What Can You Do When You Are An Unlovable Cactus?

Human Beings are an intricate work of art. We’ve got our bodies with all its capillaries, veins, arteries, organs, skin, bones, blood, etc. If we look closer still, we have more to see on the molecular level such as cells and mitochondria. Then we have our authentic selves, our spirit which is eternal. Lastly, we have our minds or souls or psyche or egos whichever you prefer to call it in which we have our memories and our experiences and knowledge which we have learned and stored in our brain and the conclusions we have come to base on those experiences. These conclusions are not necessarily right or wrong neither are they necessarily the only conclusions we could have come to. For instance, let’s say when you were a child and you started to make friends you found that there were more times that children were antagonistic toward you then there were children who were friendly towards you. At first this bothers you just a little but then as the next child sticks his tongue out at you and the next child declares you have the cooties you begin to shut down and close yourself off. You start to suspect that most kids don’t really like you. You even start to suspect your friends might not really like you all that much. This then gets confirmed when one of your friends snaps at you or cancels a play date. You then begin to mistrust the other kids and you stop making an effort to try and make friends because you fear rejection. You grow quieter and you avoid social situations. It is as if each situation which caused you to feel rejected or unliked or unloved created a long sharp cactus needle that now sticks through various parts of your body and pierces your heart. Every time someone tries to get close to you, they can’t because you are too sensitive to the pain it causes when they inadvertently touch one of those needles. They may say or do something which triggers a memory that causes you to re-live the hurt you felt.
However, it doesn’t have to be that way. You could have reacted differently to those early experiences. Maybe instead you came to different conclusions. Perhaps you said to yourself, “Some people don’t like me but some people do.” Or maybe you thought, “What’s his problem? I don’t need him, I’ve got better friends!” Or you might have thought maybe the person is sad and needs cheering up or maybe that they just needed some space. By choosing to react in a different way, you change your life’s journey. You could have made choices that led you onto path A, B, C …or Z. Your personality would have therefore developed into personality A, B, C … or Z.
If you are reading this, you are most likely already an adult. You already have some cactus needles (as we all do). This is because you have held onto and protected and nourished emotional hurts for years. How do you now proceed? If you continue to protect yourself by avoiding situations that cause you pain, life will continue to be difficult. How do we remove these needles? How do we let go of all accumulated hurts? The answer is simple but not always easy. Some people will find this easier than others. Some needles are tougher to pull out than others as they are more tightly lodged in. The first thing is to stop accumulating new hurts. It is much easier to prevent getting pierced by a cactus needle than it is to remove one. The moment you find yourself reacting negatively in a situation…the very first moment…when your feel your heart clench, allow yourself to relax and observe rather than react. Sometimes, it may be necessary if possible to take yourself out of the situation so that you can calm down. If this is not possible or a good idea, than simply allow yourself to let go and observe from a seat of non-judgment. The moment you find yourself thinking this is not fair, you are passing judgment. Sometimes, something is unfair due to ignorance or naiveté and it is not worth allowing it to affect you. If you find that you are reacting in a way that surprises you because you don’t understand why you are finding it upsetting, that is the time to do some inner searching and to go through past memories to find the source of the pain. What stored memory is triggering it? Maybe there is more than one! Once you have located the source, focus on it logically. Is it really necessary to feel this much pain based on this memory? It may have been a small insignificant thing. Can you release it now? Maybe it will help to laugh at it and see how small it was. Maybe you could write it down on a piece of paper and burn it. Perhaps you can simply see another side to the story. Can you find something about the experience that you can be grateful about? Maybe someone who hurt you was having issues of their own. Forgiveness goes a long way to freeing you of your prickly issues.
Every one of us is an intuitive person whether you are young, old, male or female. Except for God, nobody knows you better than yourself so it is up to you to decide how to remove these painful issues. The more cactus needles you remove, the better chance you have of having healthy relationships.

This post was inspired by the poem The Cactus Tree by Sonya A. Song aka Cubby of http://www.reowr.wordpress.com and by the book The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer. You can find Sonya’s poem here.


One thought on “What Can You Do When You Are An Unlovable Cactus?

  1. Ah, so true that relationships have a better chance of being healthy when one is de-prickled. Like you said, it is simple but not easy to step back from a prickly situation instead of automatically reacting to it. There is much wisdom in your words. Love the post and I’m happy my poem could serve to inspire in some way 🙂

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