Once upon a time,
I was going to marry someone.
I had decided, by God, I was going to marry him, and that was that.
I had decided that no matter what, I was true. That was it, I had chosen, and no matter what, I couldn’t un-choose. Even though he un-chose me.
It has taken me ten months (almost?) to see the problem with that.
It has taken me ten months to forgive.
It has taken me ten months to understand.
It has taken me ten months to find my own true heart in the matter again.
So, in case this can help someone else:
I thought I was marrying him without wanting him to change.
We were highly compatible as artists, and as friends. It was the absolute best kind of friendship, in my eyes – we had adventures, and we laughed a lot. We sparked each other to play and stories and silliness. I have many wonderful memories with this person.
We were not at all compatible in these important things: in the world each of us wanted to live in, and in the life we each desired, and in the way we saw people and our perceptions of what was important.
That, I am now knowing, doesn’t make him wrong or me wrong. It makes us -not people who should marry each other.
My mistake was this. I saw his chosen way of life, the entertainment business and the city and the way of dealing with people that goes along with those things as morally wrong. I saw his perception of people and his thoughts as wrong. As damage. As harm and hurt and negativity.
I didn’t even know it; I had blinders on – I simply saw it as a weakness, as something I could cure, and heal. I would think “oh, he doesn’t really mean that.” when he would say something I saw as damaged.
I’m now knowing that he meant it. His life choices show me that he meant it. It wasn’t damage, it was *Who he was!* he was telling me ALL ALONG, and I thought I was being kind and forgiving by denying this person his reality!
By gently pushing past it, whenever he would declare how he saw people or saw the world; by ignoring it as if it was inconsequential and would change once he became the “good” I saw in him, I was so fully in my own construct of the world, that I couldn’t see I was denying someone his entire reality. I was calling it poison, simply because it was air I can’t breathe!
IN my eyes, this was a man of great integrity and kindness, with a beautiful, idealistic heart. So I thought I could heal and help him overcome his way of seeing people. I thought I could heal and help his life, which in my eyes was full of strife and battles, never ending anger and distrust-stories. I saw him a certain way, and I held him in that.
He saw me a certain way, my potential, and he held me in that.
I thought I could heal that, and bring peace and calming waters. He thought he could heal my gentle introversion, and make me the snow-white-wonderwoman fighting perfect princess that he saw me to be.
I hated when he said my goofy, Lucille Ball qualities were damage I didn’t have to hold myself in. I wanted him to laugh and love my goofiness.
He hated when I said his “tank in a bunker inside a concrete fortress” was damage that could be healed. He wanted to be strong, feeling-proof, and victorious at all costs.
This man doesn’t want “peace and calming waters.” He has expressed that he’s bored by serenity. Those things were a judgment on my part. I thought that universally, all people wanted peace and serenity, and the kind of connection I desire to live in.
This realization came about because I was reminiscing about how this man anxiously tried to prepare our future home to be a place that I could stand to live in. He rigged up a surround sound system so that I could play my nature sounds in any room I happened to be in.
I was anxious to keep the peace at all costs; my tenderness for this man is as huge and protective as a dragon- so I was preparing to get in my car and drive when I needed space and peace. He needed space to be loud. He needed the kind of sounds I could not live with. I needed the kind of peace and meditation time that was anathema to him.
We both, in our own ways, were desperately, anxiously, trying to force ourselves into shapes that would allow the other partner to be happy. Because we loved.
Because we loved, we both tried to “heal” the other person of things we thought were complete fallacies and damage.
My need for solitude and peace. My complete serenity, not in fame or achievement or anything at ALL like that, but in healing. In helping others. My contentment at being “nobody,” which in his eyes is terribly like being “mediocre;” my feeling that there was no hierarchy, no one reached any sort of top, middle, or bottom… that, in fact, there is nowhere to climb at all!
In feeling like when I have left this life, I will have helped. I will have brought more love. I will have planted some seeds where there was once angry, damaged, hurt, bitter ground. I will have given laughter and sunny times and happiness. that is ALL.
His need for achievement. His need for striving, and striving to make a name and make a mark and change the world.
We both saw each other’s life purposes as damage that needed healing.
Simply because we are different.
If I went to another country in which women lived a certain way, and had no voices (do you see the judgment there already? “had no voices”) I would be all fired up in my reaction, my judgment, my anger, my fighting.
What if, in that country, the women saw my way of life and my choices as wrong, and wanted to cure me to their ways?
This isn’t a great analogy (I can hear the arguments now…) but it’s one that we learn in sociology – it’s one that Ahsoka (if you don’t know who I’m mentioning here, just go watch Clone Wars) tries, as a jedi-in-training, to practice, (but fails just as I would…) to observe without attempting to effect change. To accept and observe, even if my mind would call it “harmful” or other words.
