Transforming Self-betrayal in the Mirror of our Relationships

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Beauty is not in the way we look, but in the way we love.JulieBondGenovese

Bill fills me in on a recent fight between Ky, our 10 year-old, and Carlito, Ky’s best friend. Ky told Bill… that Carlito told Ky… that I was ugly. 

Bill stops for just a split second. But when I appear unfazed, he continues nonchalantly. Little does he know, an old sad story has scurried out from behind my eyes. And my mad attempt to squelch it, is about to backfire. On both of us.

While my rational adult-self assumes that Carlito used the comment to get back at Ky (who probably said something rude to Carlito,) my younger-self, remembering a childhood of insults and labels, feels a fearful sting.

What is ugly about me? My differences? My face? My skin? My stumpy bod? Is it when I don’t wear make-up? Or blow-dry my hair? Am I just weird and unappealing?

I’m too mortified to admit any of this. So I slam on the cone of shame. You’re being childish and ridiculous. You should be over this insecure s#**! Do NOT let anyone KNOW!

Ever told yourself these doozies?

I wait for Bill to sooth my embarrassing fears…without my having to voice them. But when he doesn’t shower me with compliments, kisses and Krispy Kreams, the smack-down begins. Ugly is no longer the issue. Bill is now on the chopping block.

BS begins to bubble and spit. If Bill, the one who knows me best, doesn’t truly understand about my pain, no one ever will. I’ll always feel very alone.

Cool smokescreen, huh? Note how skillfully BS (Belief Systems) can make the argument about something else, entirely.

It can happen in the blink of a blind eye.

Shame zips me over to the dark side. I see Bill there. Growing horns. He’s stepping into my BS minefield. I’ve already been blown to smithereens. He’s next. And he’s toast.

Funny thing about old negative BS is that, since it isn’t true or kind, it desperately scrambles to be right.

I’m sinking fast as I grab for the old defenses. Blame. Anger. Victimhood. I think these puppies can lessen the hurt by casting the problem off me. By sharing the cesspool of BS.

I’m judging myself, but I need to prove that it’s Bill doing it. Ay caramba.

Is Bill ignoring my sadness (just as I’m doing) and abandoning me in my fears (ditto again.) I replay my old story and it’s frightening ending; he doesn’t really love me (aka I’m just not that lovable.) Woe is me.

Although I’m a former Oscar nominee for hiding feelings, I expect my hero hubster should see right through my charade and save me. He should recognize what I deny. Reveal what I hide. Be effing sensitive to my old wounds.

With rapid fire, I tell Bill how he should show his love for me (since I’m not doing it) and inform him of what he should have said and done differently (guilty again.) The “shoulds” have BS written all over them.

This never ends well.

It was me who wasn’t loving me! I was guilty of every one of my charges against him. I stopped loving me the moment I judged my feelings as weak, childish, stupid. I projected my judgment onto Bill. I didn’t recognize my self-betrayal in the mirror, which was begging for my acceptance.

No problem.

When I deny my feelings, it will seem as if my pain is outside me, crawling all over someone else.

How convenient.

We can’t run from their reflection because, on a soul level, we are One with them.

Bill goes to bed, angry and confused. I sit in a slump trying to prove that he was wrong. Then I hear myself saying, “he always…” and I feel the pixie-dust tickling my toes. What I claim about him is true about me. So what is it that I always do?

Um, I always think he should be able to read my mind and heart (which I’m hiding) and take responsibility for my happiness (which I’m not doing, at the moment.)

Repeat arguments and complaints are a rawkin’ festival of Biblical-sized BS.

I pull out my notebook to do some Byron Katie exercises called, “The Work.” Arguments are an opportunity to reclaim the peace I’ve lost. The brawl I take up with “them,” is raging within moi. I want to get out of this lonely, dark place where I’m believing things that my soul would never believe about me. Or Bill. It’s a scary spot to visit because the spirit and strength of me isn’t there.

The lights are on, but the feelings aren’t allowed home.

Like children, our emotions will clamor for attention, respect, validation and love, in the most annoying ways…and people. They’ll go viral in the movie all around us – in the characters who look at us sideways. Criticize us. Call us fat. Say goodbye.

