This is a book for those diagnosed with BPD to give them knowledge and hope.You can do it!
As a child we need to be taught about certain things that can harm our personal well-being. As infants, our primary caregivers, usually mother and father, are who we look to for that care, security, protection, and eventually teachings of how to avoid those things that will eventually lead to harm. There is a fact in life that we cannot deny: no two experiences are the exact same for one individual as they are for another.
We all have differing physical characteristics based on genetics and the conditions of development in the womb. We process things differently as infants. We learn and grow at different rates. Eventually we have different friends and peer groups. We start to have different experiences. Our perceptions of things differ. This includes cases where siblings grow up in the same home.
What is presumably bad and life-changing for one individual is not going to be perceived the same exact way another human being perceives it to be. We are creatures that react on our own experiences and sometimes we cannot understand, in completeness, what another has gone through. If we have been through something traumatizing we are not going to understand when another person goes though something we think is trivial when they are breaking down over it. In turn, they will not be able to understand, in completeness, why we are breaking down over our own situations. In essence our world does revolve around us. Our being is limited within the framework of our own human bodies to what our perception is of good and bad. Our mind can be influenced by culture, society, and dynamics within the family unit, however, our perception of that influence is limited by the confines of our brain.
The World Revolves Around the Sun
We often hear others tell us that the world doesn’t revolve around us. That phrase is invalid because when our eyes are open and we are conscious the world indeed does revolve around us: Our World. The confusion here is within our perception of our interactions. If Our World revolves solely around ourselves where do others fit into the world? Simply put; Their World revolves around them. Where the problem arises is when we try to fit into another person’s world before we fit into Our World.
There is no denying human beings are social creations. We interact and depend on one another to sustain life on this planet. So if we are social and we depend on one another why can’t I fit into Their World? Again, we need to fit into Our World first. But isn’t that selfish? It is actually the exact opposite. If we concentrate on ourselves and depend on ourselves, first and foremost, to supply what we need on a daily basis, we will be able to help others in a more substantial way when we love and care for ourselves. That developed love naturally begins to radiate outwardly into your family, then community, state, so on and so forth with no effort by you. The effort is in the beginning when you start to love yourself which includes giving up judgment and showing compassion to yourself among other things.
You are the only person who must be around you every second of every hour of every day. Your mother, father, husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, sister, brother, friend, neighbor, coworker, etc. can leave, at any point in time, out of Your World for any number of reasons. This is a fact of life that needs to be known and accepted by the BPD patient as a normal process of life. Our emotions are that extreme that if we do not get a handle on this fact we will drive ourselves insane just hurting, internalizing the reason for their departure, compounding our feelings of abandonment, blame, guilt, etc..
I turn to the Holy Bible for the answer to this. I love the lessons taught in all the books of the bible. One of my favorite books is the Book of James. In it addresses something that is taught throughout Scripture: “If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing right” (James 2:8).
Really read that simple passage and digest what that means. Does it say to love your neighbor before you love yourself? It says “as” as in “in the same manner” as you love yourself. Many of us try to do right by serving others in love and kindness before we look after our own personal well-being and that is not what was intended at all for creation. We need to learn how to love ourselves before we will know how to love others. This is huge for the BPD patient. Those with BPD tend towards the opposite of love. If we are feeding ourselves with the opposite of love then how will we know how to actually have love for others? How can we love someone fully if we are constantly thinking about negative things, having negative feelings about ourselves in our hearts, speaking negative things both to ourselves and outwardly to other human beings, and behaving in a manner which compromises our personal well-being on all levels of life? The answer is simple; you can’t. What we think is love is backwards because our focus is always on others instead of thinking about what we do, how we feel about ourselves, and how we change our self-perception if it is not loving or kind. This backwards love is termed co-dependency and leads down a very negative lonely road.
The good news and challenge for the BPD patient is life handed us some things that we need to learn how to work with without compromising ourselves, hurting others, or ending the challenge early by self harm. Remember A WARRIOR, accepts the challenge and moves forward to conquer. We never give up!