And now for something completely different...
October 10, 2022
I figured out some things this morning. Amazing how my mind works, how Spirit works, bringing truths to my consciousness just in time, right on time.
Several times a day, I think of something funny or hear something interesting and my first impulse is to text Don. Even though I’ve recognized it’s not wise to always share for a while now, I’ve allowed my impulse to operate unchecked. This morning, I finally acknowledged what I’ve known for a long time; texting Don is a way of keeping him attached because he always responds. Maybe not immediately, but that was never his pattern before so there’s no difference there. But he consistently acknowledges my communications.
He doesn’t respond out of obligation; he responds out of commitment to growing the friendship. He responds because he knows how important it is to me to be heard. Because I love him, I no longer desire to insert myself as a frequent and routine part of his day. We don’t have that kind of relationship any longer.
I want Don to be free to focus on what is right in front of him. He is highly leveraged; he only has time and energy to devote to a finite number of people. I don’t want to compete for his time and energy, primarily because I don’t want him to consider me an obligation. I especially don’t want him to resent me.
I also need to lessen my attachment to him. By staying in frequent communication, I enforce my attachment. I must wean myself off my dependence on daily communication with him, although that isn’t a pretty picture. There are better more accurate words to describe this transformation at work. More positive words, words that truly reflect the intense learning and positive growth resulting from what is happening, from how our relationship is morphing.
What is happening is actually very positive. I know that, but that truth hasn’t quite made it to my heart. My heart hurts. But what is transpiring is actually deepening our connection. We’re laying the groundwork for something very meaningful and far more significant and enduring than our previous connection as lovers.
It is clearly evident we are both heavily invested in ensuring the continuity and deepening of our connection. It’s not just me doing the work, I’m not the only one putting in the effort. He is equally invested. That’s a departure from the kind of relationships I’ve had previously. It’s clear evidence of my improved ability to bring healthy men into my life. I’m very proud of my growth there.
I’m really starting to understand how my mind works against me to keep me stuck in grief over a perceived loss. I recognize how I relive the pain of abandonment and despair over having lost a relationship that was really important to me. With Jeff, I lost everything in an instant. With Don, I haven't lost anything. I’ve lost an aspect of what we had, but I’ve not lost him at all. In fact, I have more of him now than ever before. The friendship is firmly intact and is in fact developing into something quite magnificent.
I’ve not lost my memories. Those memories of my time as Don’s lover will always live on in my mind. I look forward to revisiting them when the pain of revisiting them has lessened.
Being back on the quest for a “suitable partner” (oh Lord how I hate that phrase!), I recognize things about myself that are clear evidence of my personal growth. I want a man who is as committed to self-growth as I am. I want a man who loves himself, values himself, accepts himself – a man who embraces all of who he is – the good, bad, and everything in between. Incredibly difficult, yet I’ve come to know, absolutely achievable.
I value my role as supporter and mentor in my friends’ lives because I am every bit as reliant on them to provide the same for me. However, I don’t want my primary role to be supporter and mentor in a romantic relationship. That will always be a large and important part of what I bring to any relationship, but in terms of a romantic relationship, I’ve so much more to offer.
I certainly do not regret or resent having had that role in previous relationships. Indeed, it has been invaluable in facilitating my own growth. So invaluable, it’s propelled me into a new state of awareness. My growth allows me to clearly see what used to be enough is simply no longer enough. I am more, I expect more. I want an equal.
The mentor supporter role fed my ego. For so long I needed to be in that role, had to be in that role. I can and have made a positive difference in people’s lives. That’s an important legacy for me. However, in my romantic relationships, I now require someone who is as strong as I am and as committed as I am to self-growth, self-love, and self-acceptance.
I now recognize how critical it was for Don to have broken from me at exactly the time he did. And I see how I was able to facilitate his doing exactly that. That is the aspect of all of this of which I am most proud. We both moved ahead in ways that foster our becoming our best selves. It would have been unhealthy for me to continue in the role of older lover. That is not what I am called to be and do. I am called to be and do something quite different. I now seek a different kind of partnership.
I am meeting Don for lunch on Friday. As the day approaches, I'm apprehensive. I wonder if I should give in to that unease and postpone seeing him again, or if I should use this as an opportunity to frame what is happening within and enact a plan to move beyond. I am split right now. Am I ready, am I able to gain a proper perspective of what my relationship with Don is now? Or will I stay stuck reliving the despair of past abandonment? I’d like to think the former, but I just don’t know.
It’s definitely a process, and my intellect arrives long before my emotions. Head before heart. Thankfully, heart eventually follows. Eventually I move beyond pain and into acceptance. That is where peace of mind is attained. That is where freedom lives.
“The root of suffering is attachment.” -Buddha