THESE RED FLAGS
When you didn’t have enough care, you tend to accept the crumbs of casual attention. When you didn’t have enough of the right people nurturing your growth and encouraging you to try, you may have looked to ungrounded people to create and exalt into idealized figures. When you didn’t have real love and healthy boundaries to help you feel safe, you made poor choices which led you towards settling for less or made decisions which ushered you into hazardous places. When you didn’t have reliability, consistency, and a foundation built on living with truth, you missed the red flags of dishonesty that were planted knee-deep in terrains requiring authenticity.
When you didn’t have secure parental bonds or an early life of stability lined with trust, and then later in life you noticed these red flags, you likely believed they were subject to change or would eventually disappear or even transform into banners of integrity. You thought they could shift and switch their color and fly happily ever after, these red flags flown by those who fear intimacy; these flags hoisted by the ones with their own trauma issues, too; flags which represent the lack of the very same things you needed to recognize your individual worth.
These red flags waving somewhere in the distance, then blatantly raised were warning you not to come any closer. And these flags they held were flaring red yet overlooked early on are now firmly staked into the ground you share, and somehow have become a declaration of their unwillingness to commit to a clear and honest connection.
When you didn’t have what you needed to advise and offer guidance, you might feel like you’re on your own at learning how to avoid harmful, dangerous or toxic dynamics. Red flags show up almost right away, and because you became inured to tolerating less than what’s right for you — all the strength, confidence, and understanding that’s crucial to heed them couldn’t be applied. But just because you didn’t notice any ominous signs back then, it doesn’t mean you’ve made a pledge to put up and remain in imbalanced friendships, ill-behaved relationships, half-love marriages, disjointed partnerships, broken-boundaried family systems, or pernicious, demeaning situations.
When you didn’t have enough of the goodness you needed, you tend to feel like you’re not enough. Not enough to pursue what’s kind to you. Not enough to wait and see and take your time and hold out for what’s best for you, instead you run the risk of roaming far away from what you should have.
Rippling like signals in the wind, flags are red for everyone to see the threat ahead. And if it feels like its too late, it’s really not. It’s not too late to take whatever room you need to repair the rips and readjust the way you view and esteem your one and only heart, and use the space to practice and communicate the many sound, prioritizing ways you should be respected, loved and cared for.
The image is a poem from the book OPEN PASSAGES written by Susan Frybort. The poem reads:
Know you should be loved. You should be held safe and warm inside an invested and caring heart. You should walk away from destructive and depleting forces and walk alongside calming streams. Know your dignity is deserving of the loving places you belong. Know that you matter and should be loved.