What are your ongoing complaints about others?

With accusations and denial, we inadvertently step away from our soul’s wise influence. We’re “beside ourselves” because we’re not lined up with our soul’s stream of energy.

Fortunately, our emotions are a mayday call from the soul that we’re out of synch. We’re suffering because of what we choose to believe. We need to feng shui our feelings and shift our thinking.

We can find the truth about ourselves by looking at where our fingers are pointing. Can we take the advice we hoist on others? Bless the mirror that calls us names? Make amends with our own self-cruelty?

Allow your war-torn fears to come back home.

Our greatest awesomeness is fearlessly guiding us. She has full view of the meaning behind the BS mess. She beams and calls us to the highroad. She’s unshaken by whatever ugliness we barrel into. We’re swept back into her arms when we stop battling ourselves. We plug in and power-back-on when we forgive our forgetfulness.

Beauty is not in the way we look, but in the way we love.

Take a deep breathe. Draw a quiet lavender bath. Settle your soul. Whisper sweet nothings to the Love you cast out. Your own. Woo and romance her humanness back toward the light. She will melt into tears each time you honor her broken, flawed wholeness.

When I welcome myself with open arms, I become a beautiful sight.



Wishing you soft & tender love bombs,



Magnet 47

9 responses to “Transforming Self-betrayal in the Mirror of our Relationships

  1. Thank you Julie!
    “When I welcome myself with open arms, I become a beautiful sight” – what a skilled writer you are! You have wonderfully expressed, in poetic, easy to digest language, complex ideas and deep philosophical truths. Thank you!!!! I need to re-read this one a couple of times.

  2. How brave and strong and beautiful you are !

  3. Julie Genovese

    Trish you are the best & most devoted commenter ever. You know I love you to pieces and thank you right down to my tippy toes. THANK YOU!!!!

    Silvia, I so appreciate the wonderful cheer! And what you say about me is a truth about you ~ you are brave strong and beautiful! Thank you for leaving your light and love here <3

  4. Julie, it is helpful to me as well as many others, I’m sure, that you spell out the details of your process, from the words that first brought up your feelings, then to your shame around them and to scrambling to blame your husband. It really puts a picture on what happens to so many people. How wonderful (and brave) that you write about this experience in such detail! Thank you!

  5. Bravo Jules! You hit another powerful issue again. So much of what make us unhappy is our judging of ourselves and of others, as well as our judging of our judging, when we catch ourselves doing it! (if you follow)

    This comes up all of the time in my work and in my relationship with myself and others. We all need to show compassion to ourselves and others and silence our judgmental voice. We need to reflect on ourselves and others with curiosity and compassion.

    Love you, Lis

  6. Hi Julie, you hit it right on the head. It’s amazing how fast our brains go into overdrive running these crazy senarios in our head. I wonder if men think the same way? How often have I told my husband in the heat of the moment “don’t touch me!” and then when he does not come to cuddle me within the next few mins I get angry that he does not realise I just meant “Don’t touch me for that one second” :) Luckily I have learned from that, and now even more from your post.

    It is so important to actually think through our crazy mental processes to discover what the problem really is – lack of self love. Then express our complicated behaviour to the loved one that we have upset, by what they consider strange behaviour. No wonder Bill went to bed angry and confused :) How many times did my husband do that :/

    So you had me on the edge of the chair! Did you ever talk through with Bill the next day, the contents of your post (realisation)? What was his reaction? Ooh, I love a good story :)

    So when you coming to Iceland honey?

    LoVe Pauline

  7. xoxox Sending you big hugs and some spray for the mirror. After you wipe it off, I’ll hand you my brightest red lipstick so you can plaster that surface with as many kisses as you need to make sure you know you are loved, exactly as you are…all unblowdriedallofyou!!!! xoxoxo S

    • Julie Genovese

      All unblowdriedallofyou!!! hee hee hee! Thanks for that lipstick and kisses image, I’ll totally take it! Many thanks for your bright love & laughter XXXXXxxxxx

  8. Pingback: Hand painted watercolor cards | Nothing Short Of Joy

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