We’ve had an up and down relationship over the years, but I’ve recently reached a point in my life where I really felt like re-connecting with you.
I know that mostly I’ve tried hard to ignore you, drowning you out with a million distractions. Every time you turned up I freaked out and ran the other way. And when you started talking to me through my body – well! That was the last straw! I wanted nothing more to do with you. I shut you down and that was that – you left me in peace, with the numbness that I was seeking so that I didn’t have to even look in your direction. You were asking me to commit to being with you, and to be who I was, and I wasn’t ready to give up the life I’d created. I’ve always known you were there, waiting for me to connect to you, but I liked to take my time, flirting with many versions of you that weren’t really it. Each time they disappointed me.
Like the time I dated RightandWrong, thinking that was you. He made things easy for me, and we hit it off immediately. All I had to do was revert back to the list of pictures he had of what was right and what was wrong, to make all my decisions on. I thought I loved being with him, but actually what I loved is the recognition I got from the right, and the dramas of the wrong. I started to realise that I didn’t have any sense of what I felt was true, and nothing true to say, just a polite and socially acceptable version of myself, based on that list. And when I got things wrong, I’d feel bad about myself, and treat others with the same harsh judgment. RightandWrong was really bad for my self-esteem, so eventually I had to leave.
Then there was the time I dated Loyalty. Loyalty was awesome to start with. I had such a massive crush on him because he made me feel like a rockstar and look SO good, and I got loads of recognition for being with him. I made myself into the perfect friend, daughter, sister, worker… whatever role I could get my hands on, I was determined to show my Loyalty off to others. And the best bit was, they loved him too! Loyalty and I would do anything for them – stressing ourselves out over the slightest of things, being all things to all people, all of the time. But living as fake superheroes eventually took its toll. We didn’t have time for ourselves anymore, and we realised that being all things to all people, to the detriment of ourselves, just wasn’t it. So … again, it didn’t last.
After Loyalty, I went out with Fence-Sitter. Now this one I thought would be different. He had potential. No arguments, super chilled, seeing all things from all sides. Except… his favourite colour was fence-colour beige, and he didn’t want to go anywhere. I mean anywhere, ever. He was kind of obsessed with hanging out on the fence, and in the end all we did was just sit on the fence, watching and waiting for things to be safe enough to climb down. But it turns out that by sitting there on the fence, the chaos around us didn’t just continue to happen, it got worse. Just by us not doing anything, not acting. It didn’t matter which side of the fence we were looking over, things down there were not good – and observing them wasn’t going to make them go away. Fence-Sitter gave me security, and it felt very comfortable, but we were totally cut off from everyone else, in our own world of oblivion.
I started to feel that none of these versions was right for me, but in my anxiety I turned further away from you and as a last resort I went out with Numbness. With him I felt… nothing at all. While my life was a bit bland, it didn’t really matter because I had the perfect excuse to not do anything, to not take action, because I couldn’t even feel what was going on around me. Then something happened. Bullying took place right in front of my eyes, and I didn’t even want to see it or feel it. I froze, and found myself totally unwilling and seemingly unable to act. It was devastating as I could feel how my doing nothing affected everyone, those that I loved, and allowed the abuse to continue.
So after all that I’m taking a break. I decided not to date any more versions of you, and to allow you back into my life, to feel what it would be like to be just with you. With the space, I’m starting to let go of relying on my head and on others to tell me who I am.
When I started to do things like the Gentle Breath Meditation™ to connect to and feel more deeply who I am, underneath all of the ‘stuff’ – the ideas we take on, the things we think we’re supposed to be – I started to feel more space. And in that space you appeared, tentatively at first, and then more and more often. You started to show me who I am: nothing of what I thought I was supposed to be, and everything about who I actually am but have fought against for so long.
I’ve worn myself out with fighting you, and with that I’m more open to seeing you for who you really are, and not who I thought you were.
I love the way you’re just not personal, and don’t take anything personally. You show me who I am, without hiding anything, and without criticism, and give me the space to be and love me. You have offered me countless opportunities to speak up, most of which I’ve rejected, out of an invented fear that the world will go nuts if I dare speak in your name. But no matter how many detours I take, however long I delay, you’re always there, waiting for me to reconnect to you in my own time.
Your steadiness and patience is inspirational, your love, endless. I’ve realised that none of my other relationships can give me anything that I’m not already, and that none of them will have any foundation unless I’m prepared to build a true relationship with you first: the real Me.
High five, Me – you’re pretty awesome.
By B, UK