Saying No to Conditional Love

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“You can be the most beautiful person in the world and everybody sees light and rainbows when they look at you, but if you yourself don’t know it, all of that doesn’t even matter. Every second that you spend on doubting your worth, every moment that you use to criticize yourself; is a second of your life wasted, is a moment of your life thrown away. It’s not like you have forever, so don’t waste any of your seconds, don’t throw even one of your moments away.” 
~ C. JoyBell C.

*Warning: Swear alert. Swears ahead.

I did something quite out of character for me yesterday.

There is someone who has been an important relationship in my life for a long time. You know the kind of relationships you just expect to endure, and to stay strong and connected. This person knew me, loved me, and was proud of me back when I was well and riding the crest of a wave of successes in my personal and business life.

The life I like to think of as my ‘former’ life. The one pre-illness. The one pre-psychic awakening.

The life I live now embarrasses the hell out of this other person. It has made things uncomfortable and awkward between us, without any kind of touchstone where we can easily connect, no matter how hard I try.

But in truth, we’ve been grown apart for a very long time, and so much of my championing and nursing along of the relationship comes from a sense of duty as much as from a place of love.

We speak intermittently. It’s been months now. I do my best to keep them in the loop of my life, so they were aware that I have been unwell. That I’m still unwell. When they called my home yesterday, Ben answered the phone because I was outside with my head in the toilet, violently ill from my lyme meds. He let the person know that I’d be a few minutes. He was politely honest about my situation.

Still, in keeping with the way this relationship has headed, the person did not ask after Ben, or me, or the farm. They talked instead of their latest achievements, and the achievements of others in their family.

When I was finally able to take the phone, this person did not ask after my health, not even in the polite way we all do where we don’t really need to hear the answer but we do want to observe social graces.

They just wanted to know what was happening with my career. Was I published yet? Why was everything taking so long? What was the hold up?

All I could do was stumble around saying that these last two years hadn’t been my finest (for those of you who don’t know, I was dying from unresponsive congestive heart failure, and then received a diagnosis of lyme disease where the treatment is saving my life but in the process making me endure the seven circles of hell) as this person insistently reminded me of who I used to be, and what I used to do. The life I had no choice but to walk away from.

For a moment I felt like one of life’s greatest losers. The shame was overwhelming. I felt so small.

Image from Midlife Rebel

Image from Midlife Rebel

I’ve been raised to be polite. But something happened yesterday. I got angry. And in that space of anger I also felt a need to put a stop to this.

“Fuck off!” I said gruffly. And then I hung up.

I shocked even myself.

But now, with some time and space between me and the big ‘hang up’, I’m feeling better about things. Cleaner.

Truth is, I still love them.

And I see the insecurity in THEM. The need for me, as part of their life, to be someone who others will judge well, and so judge this person well too.

But allowing them to heap shit upon me is not an act of self-love. Perhaps you remember that back at the end of 2013 I ran a retreat where all of us made a sacred vow – to love and treat ourselves well in 2014, to put ourselves and our needs front and centre in our lives rather than always playing second fiddle to everyone else.

I’m living that vow, and it is radically changing my world. In the best of ways.

It really is okay to say NO to conditional love. I hope that in sharing this experience, you can embrace that truth too.

Much love to you, Nicole xx

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44 thoughts on “Saying No to Conditional Love

  1. I love it! I could never do that. I still can’t but I want to with all my heart. I’m not doing it yet, but at least I started to believe it is Ok to set boundaries. I hope and pray for your recovery. Love you

  2. This made me laugh. I can only imagine the look on your friends face. Good on you Nicole. This post sings to me as I too have a people in my life who are so caught up with who I was and how I should be progressing. I love them dearly and I now set myself free from the their judgment and expectation. I am free to be me!

  3. Good for you Nicole, we don’t need people like that in our lives. I too made a vow this year to put myself first and make decisions that were best for me. Also to only have people around me who make me feel good about myself, it is so empowering !!! Xxx

  4. I am loving this post I have put up with to much for to long can not wait to drop the F bomb ! Getting some power back thanks to you xxxxx

  5. Hope you’re feeling better today Nicole. Head in toilet is never a pleasurable thing. 😔 And thanks for that post. Sounds like you’d been beyond patient with this person, yet we all hit our limits at one point or another. The ‘f” bomb used in the perfect context I’d say.

  6. Good for you!!! You are absolutely amazing and your writing is inspirational and informative. I love your stories, especially your psychic ones, and so look forward to your posts. I also appreciate learning more about Lyme disease, as the realization of just how devastating it is makes me more cognizant of wearing proper clothing while hiking, and checking for ticks after walks. So you are doing many of us a great service by sharing this journey.

