Twin Flames - How Our Childhood Dynamics Shape Our Ego-selves.
I wrote recently about my recognition of alcohol having been another form of abusive relationship in my life. This revelation has led to me re-examining all areas of my life, because the Twin flame journey is not just about deserving the perfect love relationship, but also about deserving healthy and nurturing friendships, working relationships, and family relationships too. We can’t just respect ourselves in one area only; we have to honour ourselves in every area, no matter how uncomfortable or alien that may at first feel to us, especially if as a sensitive and spiritual soul we are uneasy with confrontation or letting go of people that we can no longer relate to.
‘Death of the ego’ is a rather misleading phrase as awakening doesn’t actually mean that the ego-self disappears entirely. It is more that we finally recognise the ego-self as the invented character that we are viewing the world through, kind of like an added-on filter. Alongside that invented character we also have a built-in personality that remains for life, otherwise how would we have a preference for what to wear, what to eat, or where to go? The good news is that we are now free to observe our egoic patterns and wounds with a new impartialness. Suddenly we’re released from the burden of identifying ourselves as a screw-up with self-esteem issues, and instead we find ourselves as the observer of what we have created (along with the help of others) since birth.
A probable outcome
Some of my false self’s sub-conscious patterns include: a tendency to overgive of time and material things in order to earn love, a habit of seeking approval, and a pliability and sensitivity that leaves me wide open to being manipulated through fear of what may happen if I assert myself. Luckily I can see clearly how and why my false self developed these traits. Because of my particular personality type, there were always going to be certain behaviours that would influence my life, such as my empathy and shyness, but combining this type of personality with my individual childhood storylines and family set-up, resulted in highly predictable beliefs being formed and entrenched.
Souls on a mission
I am a firm believer that we are born into the family dynamic that our soul needed for the challenges and growth it wanted, but nevertheless, we need to untangle the misinformation that we received if we are to release ourselves from unnecessary limitations and self-sabotage. We don’t need to cling to a victim story to do this. We aren’t victims. We’re souls on a mission, and although we didn’t know it at the time, we were the observer all along. We wanted the experience but the experience is not who we are. We are literally the space that the action took place in.
My personal family dynamics were as follows; a violent and volatile father who had us all walking on eggshells, and a submissive and passive mother figure that felt unable to defend her children. I was the middle child with a narcissistic older sister who was an untrustworthy confidant, and a rebellious younger brother who I felt overly responsible for. One thing I learnt early on was that if I dared to stick up for myself, or answer back in any way, then I would pay for it. It wasn’t just the physical violence that frightened me but the viciousness of my father’s words.
Giving out signals
I don’t tell you these things to elicit pity or cast myself as a victim, but to highlight the obvious conditioning that took place, the patterns that seeped into me and formed my outlook. As was to be expected, I grew into adulthood with a relentless sense of unworthiness and a fear of drawing negative attention to myself. I attracted many friendships and relationships that impounded this belief. On a vibrational level I was giving out signals that were the exact opposite of what I truly wanted to attract. I wanted unconditional love and approval. I attracted shallowness and criticism. Friends were either blatantly domineering or seemingly fragile souls that I took under my wing thinking I could save them, only to discover at a later date that they secretly hated me for having marginally more self-esteem than they did.
A fine line
After my awakening began, I was able to view these patterns without my previous feeling of shame, but removing ourselves from a friendship is not always clear-cut. There is a fine line between being a patient and supportive friend and allowing oneself to be abused or manipulated. It’s so important at this stage in awakening that we understand the simple truth; abuse or manipulation can only take place if there are two ego’s willing to play the game. All we have to do is extract ourselves from the game, lay down our racquets and refuse to hit the ball back. Because this newfound firmness is against our conditioned ‘nature,’ emotions may arise from our new stance, guilt and anxiety for example, but we must take a step back and observe both the other person’s reactions and our own with detachment and interest. They’ll stamp their feet for sure, they’ll talk about you to others, but who cares? Soon enough they’ll find someone else willing to take your place and play the game with them.
I am referencing a (newly) former friend in particular here. We sort of became friends by accident, and I was aware that he had slight social difficulties, but on the whole he seemed kind and harmless. He really helped me out at a time when I had no family or friends living nearby, doing gardening and odd jobs for me, walking my dogs when I’d had an operation etc. I tried to repay all that he’d done by listening to him and helping him with his college work, but after a time he started to change. If I didn’t respond to an email or a text fast enough, I would get an abusive message accusing me of all sorts of things. Then when I responded and defended myself, he would completely backtrack and apologise profusely. This became a pattern and I started to feel sick every time I saw his name come up on my phone or email. My mistake was to keep responding and to keep the saga going. The reason I did this was due to a feeling of obligation because of the help he’d given me in the past, and also due to fear of his reaction if I ceased contact. But it doesn’t matter what he did in the past that was so good. The fact is that he became someone who harassed and accused me over a long period of time, and yet I chose to put his feelings above my own. He didn’t actually care if I was happy with the friendship or not, he cared only that the friendship continued because it was what he wanted to happen.
