Busted again. I can’t seem to get away with anything these days, and I used to be so great at it too. I, with best intentions, decided to start dating again as a means to a happy ending after a recent break-up. I wanted to feel better, my plan worked for a while. My ego had suffered a violent hit—one that knocked the wind out of me– when my ex-partner left. I blamed myself for everything that went wrong, my self -esteem plummeted—the fracture throbbed. I needed a fix. Dating seemed like a non-destructive antidote, it involved other people, conversation, and attention–the perfect distraction.
I blogged about dating in my recent post, “Don’t Mate Your Friet’s.” I talked about dating friends, however I didn’t divulge too much personal information other than to say I was seeing a few people, nothing serious. What I failed to mention was the amount of chaos I was creating for myself by trying to date more than one woman at a time. I thought I was doing this because I was confused about the way I was feeling about one in particular. I decided that the best way to sort through my center was to add more options. How clever.
I couldn’t make up my mind about anyone or anything, I felt fickle all over. I thought sampling would be a great way to see who and what I wanted. However, all this did was give me something to obsess over; the good thing about it is that it was working, I was no longer focused on my ex—the drug of my choice was soothing my trauma. But it wouldn’t last.
I’m more aware of myself now–my patterns and motives, my denial and why I operate the way I do—I can’t get away with as much anymore. I caught myself thinking about how one of the women reminded me of my ex-husband (from two relationships ago.) I didn’t label this as a good or bad thing that she (for me) is like him. I just saw it as information, a sign of sorts.
My ex husband loved me in the most unconditional way—to the end and beyond– even though I drove him bananas, and didn’t always treat him with high regard. He was committed to me, and to our family. I don’t believe he would’ve ever left, he was safe and easy; his love and support for me was solid. Just saying this makes me sad because it wasn’t enough for me, and I saw this same kind of wonderful person in one of the women I was seeing.
I wanted to follow my instincts– what felt comfortable and natural to me; I saw in her a sweet and soft place to rest my head, she could save me. But I paused and listened closer. My internal barometer is a sneaky, fearful liar, one that requires my complete focus and attention to read with precision. My feelings for her were based on how she treated me, or what she did for me as opposed to how I actually felt about her.
This conclusion didn’t make me feel good about my character, dating her felt like the path of least resistance, and that’s not what I want for my life, and she deserves more. I don’t want to walk down the same trail twice, I want to be divergent, break away from my ideas about who I think I am, and become something better. And to do this I know that I have to get comfortable with being unsettled–to feel alone, scared and vulnerable; and find a way to make myself at home in that spot, build a nest, set-up shop, and be alone in my own silk-skin.
This means that I had to break-up with dating not just her, but with the others as well. Dating was nothing more than a thick bandage on my exposed wound, the blood and pus spilled over, contaminating those around me, and debris and dirt could still get in leaving my soul open to infection. I have to scar over with help from my Higher Power, through thick layers of my own tissue and flesh before I’m completely healed. Using other people in the process is a temporary solution to an on-going problem. I’ll miss out on the ability to recover from the inside out, the way a deep sore has to mend, and this is what I want for my life—a rich, and complex weaving of The Universe at work, filling in my holes and lacerations with love and acceptance.
I’m getting better with each day. Seeing other people did serve a purpose, it got me through the winter of my sadness, but now my inner light is working to warm me, I think I can take it from here. Dating helped me see just how valuable of a person I am, and reminded me that I’m lovable, and that I don’t have to be alone, I have choices.
I’m a treasure, she, my ex just couldn’t hold out for my brilliance, however that doesn’t mean that it’s not there. It takes a lot of work to find and create something valuable; it doesn’t come without appreciation, and I’m working on building the knowledge of my worth. It’s sad that she had to leave before the miracle, but I haven’t.
By the grace of God, I am going to learn how to be ok on my own. I want to want someone, not need another person before I’m able to be with anyone else again. This is going to be challenging for me. I’m anxious, frightened, and uncertain, but I’m hopeful. There are so many things in my life that I haven’t allowed myself to accomplish out of fear that I’m not enough. I’m done. This isn’t my excuse anymore, and I’m not going to be distracted from my personal progress by my own insanity.
My ego is right-sized again. I no longer blame myself for everything that went wrong in the relationship, however I did learn some things about myself. I don’t feel as broken and in need of something or someone else to cure my aching heart. I ‘m still exposed and tender but I accept that this is where I am and where I’m meant to be, great things are happening here. My best intentions are starting to reveal themselves.
With much love and humility, SJ