Yeah, I would fail just as Ahsoka does, because I tend towards passionate, co-dependent rescuing. So did he.
This is all to say: it is possible to love someone, and love them deeply, and not be able to make a life together that makes for mutual happiness.
This man has now married, I am told, (this is hearsay, I have no idea. it’s not my business…)
someone who likely fits into his life far better than I ever did. I am delighted for them – and whether it’s an actual circumstance or not, this has brought me the closure, peace and healing I needed.
The understanding that he and I were a tree and a desert plant trying to live in the same container.
I am so grateful he found someone he doesn’t have to change, who doesn’t have to change for him. I am so grateful I am free to expand and be myself in a way I never could before.
I can love. I can see this spirit in the world that used to delight me in his many quirky funny ways.
I can see his wounds and wish fiercely for him to have healing of them someday. He saw mine and wished the same.
We tried to fix each other.
I think it is enough to have had the deep soul gift of this lesson that I, for one, will not repeat :
We can love, and what a glorious gift it is! but we must first live a life that makes us completely happy,
and have the freedom to do so. And we must go our own way in order to fulfill what we are here to do. We can’t shrink ourselves to fit into someone else’s world, or ask them to twist around to fit in ours, and still expect to be happy and live the life we are here to live.
I am feeling whole these days in a way I hadn’t in my entire youth-to-adult life. From about the age of nine onwards. I am deeply and richly content and buzzing with abundance. I have a death to grieve, a few of them, but there has been profound healing of that which felt a “lack” and a need for someone else.
I’ve been meaning to write this, to the men who have been writing to me – except for three of you, who seem quite happy. The rest: if you are unhappy and you complain about your life, and you are sad and lonely and you’re looking for “a woman” to fill that,
For one thing, I personally will not date someone who is unfulfilled and thinks “love” will solve it. I have learned that even the most forgiving love- even the kind of love I brought my ex, that strove to make peace at all costs, and strove to be his happiness and wanted to heal his sorrows,
IT CANNOT SERVE. What happens is (and if you don’t believe me, just experience it for yourselves and then come back and re-read this!)
what happens! is that you will wind up being quite angry, eventually, with the closest person. Even if you manage to find a woman like I was, in my damage, who wanted to be wife and mother and nurturer and provider and healer and just hold you through all the pain and defend you fiercely from every single hurt, and fill your life so that you are finally completely happy – even if you find that! you will wind up resenting it. Her. you will wind up feeling trapped and stifled, and you will wind up fighting like a toddler hitting the soft, yielding mother arms that hold them.
And the partner who wants to be all things?
that’s damage. That’s a person who is codependent, who derives their self-worth from how others feel, who NEEDS THERAPY and needs, in turn, to find out how to be whole on their own. Because “unconditional love” has no boundaries or healthy limits. It doesn’t value the self – and if you think that’s generous and amazing, just consider: if you can’t value yourself, you have no self to give. You’re removed, dissociated, giving your own value to someone else to decide, and, ultimately, not completely in your own truth.
So. It won’t work, those who think it’s romantic to reach out to someone and say “I’m sad, I’m lonely, I’m lost, I need.” there are many of you. many!
I am writing this to you now, and I’m writing it to me. I hear you. I feel for you. I cannot respond to you all. I have my own life and heart to heal. I am giving you the gift of this story,
(this isn’t actual circumstances. It’s my thoughts around the past, and God knows, that is filtered through my own perceptions) This story is how I have reached complete forgiveness and wishing the blessing to everyone concerned, that they find healing and happiness.
I know I will. I know I am. I know I have.
If you find yourself struggling against something, ask yourself if you are trying to change a dog into a cat. Ask yourself if you feel someone is trying to change you. Ask yourself if YOU are trying to change you, being completely flexible around someone else’s opinions.
Ask yourself if you can accept, love, release, and go find YOUR own truth and heart and life.
Ask yourself if you can take up space, as much as you need, and risk disapproval, until you move gently into a place where you fit.
(and this is not even *touching yet* on limerence, which is probably another article entirely. Creating a fantasy image and pushing all your dreams and needs onto someone else, thinking they’re the answer. Please check yourselves of this, I am exhausted by it.)
Ask yourself what you need. Then go out and create it.
Forgive. Bless. Give Thanks. Release. I am so profoundly grateful. I have tried to say it here, but the words still don’t encompass the enormity of the realization, bliss, and love I feel in my life now. Thank God. Peace, Beaver.
… sigh. and again, I am not going to edit this one. I’m not even going to re-read it! 😛
I guess I’m doing too much of that in my fiction work, so this blog is the space I’ll keep sprawling in. skip what you want to skip! xoxoxo