Third in a series related to Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) based on the impairments and personality traits listed in the DSM5.
Another Sad Story
Back to my case study of my “self”. I had continuous feelings of emptiness as far back as I can remember into childhood. I remember as an eight-year-old one day stopping at the Catholic Church (where I was an altar boy) and just sitting in the pew staring at the flame that indicated that Christ was present just so I would not feel alone. However, I was different than most people with feelings of emptiness; I was also able to feel extreme anxiety and anger. It would switch from one to the other, feelings of emptiness followed by feelings of anxiety. Therefore I had one foot on the path of anxiety and suicidal thoughts but the other on the path of hopelessness.
To resolve my problem, I shut down my own wants and needs and stubbornly plowed forward trying to cure and heal anyone I could get my hands on. I started and chaired numerous charities and missionary endeavours. I ran prayer groups, bible studies, and counselling services at the churches I attended. I chaired various professional organizations, ran workshops, and was a guest speaker on the topics of parenting and integration of people with special needs. I never felt any real personal satisfaction for doing any good for anybody. But I did escape the empty feeling by staying busy.
Surprise, surprise, I finally became exhausted and crashed. Just at this crisis point in my life, my wife of thirty-three years filed for divorce, and then the worst possible feeling engulfed me. I was now completely alone*(aside: I told you this was a sad story, but take heart. It all turns out for good in the end and the hero lives happily ever after). Even though I had suicidal thoughts, I never really took any steps to actually doing away with myself. I just engaged in dangerous risk taking activities, grinned and bared, and waited for the axe to fall.
(From my book, The Room)
Lies so sweet settle like snowflakes,
Covering passion with a blanket of white,
And the cold season begins again,
Without warmth, without vitality.
It is a time to seek a warm fire,
And snuggle into the folds of a hot body,
And enter into the world of sweet dreams.
But sometimes they are just dreams;
Sometimes there is no warm fire;
Sometimes there is no hot body;
And you find you are alone,
Buried under the cold blanket of white,
And you feel the loneliness,
And you face the cold reality,
That in this life you are always truly alone,
Alone with your own thoughts,
Alone with your own feelings,
Feelings that can never be shared
With someone who says they love you,
Because they are beyond the grasp of words.
And then, inevitably, you have to learn
To wrap yourself up with yourself,
And dance to the beat of your own heart,
And seek the goodness of your own soul.
Then at night you can collapse
Into your own snug bed,
And say it is okay to be alone,
Because you can always sleep with yourself,
And know there is a spirit of love
That is always there in the bed beside you.
The Silver Lining
The silver lining is simply coming to the point in our lives when we realize that we are not, nor ever have been, truly empty. This feeling is all in our mind. It is like there is a veil before our eyes that prevents us from seeing our inner self that carries the essence of the entire universe right inside this little body of ours. The solution is so simple. We remove the veil.
But we can also be thankful for those feelings because our attempts to fill that mind-based emptiness with activities and maladaptive behaviours just contributes more and more to our feelings of emptiness. It forces us to dig deeper and deeper in search of the only thing that can really fill the emptiness. In order to survive we eventually come to the realization that we are surrounded by love; it flows in us and through us. We come to that precious moment where we feel love for our self by our Self, and we begin to seek and find connection with others who have also awakened so that we can expand together with the source of life and love.
My five suggestions for borderliners:
We fill up the emptiness, and the way to do that is to simply remove the veil that is keeping us from seeing that we have a higher self. We simply shut down the noise of our wounded ego, the “woe is me” voice, and open our mind to the always present presence and power of out higher self. We will always feel a sense of joy when our higher self sends an impulse through the pleasure centers of our brain.
We hold this feeling of joy and store it in our memory banks. Then throughout the day, whenever we feel empty and alone we stop, smile* (aside: a smile is magic. It automatically takes us out of the sympathetic system and into the parasympathetic system, so hold that smile.) and remember this feeling.
We practice self-awareness and self-love each day through meditation. We find a quiet spot and wait for the emptiness to be replaced by a sense of this presence. Then for these fifteen minutes we concentrate on this presence and let our HS bathe our mind with pure, clean, powerful love.
We make a commitment to living and connecting with others. We plan at least one outing a week where we will come into sincere contact with warm caring awakened people. This may be just an evening out with a friend or we become part of a group. For me it is my Just for Joy Choir or my Ocean Waves Square Dance Club. While on these excursions we make a commitment to talk to at least one person in a meaningful way.
We let others love us and fill up that empty space in us with their love. We can reconnect with family and friends, letting them know that we have had this problem and that we want to share our relationship with them on a higher level. If we have a life partner we invite them into this journey on seeking a more intense and fulfilling love. And we let them demonstrate this love, accept it, and let it flow through our HS until we feel that warm inner glow that comes with that beautiful feeling of being loved.