    You have many people praying for you and sending you much love and light. Thank you so much for being you.

    With gratitude and best wishes for continued recovery, Bonnie

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  7. I had to do that too just recently. A “friend” from the past who loved to speak in eloquent tones but ended up speaking so much about himself, disappeared when his lover returned and I didn’t hear from him for over 8 years until a couple of weeks ago when he emailed me even though he said he lost all his contacts and information!….and that he’d love to get back in touch since he visits his mom in hospice now often which is 20 minutes from me, and he’d love to catch up about what’s transpired on his end. Well I had to think about this as my initial feelings were of that difficulty I always had with his ego. I remembered how he took over entire conversations for hours talking about himself, his achievements, his kids etc etc, and how cleverly he brought topics always back to himself. I emailed back that I am now a Domestic Goddess and that I stopped playing the healer/listener part as those people merely drained me so I no longer have people in my life who ramble on and on about their lives, that I am fully occupied dealing with my own which is full of not only life, but the paranormal which requires all of my attention. If I need to assist anyone Spirit tells me when, but that ‘people talk’ is now passe for me. 😀 Did I do well? lolol I cannot tell you how much relief I feel in averting a talking head energy vampire who loves nothing more than to play king of the material world, the false matrix, while pretending to understand the very connected, sensitized, psychic, magical, quiet beauty that my life is. If a person is not empathic, communication is basically nil, too much efforting, I don’t engage them anymore.

  8. Well said! I’ve done the very same to people who only want to talk about the person they knew pre-diagnosis, and frankly, if they can’t be joyful at your presence as it is then they are welcome to their imagined false idols and good luck, because those frozen images are empty and their ears hear nothing and no embrace comes from them.

    p.s. – as a cynical scholar of human nature I wonder how much of her battering on about the person you were was meant to hold her own image up as ‘doing better’? Maybe I am just too entrenched in the lead suit of self-deception, either way, peace upon you and your life and a merry ‘fuck it!’ upon everything else xxx

  9. I love this and I know the feeling that when you think the world, especially friends are aware of one’s challenges and they totally negate what’s going on for you. Congrats and putting you first as both you and i know that will in itself speed up the healing process.
    Sending you healing hugs, energy and love.
    You are truly amazing
    all my love Suzie xxoo

  10. If it helps, I got ‘that’ word out before you did when I read the story. That is no friend. …more like a ‘frenemy’ – using one of your words. much love and healing to you. We all care heaps when you tell us that you are going through a lot. xxxxx

  11. An old friend of mine did something similar last week. Didn’t ask me a thing about my life, even when I opened up and came clean about my struggles over the past few years. It was just “when will you come see me.”
    You’re right, sometimes you just need to let go. I love my friend too, but I love myself more.
    I am sending you lots of healing!

  12. And who would of thought those response cards Love, tough love etc would have been useful for others? You go Girl!!

  13. Yes….Nicole, to add a little laugh as well to the power of this word, do yourself a favour, as Molly Meldrum used to say and watch Osho’s amusing u tube video of the word “fuck”. It is guaranteed to put a well deserved smile on your face.

    Enjoy!

  14. You do not need such a person in your life, life has enough struggles and hurdles to deal with, without having to deal with such a person who is only interested in themselves and things that benefit them.

  15. Well done Nicole. I enjoyed reading today’s post and also everyone’s comments. The one from someone who calls herself lady, was brilliant. You are very much loved xox

  16. Nicole your posts always resonant – but this one is especially true for me right now, with someone in my life. Thank you – you’ve given me the courage to continue on the course of self-love, to not submit or comply to this person’s world view, and to still keep my heart open. P.S Was in Byron and Mullum last week, thought of you and your farm and sent some hugs xoxo

    Holly

  17. Must be something in the air!!! I too have done this over the past few weeks. Family members who overstep the boundaries. I did it all with love and light , breathed my way through it., forgave them. forgave myself, sent them love and light and we move on. Maybe that person will change maybe not, but I, for the first time, showed my strength, courage and love to them – they didn’t know what to do with all that. So, only I can change and hopefully those ripples extend and perhaps they may choose to change too. Still love them just the same whatever they decide. I have opened up my heart to allow more love to flow out and can understand their fear. It felt great to stand in my power and say “no more” with love. The dance will no doubt continue – aahhh families. xxx

  18. That is courage Nicole; well done for setting that boundary and I have no doubt you will feel better for it long-term. Their behaviour says something about them – not you. I am glad you took your power back (don’t need to feel small) Huge hugs XX

  19. Great blog Nicole. The big ‘F Bomb’ can certainly clear the decks. I know what it is to still love someone but not have them in your life. Cutting that cord finally lifts an unhealthy added weight. You don’t need extra weight right now, you’ve enough to deal with. You remind me not to gauge my success, worth and value based on other people’s opinions. I’m getting better at self appreciation but reminders are always good. Enjoy the new lightness!

