I’ve been working on cracking this Pattern for years. It has been like looking at something far away through broken glasses: you know something is there but you aren’t sure what it is and so you stare at it so long you lose sight of it.
Patterns are like that, I know they exist but cannot figure out the meaning and even then, the meaning I assign to it can often be wrong.
For example, there is a Pattern to solving Rubik’s Cube and the thinking goes: “I know there is a Pattern but I just cannot figure it out. Once I discover the Pattern I can figure out the solution…Huh. I wonder if the Pattern is found hidden up this girl’s skirt?”
There is the © Factor too.
All too often loving © is like looking into the sun: when I close my eyes all I see is the shadow burned onto my retinas.
I love that woman still…and still, after all this time, all the hurt, loneliness, revenging, interlopers, rumormongering, silence, self-righteousness, anger, and harassment, my heart skips a beat and I smile thinking on her.
There is a great deal of life to love on when I think on © and our life together.
…smh. I laugh and cry at the same time writing that sentence.
I know © loved me the best she could, just as I loved her.
However, to love her completely means to love her Ugly too, not just what is convenient or pretty. And like me, and like all humans, © has her Ugly but through good times and sickness and health, I would have walked with her and held her hand. I love her now even as she defines Our life together with anger.
I had my season of Ugly, it is her turn.
However, loving © is not the solution…it isn’t the problem either.
How I feel about © or think of her is irrelevant. My passions for her certainly didn’t deter me from my Pattern of betrayal over three years…instead my Pride and immaturity used my passion for her to justify an Ugly Pattern. Like much of this experience, The Way of the Thing is not the Thing.
However, as I sat with Dr. Deb Friday afternoon everything comes into focus.
I saw the Pattern as it is, as opposed to what I thought it was. By the time I walked out of her office, and to my car on a lovely Friday afternoon, I was free of my promises, obligations, and responsibilities to ©.
I can accept the radical truth: I care deeply, passionately, enthusiastically, unconditionally for © but her healing, well-being, needs, and wants are not my responsibility.
As such, by the time Friday evening rolled around, as I stood on the dock, contemplating the life of a stone, I radically accepted my life and relationship as it is, and owned the reality: there is no future with ©.
…and at that moment I loved ©, and myself, more honestly and openly than at any other moment in our lives together.
And at that moment, standing on the dock, reflecting on the truths discovered on that day, I decided to go listen to a musician I love, in the town where I live, with someone that has stood with me and never judged me, C, or Our situation. She encourages me to keep loving © and embrace vulnerability.
At that moment, I loved myself enough to give myself permission to move on.
So, Friday night, as I sat and watched the angry spittle spraying from Patsy III’s mouth, as he got in my face and pointing his tiny fingers in my date’s face, I witnessed my relationship with © from the outside. I didn’t see him or hear him, I simply saw the Pattern…and accepted it for what it represents.
I didn’t respond to his provoking because I recognized that this is ©’s Pattern…and probably Patsy III’s Pattern and in March it was Patsy II’s Pattern and, unfortunately, it continues to be Warren’s Pattern.
And once it was my Pattern. Everyone wants to be ©’s Hero and there are reasons for that Pattern that I can only guess about.
I know now that ©’s behavior on Friday night wasn’t about me, or about me being on a date. Her acting out is the same as my acting out, just manifesting differently. Her behavior is about her Pattern and, at this moment her Pattern is about hiding and avoidance and so her life Pattern repeats.
We are the same.
However, once the Pattern is seen it cannot be unseen.
I regret my betrayal of ©, I mourn what it cost, but I cannot unring the bell. I can only lean forward now, and if © ever stops maybe she will see through her Pattern and finally see me for what I am and not what she thinks – or feels – I am. Maybe she will do as I did yesterday, and thumb through seven years of pictures together and laugh and remember as I tried to sort out what was real and what was simply the Pattern.
Only by adopting a radical acceptance of my life and Our life together will I be able to break the Pattern. Only by loving my Ugly and not avoiding it will I find self-acceptance and freedom. Because now that I know, I have a choice too.
I’m going to create a more mature and healthier Pattern and a new, richer life. This Pattern will be full of mistakes, decisions, and errors too…but I can only have something different if I do something different. It can only be different if I bring a radical acceptance to the Pattern as it exists instead of running from it.
One day at a time.