Recently I was reminded of a quote from the book A Course in Miracles that said, “Giving of yourself to the point of sacrifice makes the other person a thief” while reading a section of Iyanla Vanzant’s book Until Today! I like quotes like this because they help me to re-visualize a behavior in a way that makes sense. It reminded me of two of my older blogs, No More Whips and No More Poison. I would never volunteer to whip myself but every time I say or think something negative about myself, I am whipping myself. Every time I internalize something negative from others or myself, I am ingesting toxic beliefs that poison my system. So it makes perfect sense to me that every time I give up something that is important to me, I am allowing someone to come in and steal an integral part of who I am.
As Iyanla Vanzant said, they may not even know they are stealing from me, but they are. So I have to ask myself why I would even consider allowing a burglar into my life. If somebody burglarized my home, I would feel violated and unsafe. I would work with the authorities to help me recover my belongings and find the person who did this. There are things I would do and steps I would take to prevent this from happening to me again.
I have been intentional about not letting anyone steal who I am or what I need to be my authentic self. So why is this quote really speaking to me? Perhaps it is because in the past I did allow this to happen. It happened so slowly and gradually that I did not realize I had sacrificed most of who I was until I was left with evidence of how much of me had literally been packed up in boxes. It was at the end of a 9-year relationship. My ex had packed up all her stuff and moved it out and I was left in an empty apartment. The majority of my stuff was in boxes in the basement. I had lived in a space and a life where over time I had become packed away. No, I had not been stolen, but I had definitely been put in storage.
Moving into my own apartment was a time of self-exploration. I got to rediscover who I am and what I enjoy in life. I got to unpack the parts of me that are most important to me. When Zoe and I moved in together, there were things I let go of and gave away because they were no longer an essential part of who I am.
I have come to realize that there are times in my life when I am more vulnerable than other times, like when I was in the hospital. That is when I was especially grateful for my wife, who served like a security guard/bouncer, ensuring nobody was able to take advantage of me while I was healing. I am not sure she would see herself that way, but she was and thinking back in time, I guess I was that for her when she was being treated for cancer a few years ago. I remember sending an email out to everyone telling them this was a no negative energy zone. If they could not be positive, loving, and supportive then they needed to stay away. They did and for that, I am so grateful. I guess periodically, we have to remember to put that security protection sign out for the world to know thieves are not welcome.