This is the third of a four part series.
3.) Identify and Erase Energetic "Black Holes"
Energetic black holes are dynamics, relationships, situations, or projects that take energy and do not give back. They can be large or small, from a single five minute conversation to a full-time job or decades long relationship pattern.
Sometimes they are quite obvious, and it's easy to disentangle yourself and keep moving. Other times, they can exist right under our noses for years and years before we notice them, if at all.
Why is that? We participate and feed persistent black holes because of a belief about ourselves, that is underlying our perception of the situation.
We think about the situation: "This cause is worthy," "It's the right thing to do," "This person/situation needs me," "But I'm the right one here," etc.
Underneath, we are subconsciously thinking: "My worth is a direct result of my continued participation in this black hole." There is always some benefit to participating. We want to be seen as persistent, or giving, or compassionate, or good, or whatever, and so we continue to put up with nonsense and bad behavior because we want that self-image, gosh darn it.
We over-give. We over-sacrifice.
We delude ourselves into thinking that we are the hero, or the responsible one, or some other positive thing in this situation, when in fact we are anything but: by wasting our time and talents on something that isn't bearing fruit, our potential is lost. At the end of the day, rather than having fed and tended a beautiful garden that will nourish us and those we love, we have dumped all our energy into that stupid black hole, which frickin' does no one any good.
In order to exit the black hole situation, we have to trust. Trust in our own worth. Trust that the world will keep spinning even if we are not running things. Trust that drawing boundaries and maintaining them is a good thing to do and not a selfish or pointless one. Trust that we are still good or worthy or responsible even if we are no longer in the role of whatever hero or mentor or savior or Pollyanna we are trying to be. We have to remove ourselves from the ego pats or "justified complaining" or whatever reward we are getting for continuing to participate.
We have to believe in our inherent worth.
I'll say it again:
We have to believe in our inherent worth.
That can be tricky.
The reason I am so wise (ha ha) and can write all this, unfortunately, is through boatloads of experience. BOATLOADS. Growing up, I wanted to be the good girl. I was taught that being "good" meant having no preferences, no opinions, no needs, no dreams, no desires. I let everyone walk all over me, all the time. I did what I was told, always. I respected authority, even if it didn't pay me the same respect. Being "helpful" was ""good," so I bled myself out "helping" others. They didn't have to expressly ask me for something, I would do it anyway.
Surprise, surprise, this behavior didn't get me what I wanted. (To be loved. Duh. It's the root of everything. And guess what? We all already are, damnit.) This pattern got me relationships with people, places and things that exhausted me.
Exhausted people who throw their energy into all kinds of black holes, large and small, are not vibrant, happy, radiant people whose abundance of love feeds the world. Bummer.
Big-hearted sensitive women are very prone to the black hole trap. Boo.
While black holes can come about in any situation, they are particularly prevalent in these chaotic times. Genuinely worthy causes are EVERYWHERE (newsflash, that will never change), and we want to HELP and be GOOD so geez I better run around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to make myself feel better about this shit-show-by-DOING-stuff. Phew.
How do you know you are sucked into a black hole?
Go back to part one and two: Cherish Your Sensitivity, Listen to Your Body.
If a project or situation takes more energy than you give it, then it's a black hole.
How to fix? Since the problem ultimately lies with us and our own beliefs, the change needs to happen within us, too. Sometimes it means leaving a toxic situation. Other times, it means changing our behavior but continuing to engage. Not severing a relationship, but changing our pattern of behavior within it.
Your body can tell you how to do that, too.
Alright. You are chrishing your sensiity, listening to your body, avoiding black holes...now what?