I had hoped someone would love me enough to see me while knowing my struggles were never about them. My hope contained both a selfish expectation and deep longing.
I wrote as a plea to be heard. By someone.
By her…but in the quiet of the night, when love and grief can no longer be shouted down I hear the repressed whispers of knowledge reminding me the woman I long to hear from will never return.
If I had experienced different things, I would have different things to say.
Mark Nepo The Book of Awakening
It's been a year since I read this meditation in Mark Nepo's book, The Book of Awakening. I realize as I reread this post I wrote a year ago today that so much has changed and so much hasn't. More work to be done but thought I should drop in a marker for next year.
I heard a woman say, "Change happens one funeral at a time." At the time we were talking politics. However, in the years since I heard her say that I've come to appreciate this truth applies to a host of other places in my life as well. Fighting change invites suffering. Death is inevitable. The only way to grow and be healthy is to let go of the things that are dying. Everything to its season. As such, here is a brief summary of the deaths in my life that have created so much change:
- The Knight died: I cannot go back to playing the Hero in my relationships. I'm seeking a partner that is willing to see my attempts at playing Hero as they are, and love me enough to tell me I am enough as I am and don't need to prove anything. There have been moments where I have slipped into that role but I say what that looked like over the last year here, here, and here. I don't want to be that guy.
- The Queen died: A friend said to me this morning, she isn't a Queen, she is a spoiled little girl. Ouch. I'm not sure I completely agree but I get her point. I'm seeking a Partner with enough self-awareness not to feed on my Patterns so as to prop themselves up upon a Throne of Appearances to avoid their own Uglies.
- My integrity died: I killed it the moment I started lying and keeping secrets.
- My Heart died: No two love experiences are the same. I can love again. I can love as deeply, passionately, thoroughly, but I will never love anyone the way I loved C. That is probably for the best. Looking at the patterns it was an immature love and I can only change my part of the pattern.
- The Mythology died: I really believed, in my deepest, quietest places, I would share the last half of my life with her watching her paint and having her dance with me. We would own an old building in some quiet Mississippi River town, a studio and gallery on the first floor, our flat upstairs, and a motorhome parked out back allowing us to escape the winters. That death has been a hard felt one.
- The Relationship died: There wasn't just mythology, there was reality too. I believed, perhaps out of naivety, that as long as we were together we could overcome anything including the bad and Uglies...but it takes two and she isn't interested.
- Shame died: Either the shame died or I would die. Although, it's kind of a walking dead. I just have to make sure I don't let bite me again.
- My expectations
- My romanticism
- My identity
- Shallow Friendships
SIDEBAR: My perspective on grieving has changed. I thought it was about surviving the pain. It isn't. It is about sussing the meaningful lessons from mythology. More on this later. Grief, the Law of Unintended Consequences, Karma, Pain, Suffering, and Loss are all Friends if I listen and be willing to let die the things that need to die and embrace the change.As such, I thought I'd make a list of what did these deaths change for me and bring about?
- Truer friendships and deeper connections
- Travel opportunities taking me 75,000 miles across 16 states over 12 months
- A reconnection with my writing and creativity
- Freedom from shame, secrets, and lies
- The reawakening of personal power and self-respect
- I bought a convertible
- My personal finances are much improved now that I'm not supporting C and her twins
- Pain that pushed me to listen and seek healing and counseling
- A growing understanding of people and love
- I'm less judgemental and more accepting of others and their Uglies
- I bought a sailboard
- I have better boundaries
- I've deep dived into vulnerability and it's importance in my life
- Thicker skin and a better ability to separate the meaningful criticisms from the noise of self-righteous flying monkeys and trolls
- Improved perspective on myself emotionally, spiritually, sexually, and mentally
- She found a Partner she loves, loves her and didn't cheat on her
- She has a relationship that is meeting her needs (else why be in it?)
- She doesn't have to struggle with the doubt, confusion, and anxiety of sussing out the intentions, meaning, and truths from our relationship that I see so many couples resentfully and bitterly trudging
Pursuer-Distancer Dynamic. It’s unhealthy. Read more at the link[...]via 36: Cleaning out the wound
For nearly a year I gave away my Power and self-respect to Silence. I know what needs to be done.
Maybe I always knew but lacked the willingness to face it.