A new year- thoughts on the future

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dark-winter-night-image,1366x768,54916I picked up a book that I had started reading a few months ago and put down and this is the quote that jumped out at me:

 

“So whatever you do, just do it, without expecting anyone’s help. Don’t spoil your effort by seeking for shelter. Protect your-self and grow upright to the sky; that is all.” Shunryu Suzuki- Not always so

 

It was like slap in the face…the good kind. After I got over the hurt from two years ago, I wanted to escape and after that I wanted someone to fill the hole in my heart. I have been on the spiritual path and through enough therapy to know that this is my work to do but the illusion that another person could help and heal that emptiness is so seductive.

I was certain that I was leaving this town as soon as I could. That this place was nothing more than a lay over to heal my wounds and then move on to the promised land…wherever that might be. But it didn’t happen that way, not because there were not opportunities or because I didn’t try (tip to Portland) but my heart would not buy it.

Then I embarked on the dating distraction. This was highly entertaining but there came a moment when I realized that  I was not willing to risk anything so I stopped pretending. And then I met someone. Of course being me it had to be the most complicated and impossible person to be with. I came to realize slowing that was a large part of the attraction. Don’t get me wrong he had lots of other wonderful qualities but the nature of the whole situation suited my melancholy nature far too well. And in the end it proved to be the impossible situation I was seeking. Minus two points for walking into fire knowingly.

I know your thinking (she’s at it again rambling about god knows what again) but when I read that quote this morning and it was like something broke loose inside me. All this time I have wanted to survive, over come, forget, start over but I never loved myself enough to protect myself.  I put up walls and shut people out but that was only to avoid pain it was not to protect myself.

When I think about how I would begin to do that it seems hard. I am in danger from no one but myself and in many ways it is harder to counter than someone hitting me. My boss complimented me the other day and I shifted the credit to my team and she said “Amanda, take a little credit for your work.” It is so engrained to see myself as pass-able at best that I’m not sure where to begin pause the voices in my head, to protect myself from me.

But…I am going to try. Try to love my life because its mine, just the way it is. This holiday season was particularly hard, mostly because I didn’t make the effort to lie for other people’s comfort. When they asked if I was alone I said yes. When they asked if I was seeing my family I said no. When they asked if I was okay/ happy I mostly told the truth and said I didn’t know. If I had lied they would have gone on their blissful holiday way for the most part. But by telling the truth it gave me the opportunity to look at my feelings and choices. It hurt but it was honest.

As I go forward into this new year, I hope to be kinder and more forgiving to myself. I think it is a lesson I will be learning my whole life: how to love me.

 

 

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One response »

  1. You can do this. You CAN move forward, learning to love yourself and let other people in at the same time. I have faith in you.

    I think the first time we truly fall in love it’s a little like going free-climbing. It’s quick and exhilarating and so much fun, just you and the cliff…but it’s deadly dangerous.

    Truly falling in love again while protecting yourself too, is like traditional rock climbing: you have harness, rope, pitons, and carabiners. You take it more slowly, plan your route, and use all the safety equipment so that, if you slip, you don’t break. The thrill is there, but you also know you’re protected.

    For the careful that protection comes from self-knowledge and a the sense of understanding and insight that failed love gives us about other people. You learn to look for warning signs ahead of time, before you commit to love. You learn to look for others’ faults and ask yourself: can I live with these faults? You have learned to communicate, and how to choose someone who communicates, too. You have learned your own inner strength and trust that to hold you up.

    Its more complicated, but I truly, deeply, believe that it’s even more worth it the second time around. Maybe I just need to believe that, b/c I still want love in my life, but everything I’ve learned says that I’m not wrong. Just like everything I know about you says that you CAN find the strength to love yourself the way you deserve.

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