  20. Oh Nicole …I too love the’ free to be me’ thing . I have spent years and bloody years of hating myself because’ those sort of people’ want me to be somebody they want me to be . I am just enjoying me now …I really don’t know why I wasted so many years hating myself cos I’m alright really …and so are you . You are more than alright… two fingers up to them . We are all in your gang . Glad you are feeling a bit better .
    Cherry x

  21. I also wanted to say first off but forgot, that ”fuck off” was a really healthy self defense mechanism 😀 and I’m so glad it came out even if it shocked you but you did well in allowing your protective nature to defend your Self from an attack of insensitivity. Imagine if we all immediately blew off insensitive people…healing would speed up!
    I never understood how terrible sickness and pain was until I became so with fibromyalgia and other things and accidents. And have since sympathized with the one who needs help, who is ill and listen to them speak, and I love nothing more than to help those people. My favorite people are those in need, who are sick lol…hence my interest here. Many people simply don’t understand on any level what it means to be sick so deeply unless they’ve been there. You can be in agony in their presence and they can go on chatting about mediocrity as if all is ”normal” ! Unless they have empathic abilities, the ability to literally feel what you do, it is dangerous to be with them. I have no patience for this any more. Such insouciance is a psychic sickness and salt in the wound. This may sound extreme to some but it is not, especially if you observe the dynamics in these cases. These people possess a dangerous ignorance and vampiric selfishness that worsens the ailing person. Politeness doesn’t cut through this dense selfishness either, but ”fuck off” does .
    Advise Ben to screen those who call you and if they cannot be sensitive and kind and helpful to you, then you’re not available.

  22. Nicole enjoyed this post so much. So very well said and written with such wit. The replies are also excellent esp about families…how very painful it is to be deemed the black sheep and be put upon by shallow siblings when dealing with huge difficulties…difficulties they don’t ask about whilst they remind you that you could do with having your roots done! Its so bad that I am sometimes (often) astounded by how unbelievably thick some people are…but the trick is to take back your power and get back up again, then love them and let them go.was it here that I saw the Nitzche quote about facing up to the tribe and often being lonely, but that there is no price too high for the privilege of owning yourself ….with that comes the magic of being powerfully exactly who you are, who you came to be and that it what it is all about. Being our exquisite selves. Much love to you Nicole and this was such a great powerful unexpectedly funny and uplifting post as always..sending pink stuff your way.xxx

  23. Nicole I am proud of you. I too have been like you putting up with shit and taking it. Not any more! I will not be around people who do not genuinely care about me or who try to manipulate and guilt me. It just sucks the life out of you..Life is too short to allow others to make us feel bad. We all have a voice but many never use it. You did. Good for you! xx

  24. Too true Nicole! It is actually MORE loving to be honest with yourself and others about relationships that aren’t authentic and beneficial for both parties… though it isn’t always easy to make this move. xox

  25. I tend to see these types of “friends” as poison to our soul. They slowly, without warning take a piece of us away…little by little until we have lost our confidence, self worth and trust. Take the poison out (like you did) and enjoy them for exactly what they are. Get well Nicole!

  26. To my eyes you are a huge success, Nicole. I am in awe at the psychic work you do in service to the spiritual growth of others and to nurturing the flowering of the human heart, which is so needed at this time in the human journey. You are a legend, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Sending you healing. Mike

  27. It took me a long time to read this, today was the day and it was the right day. Your blog happened into my life, I don’t remember how, but it has been the greatest blessing to me. We are on a similar journey through darkness, travail, pain to eventual arising from the ashes. I am completely unable to articulate anything about my journey, or the struggle to accept that I am helpless in the midst of it. You articulate it all so beautifully in ways that exactly capture the experiences I am having – I wish I could personally hug you for the lifeline your words provide! And especially this story – because “Fuck Off” has been a necessary statement for me to make and I have finally been making it. Feels really uncomfortable, but girl, I am tired of being sick and tired. I am so grateful for you!
    Thank you a million, million times for sharing your experience, strength, and hope with all of us.

  28. Saying F**k off is the hardest thing I have ever had to say to someone, it’s like a mini death, the death of a relationship I thought I needed. Come to find out, I didn’the need and it was deliciously free. Thank you , Nicole you did the right thing.

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