Monday, October 12, 2015

Vulnerability, Reaching out and Relationships

Vulnerability, Reaching out, and Relationships

From the time we are little girls and boys, we are led to believe that there is something wrong with being alone. It has almost become a learned fear, as if, to be alone is the worst possible thing in the world. We see it everywhere, people stay stuck in unhealthy relationships simply to avoid being alone. 

We also see ideal couples everywhere: the movies, television, and our partners are referred to as "our better halves", thus indicating that that we are just a piece of a person, a like a piece of pie, that only another person can otherwise complete. In fact, the phrase "you complete me" has become the marker for an all time dream letting us know when we are in love. 

But let's get real shall we? Being with other people throughout most of our waking hours, helps us to avoid the most difficult task of all: exploring ourselves and facing our shadow in the mirror. Solitude is not so much about becoming a hermit. Rather, it is about becoming free from emotional dependency. It is about becoming free from bad behavior and unhealthy communication that never changes. It is about setting boundaries regarding what one will or will not put up with. If we believe we are less than whole and constantly seek that missing half, how will we ever really get to know ourselves intimately? 

Recently, I inadvertently ended a relationship with someone I deeply loe and with whom I wanted to build a future. Her immediate response was "Who are you talking to again? Who are you seeing". I should have known that would be her reaction, but it still caught me off guard. For the following two weeks I dissected and analyzed the situation and why those hurtful words escaped my mouth. Over and over I kept asking myself if breaking it off was the right decision, OR, if I was trying to fit a square box thought a mouse hole for the past (almost) six months. I drove myself crazy with  questions like: am I putting up emotional barriers? Is she making me crazy by interrupting my barely spoken sentences? Is she interested in my life at all or does she just want to talk about herself all the time? Is she emotionally unavailable because she not quite out of the closet? Am I too sensitive? Am I going crazy or are her outburst of anger crazy making? 

It finally dawned on me that if I had to ask so many questions, and our communication had taken a serious downhill turn, I didn't know how to right it, and we were seriously out of balance. 

There is a price we pay for avoiding ourselves. Only through exploration of our true selves can we hope to achieve some peace in life. 

Two weeks after breaking things off I reached out, I needed to do this. I want to change my communication style.

It is also important to remember that affairs of the heart are delicate and must be handled responsibly. 

I did not ever imagine this. I did not ever want to cause her pain. Who could ever want to cause another pain? 

Yet, we are fools to think that we can smash someone's heart and walk away with a smile. There are consequences for causing intentional harm. However, there was one simple fact that I could not avoid: in the process of becoming a "we" and an "us",  I lost my individuality. And she, admittedly, did as well. 

I am an introvert by nature and not at all intimidated by being alone. I want to enjoy my hours of the day to the fullest extent. I'm not afraid of the work that a relationship takes. But I do believe that communication should not be a constant struggle, especially in the beginning of the first few months of a relationship.  But I forgot that it is in the 6th month that realities of who we really are begin to surface and this is what the relationship is, and we must wade through the goo in order to get to the honey. I want to enjoy the hours of my day with people and activities that cause the most peace, contentment and joy. I also do not believe in explosive outbursts of anger, I cannot condone that communication style in my relationships. 

When we end relationships, we often say "I need time for myself" most often that is the scapegoat statement. It usually means, " I don't want to spend time with you, but I will be filling my life with the booming social life I had before I met you".  For her, she is definitely doing that. 

After the break up I spent some time with a friend so that I may gain some clarity. She told me that, even though I initiated the break up, my heart is still broken. Broken from losing the hope I had for love and broken from breaking her heart. I too, will need some time to heal.

I understand that she may never come back, that the rift may never be healed. But I do hope that she will see my monumental fuck up as just that, a mistake made in frustration. Shock freezing me from moving further and taking immediate corrective action. That yes, it took two weeks, but I did reach out. I did apologize, I am humbled and my love never wavered. Hopefully, she will see that the courage and vulnerability that it took to reach out was just as monumental. And that a new beginning may be made. Hopefully. 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Selective Authenticity

Selective Authenticity

Authenticity. I've been thinking about this word a lot. I see it thrown around everywhere, in all kinds of memes. I've been told recently, by an ex, that I am not an authentic person. This accusation was made because she did not feel I was addressing issues as they occurred. However, not everyone processes the same way, and in the same time.  So yes, in some sense, I would whole heartedly agree. Yet, in others, I would disagree. The word authentic is synonymous with the words real and genuine, and share the sense of actuality and lack of falsehood or misrepresentation. The word authentic carries a connotation of authoritative certification that an object, or a person,  is what it, or, he/she claims, and is perfection in every aspect and compartment of their life.

I have recently come to the belief that authenticity does not actually exist for anyone. We are all works in progress. We live life compartmentalized so that we have a particular level of authenticity at work, and another with our family and another with our friends, and often, hardly at all, with ourselves. Additionally, there is a level of inauthenticity that exists within our compartments. We offer a smile and say "fine" when we are not. We push through when we are in pain. We pretend to love the job we hate. We tend to say we enjoy the company of people we really do not like. There are also people who tend to live life in the closet in some compartments and not in the others and when faced with the truth, the true self shatters and a false self emerges. 

So while we all enjoy moments of authentic levels of living, they are truly selective. 

So whenever, I hear someone spout in righteous advocation of how they live an authentic life, I know that in reality it is their ego shouting, "hey pay attention to me, see me, I am here". Whenever, I hear someone shame another for not living authentically, I have to remind myself, over and over, that none of us live an authentic life. For authenticity is like selective hearing. We hear what we want, what makes life easier for us and we live life the same way. This is not to say that we are lesser people, horrible individuals, however, I do believe that it is wise to be careful with throwing this word around like a stick or stone to shame others and to make them feel less than. 

Now, to take this deeper,I could say that she is wrong. That even my imperfections are authentic, because they are authentically created by me, and are mine and mine alone. Thus, exposing the fact that it simply boils down to another person's inability to accept my authenticity. Either you don't like what another person presents or a person cannot control what the other person presents. However, the end result still stands. Whether it is disagreement or an inability to control another, it is never another's right to shame another person based on whether you think they are authentic or not. I don't shame the person who doesn't like their job, or their boyfriends friends, or the person who lives life in the closet half the time. We are all doing our best. Just don't expect me to stick around if you try to shame me.