A few weeks ago I watched Annie Hall, the Woody Allen movie starring Diane Keaton and Woody Allen. I hadn't seen it in over 30 years and probably laughed harder and appreciated it more this time around.
The movie essentially is a study in Alvy Singer's (played by Woody Allen) rejection of the women in his life because he can't possibly fathom why they would want to be with him let alone love him.
He even likens it to the old Groucho Marx joke, " I don't care to belong to any club that will have me as a member."
In the film, we watch as Alvy systematically sabotages his relationships only to then regret it after they're over.
But then something weird happened. I actually started to see this same pattern playing out with people I knew in my everyday life. Twice I witnessed one partner goading the other, speaking harshly almost like the desire was to reject, push away, or create cause for a break up.
And that got me thinking. Is this problem really pervasive? Because obviously it wasn't just a pretense in a movie. It was happening in real life, right in front of me.
If it is pervasive, then what's at the root of it? Why would someone intentionally sabotage a relationship?
The answer that came to me was deservability.
If we don't think we deserve love then we want to reject it.
I know this situation well. In college I was in a long term relationship with a man who I deeply loved. More importantly, he genuinely loved me. But I wasn't ready to receive that love. I didn't think I was worthy of it, that I deserved it. I was fat, directionless, semi-unmotivated, passive aggressive. Why, would a handsome, smart, ambitious guy like that really love me?
So you know the story. We broke up, went our separate ways, created lives, etc. It took me at least a decade to realize that he loved me at a level that I simply could not receive.
His capacity to love me was larger than my ability to accept it.
If you're reading this and thinking- I might be pushing away my partner because I don't think I deserve to be loved. Maybe it's time to change.
The question to ask then is: "Are you ready to receive love?"
Then it's time to claim it definitively. Yes, I deserve to be loved. As much as I love others, I deserve to be loved.
There's an affirmation Louise Hay shares where she compares being loved to breathing. She says:
"We do not have to earn the right to breathe. It is God given because we exist. So too is the right to love and be loved. The fact that we exist means that we are worth loving."
So, what do you think? Just because the club wants you is that a bad thing or could it be the opportunity you've been waiting for all this time?
Can you relate to this? Have you ever pushed love away?
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