This summer stirred up every ounce of my past and forced me to dig so deeply within myself that I wasn’t sure how or when I’d resurface. I still haven’t, fully, and am not sure I ever would want to again. What I have constructed within—this revamped place inside myself, of acceptance—is pretty sweet. Like a home base, with really big windows and a telescope and all kinds of inspiring, huge, colorful yet settling and comforting art on the walls. The world around appears in Technicolor—a sacrifice of superficial pleasures has cultivated a sense of satisfaction, contentment and deep stability … a deep understanding that this life is good and any moment I don’t spend in reflection, awake, in some kind of exercise of giving, transformation, loving, accepting, processing or gratitude is a moment wasted.
More than this, any time I choose to disregard boundaries around my life and let people closer than they should be will result in a partial or wholesale robbery of this divine mansion I've spent the summer revamping. The security system has been changed; the guards pardoned for a new, intelligent, graceful and, when necessary, executive variety.
Let me share something with you folks. Nobody—NOBODY—is going to make you as happy as you can make yourself through understanding who you really are and what your purpose is, in every moment. And if you think you need someone else to be happy, you will find yourself in a mess that could last your lifetime or could, if your lucky, end (after too long) in a split that leaves you in a million pieces on the floor. Indeed, when they or the universe or both finally release the axe on your worn-down, depleted, self-conscious, drained-empty ego, you get this feeling that you are simultaneously being killed and released. Like you are experiencing a crucifixion and resurrection all at once. It's violent, to be sure ... but you get this sense that if you can survive it, the whole way through, you'll be someone else, someone stronger in a way that counts.
Although released from a co-dependent prison, and thus freed to reunite with myself, I felt hopeless because I had given someone the best of who I was, gradually. As I told of my woes, women around me lamented about losing 14+ years of their lives to men like this—their stories ushered in a feeling of immediate sobriety and purpose within me.
Indeed, while this last man gradually appeared more and more handsome to me, more and more successful, more and more the epitome of stability, I was deteriorating, becoming ugly unto myself, weak, tired, feeling lost, abused and under-appreciated … rendered completely unstable because I had given someone else so much of an emotional credit line (no matter how much they disappointed me in all areas of the relationship ... as I just defaulted to stuffing feelings, stuffing my personality until it would occasionally lash out, blind loyalty, hope, trying to give more, change, challenge myself, etc.).
Good thing is, I realized within 24 hours of the split that the choice way back then, to invest in such a paradigm, was mine. And the solution to my misery was mine alone to seek. I knew what I was getting into—even told my friends I felt so off about him at first—and yet through the loopholes of my self-doubt, my own belief that perhaps I was wrong, and perhaps caring for someone weak would help both of us and allow me to deserve their company--I gave into the little side current of a relationship that swept me right out of my own life’s river.
That little muddy, 1.5 year, byway is now nothing to me except a reflection of how powerful my love is and how careful I need to be from now on when I spend it on someone. It can lift anyone’s confidence, the love and attention I give. I’ve seen it over and over. But I must know that just because I have this gift to offer someone doesn't mean I shouldn't expect such a gift in return ... why would I feel I have to be the only one who pays, just to exist?
I don’t look back and treasure anything about this last one, actually, because he was so emotionally unavailable that, in every imaginable realm of the relationship, I was eventually only ever relating to myself anyway. He even denied he had loved me--English as a second language makes it easier to lie, every day, for a year and a half, and then tell someone you did ... it's a trader's language after all so why not use it just to get what you need? Just to get that education? That experience?
Other relationships—two really bad boys notwithstanding—gave me so much more, left me standing on something. This one left me absolutely anemic; feeling I had and deserved nothing … like I had to beg for everything. So being released from it has been really trying NOT because I miss him; I didn't miss him at all in fact and still don't--he gave me negative nothing (it's mathematically impossible for zero to be a negative but this is not math, this is really something else). It was more trying because after that stupid adaptation I made for so long to be his girlfriend, being reunited with the deep, swift, white-tipped waters of my main life current was like trying to swim with severe mineral deficiencies and atrophied muscles—although my physical body was practicing second-series Ashtanga, my spirit was broken … like a champion stallion on an IV.
Strangely enough, I refuse to see myself as a victim in this. The bigger picture is quite clear--this was my call to transform, this rock-bottom state.
Every day, all day, of this summer was a recovery and reconstruction effort. It started with breathing. Then eating … finally sleeping. The rush of my own life was so strong on my weak bones, my lost confidence, my strength, all of the things just being around this absent person had stolen.
Even on the longest days, when I wasn’t sure I could justify living, I was gaining something: a long-lost sense of security and stability and a budding sense of consistent happiness and gratitude that I hadn’t felt in about a year. I was dropping all the bad habits, the nervous scratching, the half-ass eating and sleeping schedule. And I was suddenly able to see within myself something shining so bright, like a huge diamond on the sea’s bed.
Speaking in tongues to some and joining in perfect duets with others, I had no expectation to be understood, by anyone. And yet, I found my closest friends were the ones who pulled in closer, shared their secrets with me and naturally just did (understand). Likewise, my sister and I became inseparable even by thousands of miles as we write multiple times a day. My grandma and I agreed to write hand-written notes twice a month. Everything just started to get richer.
And this sense of self—that draws everything that’s good and right into my life—hangs round my neck now, like a fiercely beautiful, protective pendant. Indeed, I have risen ... and I only have time for people who have integrity, depth and a sense of security (not to be confused with a false sense). I have now been blessed with compassionate understanding for everyone and yet, when it comes befriending people, a deep aversion to mediocrity in all of its forms, beginning with indecisive, asleep people who want to use me as a projection screen for their sad, confused life’s movie. I totally forgive and yet am absolutely finished with anything that drains me without any kind of reward. It’s so like someone from broken beginnings—like me—to expect life to be broken, to expect it to suck.
But it doesn’t have to. I had a dream last night that my sister and I sat on the floor, just a foot from each other, in easy, open postures. And I told her that it was really important that both she and I get to a point where every cell in our bodies knows that we deserve to give everything and receive everything that we’ve got … to be the best we can be and experience the rewards of this. Until every cell is programmed this way, our realities will reflect something else …
All the thought patterns, emotional spinoffs, everything, they are all just parts of a screenplay. Your body's your costume and it's all a big show. The truth is, you will never be excluded from it and you can be as involved in it or alienated from it as you so desire. You can direct yourself with grace and self possession. You can sit to the side and watch movies that portray the movies that are our lives … you can read political commentary that plays on the fiction that is the interaction that is the ego-driven world covering up what really is, the truth. You can dive and roll in that place and be as confused as you like and then build your life around that confusion.
You can. You can do anything you want. The secret of this life is to know that you have a choice. And this can only be told when you quiet down, settle down and start to tap in to who you really are, someone who deserves your undying love, your sincere friendship, your recognition for all it has given you to be yourself and not with someone else, wrapped in some title, carrying some badges …
This morning, a dear friend spoke of her good friend who is the former CEO of the IMF. A man who now organizes Hanuman Festival in the US--a spiritual gathering. There is a huge shift happening. Many of us are experiencing it within our own lives and seeing it reflected in life around us. For those of us who choose the path of authenticity, consistent lucidity, this is no easy shift. But then again, nothing good ever came easy.
You are reading this—and perhaps are disturbed by this—because you are observing, jumping on or missing the train. I am writing this so that you catch it.