Get back to the present.
And that's when the blog title came to me. "Be important to YOU!"
I have looked for other people to make me important to them, and to show it in a way that I wanted them to show it. But what I really need(ed) to do is be important to me.
I wasn't feeling important to other people because I wasn't important to myself. I didn't feel like I really mattered. So that's the lens I was viewing the rest of the world and everyone else's actions through.
I didn't feel respected by other people because I wasn't respecting myself.
I know this now. And I've known it periodically over the years when at times it would become obvious in my mind. The hard part is changing that deep inner belief. That's where the real work comes in. It's a conscious effort.
Maybe I need to start saying an affirmation every single day like the maid said to the little girl.
"I am important. I am valuable. I matter!"
Yes, I think I do.