Taking a step back
I read somewhere that the awakened man can no longer be manipulated, and it’s true. As the false self I can. But when I take a step back as the soul, as the truth, I am able to remove myself from situations such as these with self-love. And when I love myself, I love all. When I allow myself to be manipulated, I allow all to be manipulated. By entrapping myself in the situation, I entrapped him. By freeing myself, I freed him. Of course his ego won’t see it that way, but that doesn’t matter. My agreement is always with the soul. And I guess we had a deal.
It’s not that awakening causes us to become overly sensitive and uptight with unreasonably high standards. It’s about the truth. And everyone is a mirror, not just our twin. We have to look at each reflection and examine what we see. Was it really about my former friend’s tendency to manipulate and attack? No. It was about my pattern of thinking I had to be the patient, kind, and good one no matter what. It was about my pattern of not wanting to provoke in case the consequences made me feel uncomfortable. To be truly awake we have to free every part of ourselves that we have bound in chains. By putting ourselves first, we put everyone first. And the teachers will keep coming until we learn the lesson. We deserve nothing less than perfection because we are perfection. Ego might leap into these mind games willingly, all guns blazing, but we, as the soul, can choose to withdraw from them anytime we want to. There are certain times in life that we will have to play the game and hit the ball back; if we have to defend ourselves legally, for example, but we can learn to do that from a truthful place, as the observer. If we play the game as the ego then we merely strengthen all the egos involved. We encourage our fellow beings to forget themselves, when our path is to help them remember.
A good boy and a good girl
It’s liberating to have freed myself from even more chains, to have awakened that bit more fully. Once again I was given the choice to choose between love and fear, and I chose love. I always will, even if it takes me a little time to do so. And somehow I know this must be having a positive effect on my twin, or maybe he is also choosing love over fear and is equally responsible for my continual progress. Jed had a very similar childhood to my own. He was a good boy just like I was a good girl. He learnt to stay quiet and accept the unacceptable. My heart just bursts with joy at the thought of him realising his own wonder; opening his mouth, breaking the cycle of being the ‘good one.’ And it isn’t because of what that could mean for us, but just for the sheer elation of knowing he is free.
Something in my soul
I had the strangest experience earlier today. I was thinking about my twin’s anger when he cut me off. I always knew that it was the ego taking control back, trying to drown out the soul’s steerage in favour of the well-worn track of the conditioned mind. I always knew that anger could be fear’s most prevalent disguise, but today, I remembered something he once said and it triggered something in my soul. He told me that a few years before we met he was much darker and more serious, that he overthought things and that his mind was a deeply complicated place. He wondered if I could still love him knowing that about him? I felt, then, the sensation of being placed inside his ego’s anger. I sensed the fear and the defiance that he went through as though I were in the actual ball of energy that formed itself for battle against the soul. I knew the severity of that battle; the extremity of the split. And I understood it wasn’t just about the ego craving the safety of what it already knew; the safety of an abusive but familiar relationship. It wasn’t just about the terror of dismissing the mind and trusting his intuition. Nor was it just about the fear of what his family might say if he, the good one, did something completely out of character and chose true love, regardless of the binds of conventionality, judgement, or outside approval. It was the ego in its greatest act of self-sabotage, shouting loudly to cover up its inherent feeling of unworthiness and unloveableness; all the shameful feelings that this perfect love had incited to the surface. It was challenging me to see if my love was real, but it was also a test; a test that would discern whether I could see through the ego to my real beloved, which if I was able to do so, would at the same time reveal my own true identity to me.
Do you love me now?
‘Do you love me now?’ His ego seemed to be screaming. ‘Do you love me now that I have shown you the full force of my darkness and my self-hatred? Would you recognise me and tell me that you love me still? Do you think I would trust that you could love someone like me? I will show you the hideousness that I feel. I will project it onto you, and you will leave. Take back your promises of infinite love. See how I maim them and throw them at your feet? See! Look! I am unloveable. I will prove it to you with my savagery and with my coldness. This is the real me. And I ask you again. Would you love me now?’
That is what his goodbye was saying to me. That was the truth that hid in the disguise of his farewell song.
And, yes. I love you now. No matter the defences or the fear you hide behind. No matter how you scratch and claw and mistake yourself for the darkness. I love you. And I know you.