I’m not sure how many of you have ever tried to “have a relationship with yourself,” but if you have (and maybe even if you haven’t) maybe you can relate to the awkward tension that comes from wanting love from another even though you know you don’t need it to be happy… or even to feel loved.
It is absolutely 100% true that each of us has every single thing we need to be happy (peaceful, enlightened, fulfilled, whatever you want to call it) within us. We need not look outside ourselves for attention, affection, appreciation, or acceptance. At any given moment we can get any of our heart’s needs met by turning our attention within. It’s true. And over the course of the last three months or so I’ve become quite adept at doing so. Lately even when I have wanted to be grumpy I haven’t been able to get there or stay there. My habits have changed enough that when I start to get low the autopilot program that clicks on operates an instinct to grab a journal and write, take a walk, meditate, or do something else nice for myself… It’s a long way from the “eat cheese and feel sorry for self” program I used to operate.
Today was weird. Today, after a few solid weeks of being pretty content on my own and getting most of my needs met by looking within, I was very aware of how much I wanted to come home to a partner… wanted comfort from someone outside of myself.
As I turned the corner to the parking garage entrance at work this morning I became suddenly aware that this was the last Monday I would ever take this turn as part of my morning routine. My eyes were instantly filled with tears and the rest of my experiences for the day followed suit. As I examined my state of mind throughout the day I couldn’t find any tension. I wasn’t necessarily sad, or scared, or angry, or frustrated. I kept waiting to feel afraid or doubtful but it never happened. I was still confident, secure, and excited about my choice to make this life change… I was just… well, emotional. Emotional is the only word I have to describe it. I felt vulnerable and a bit exposed, on the verge of tears more often than not. And I just stayed there in it. And it was okay. It didn’t hurt or anything… (it seemed to make other people a bit uncomfortable but who cares!)
but. it. was. EXHAUSTING!
As I got back into my car to leave for the day all I wanted was to go home to someone else. And that someone else couldn’t be spiderman or chance–trixie’s dog who is here for a slumber party this evening (even though they are both great cuddle partners) because I’m always the caretaker with the kid and the dog.
It wasn’t until the last several months of my marriage that I really wanted a partner. Prior to that it was much more appealing to be in a relationship with someone who wasn’t on the same wavelength as me because I got to maintain an illusion of control by being “in charge” and being the “responsible one.” I was independent and capable so why did I need to be with someone who I would trust with my life? I was taking care of my own life and I had it handled. Better yet, the people in my family needed me. I made myself indispensable by making myself appear invincible. I felt loved by feeling needed.
So it was only at the end that I started to let go of my role as the one who does it all that I experienced a glimmer of the joy that comes from an authentic partnership. What being loved not only for performing at my highest level feels like, but also for the moments when I’m just me or maybe even less than. Now, we all know I chose the wrong person to trust, but at least I took the risk to try it… and now, especially on days like today I want it.
I want to have another person in my life with whom I trust my life (and I don’t mean my life as in life vs death… you don’t have to take a bullet for me or jump in front of a moving train to be my love. I mean my life… like who i am and what i do and my world view and all that stuff. someone who if i were suddenly unable to speak or move but were still alive could help me live a life i would want because they know me well enough. wow, that was pretty morbid… but hey, that’s what the litmus test for partnership looks like in my head). Someone whose heart I know and understand well enough that even if a choice they make is different from one I would make I can see that their choice comes from a place of pure love (because it does/it would). I want, at the end of a long, emotional day to come home and feel safe about getting wrapped up in the loving arms and words of a true partner (equal parts friend, lover, teacher, student, giver, taker, talker, listener, creator, appreciator… I could probably go on forever) and be able to completely surrender to that with no question of their worth or mine in that moment or who needs each other more or any of that nonsense.
Tonight, I don’t have that (person). And I’m fine. Good even. I can surrender to the love I give myself and I can feel content and warm and satisfied. All of my needs are met, but I still WANT it and I think until recently I would have judged myself for that wanting. I SHOULDN’T want it… I SHOULD be content with what I have. I SHOULD be grateful for what I have. I SHOULD be looking within to get all my needs met.
Guess what? I AM! I am content. I am grateful. And I look within all the damn time… and you know what doesn’t change… I don’t stop wanting to be connected to other people, and I don’t stop wanting to have a partner. And I’m not going to. So there. I deserve it all (and so do you, by the way). I deserve to have someone in my life who is capable of giving me all that I am capable of giving them. As I start to become aware of what I’m really capable of… it becomes nearly impossible not to do it… and I have a pretty enormous capacity for love.
Okay, for the sake of transparency I want you to know that I’m sitting here laughing at myself now.
Today’s post was going to be about song lyrics… Remember how I said I was going to write about how our culture glamorizes the unhealthy aspects of love? Well, I was going to pull lyrics from “favorite love songs” of people in my life and examine whether or not any of the lyrics could really stand up to the “healthy” standard in a therapist’s office.
My hypothesis: no.
My conclusion: and that’s okay.
Love is messy and scary and that’s part of what makes it beautiful and joyous. But as you know sometimes I just let the words flow and this is where they flew and since the conclusion is the same I’m going to skip the song lyrics part (go ahead and look into it yourself if you want. let me know how it goes).
So, I’m going to have a relationship with myself… I am ALREADY having a relationship with myself. And it’s the best relationship I’ve ever had… and I will ALSO have a relationship with a partner (someday), because I can have both. I deserve both. I am open to having both. I will have both. You can too.
On to some business, because you’re dying to know:
- I went to the doctor and got diagnosed with a sinus infection, was prescribed an antibiotic, and am actually taking it (usually I don’t go to the doctor, or I do just to make sure I’m not dying and then ignore their recommendation for treatment). I feel better. Thank you.
- I have worn real grown up clothes and shoes every day since the sweatpants and crocs incident
- I paid the gas bill. No harm done.
- The art party was a success! Or at least people tell me it was… I have terrible hosting anxiety and tend to experience a post-event slump. Neither were as bad this time but I’m still a little hesitant to say it was a victory. I’ll work on it.
- The end of the art making month is here! remember how eager I was to get the physical body month over with? I don’t feel that way this time. I want to stay in art month forever. It took most of the first three weeks to actually make something but I’ve been cranking the work out and it feels great. plus…
- Next month is parenting month… which means I told spiderman he’s going to experience a drastic decrease in his “screen time.” He seemed disappointed, but also excited about the things we’re going to do instead. I’m scared for us both… but mostly for me.
- next post: a new set of charts and another ass picture. i know you can’t wait.