I wrote the other day that I’ve been working on letting go of expectations, living in the moment and enjoying the present. This means being vulnerable and open, letting go, as well, of ego.
Of course it’s difficult to do all this consistently. I have to regularly remind myself what I’ve gotten into — the terms I set or, shall I say, what I asked of this man who is now a lover. I said that I wanted to experiment, and I’ve maintained that I’m not ready for a relationship…yet it would be a lie to deny that I feel my relationship buttons being pushed while in his presence.
Even while I’m trying to live in the moment, be strong and live my own life, I find myself occasionally wondering what he thinks or how he feels about me — plucking the petals off the proverbial daisy.
How do I stay strong? And how do I know how much I’ve grown?
- While I appreciate the attention from a specific man, and express my appreciation and gratitude, I’m not focusing all my energy only on him. Instead, I’m looking inside myself. I notice how I’m feeling and telling the universe: “Yes! I love how I’m feeling right now. I’m grateful to sense my mind, body and soul engaged — I want more of this!” It keeps me from obsessing or hanging my hopes on a single bloke and focused on what I ultimately want: a long-term, life-affirming, fulfilling, healthy and companionable relationship.
- I’m noticing my own wants and needs in all of this and asking for what’s reasonable. When I get frazzled, I remind myself that I’m responsible for this, whether it’s my job, my relationships, whatever. I’m here because of the choices I made. I said specifically that I didn’t want a relationship so, when I start feeling like I want a relationship, I look inside myself for answers. Turns out, at times I really just want a little more communication…so I’ve asked for and received it.
- I’m not attaching meaning to things said or unsaid, actions taken or not taken. I’m catching myself when I’m not in the moment, and bringing myself back to the present, so that I can truly live, appreciate and respond authentically.
- Even while I’ve decided not to seek out other potential matches online right now, I’m still noticing and appreciating the masculine attention I get from around me. The fellow I’ve been bedding being quite remarkable is far from proof positive that he’ll ultimately become the love of my life.
- I’m staying focused on the person I need to be to have a healthy, fulfilling relationship. There’s plenty of work for me to do to be the kind of woman and partner I aim to be. Rather than waiting for someone else to come round and validate me, I’m doing the work I need to do to remove whatever beliefs or other obstacles might stand in the way of my having a rewarding partnership.
Perhaps the biggest sign of all that I’ve grown much healthier is that these things, for the most part, are happening naturally.
I wrote in my last post that I felt as though there were a poison inside of me, and some pretty intense and ugly feelings emanate from it for a couple of days each month. I began to notice a major difference in how I was feeling in February of this year — and the symptoms may have begun even earlier.
I’ve had some other challenging health news recently — and I have to admit, I’ve been a little fearful. I’ve heard from girlfriends my age battling breast cancer, following up a double mastectomy with a full hysterectomy to prevent their hormones from creating further havoc. My own mother had a hysterectomy in her thirties and breast cancer in her sixties. I want to see the benefits of the healthy lifestyle I lead. I want health naturally — without knives removing the very body parts that make me a woman.
With all this in mind, I saw my kinesiologist late last week. Sure enough, there is a poison — a toxic heavy metal — in my uterus. I am on an intense 12-day detox to release it from my system.
I have high hopes that, with the release of the toxin, the intensity of my monthly moods will subside, so that I can more steadily cultivate the gratitude and joy that I am able to experience much of the time. Remember, I vowed earlier this year to be love, abundance and sweetness, and I have to admit that it’s sometimes a struggle. Even more so when my hormones seem to work so determinedly against me.
Whatever health effects result from ridding my body of this poison will benefit me enormously, I’m sure. But I’ve already received a tremendous gift as a result of the process. In fact, I’ve experienced this more and more recently: When I am frustrated enough to verbalize as succinctly and clearly as I did about feeling poison spread from my gut, my intuition about my body and emotional healing is increasingly spot on. I described what I felt happening, and what I was feeling was validated. And has been validated more and more consistently in the past several months.
That tells me that I know myself. I know what’s good for me. I know what I need. And it feels wonderful to know I can trust myself more and more all the time.
It’s been a while since I’ve dropped in for a simple status update, so here it is:
- I mentioned earlier that I’m getting a bit of attention since going back online. I’ve got two or three dates lined up for this weekend. Should be fun! There are actually a couple of the guys with whom I’m really enjoying communicating, and I’m looking forward to meeting them.
- While I don’t listen to him exclusively / obsessively anymore, I’m still mad about Bob Schneider, the man who got me through the worst days of my divorce — and I think you should check out his tunage when you can.
- I am so happy and I love my life so much! The children are at a spectacular age, I’m enjoying time outdoors and I am so fulfilled with the richness and blessings in my life. Gratitude!
- I go to work each day happy for the challenges I face and the rewarding work I get to do. And today was an incredibly productive day — yay!
- I get the weekend off! Which is great, because I actually have studying to do and I can’t wait to dig in and learn something new.
- The berries are becoming ripe and the rhubarb is ready for harvest (again) — I love the fecundity of my little patch of soil. And I can’t wait to make a rhubarb crisp to share with my work colleagues.
- My daughter’s teacher was a real hard ass about “may” vs. “can.” As a result, my daughter uses “may I…” — hooray for proper grammar!
You see? It really is the simple things that bring so much joy.
What else have I brought up that I need to close the loop? Let me know if there’s something you’re dying to hear about.
I was driving down the freeway on the way home from work, admiring all the sexier cars going by, thinking “someday I’ll have a husband who wants me to drive one of those,” when I caught myself at it. I mean thinking that very crazy notion.
And I realized that I don’t need anyone’s approval or wish for me to drive a hot car — I can have whatever the hell car I want for myself because I’m in charge. And I value me and I don’t need approval from anyone. Of course I know this. Of course I’ve had this realization before…yet still, on some level, I realized this mental pattern meant I’m still seeking direction, approval, competence, the “go-ahead” from somewhere outside myself.
Clearly this is a pattern for me: one of those nasty, sticky karmic lessons that doesn’t want to go away until it’s well and truly engrained into my noggin. Seems like every time I peel back another layer, I need to learn the same lesson again, in some nuanced new way…
So I hereby declare myself competent, independent, in charge and approved. As is. And I will do what the hell I want…whether it means driving this rice grinder into the ground or hailing a hot new chariot. It’s all me, Baby!
I feel as though I’ve had a breakthrough: feelings of overwhelm and sadness I had earlier this year have passed and (aside from the allergies) I’m feeling more energetic, waking earlier, powering through most work days, feeling sharp and generally thinking my life is pretty awesome! I am strong and certain of my boundaries.
Looking back on recent challenging times (and, yes, of course I know there will always be more ahead), I view them as part of the process, peeling back another layer of the onion…in a word, growth.
Here, on the other side, I am quite happily not dating. My life is fulfilling as it is. I am also noticing an entirely new level of openness to possibility. (Thus, I suspect I would also be quite happy if I were dating.)
Where a few short months ago I wasn’t able to fully give myself over to a loving relationship, I feel capable now — capable of giving as well as receiving, capable of feeling that kind of full-on “in it-ness,” capable of genuine devotion.
I’m not actively looking, mind you, but I’m open to whatever might develop naturally.
As a footnote, I’ll Have Another just won the Kentucky Derby…he wasn’t the most powerful-looking horse, he didn’t have the most experienced jockey, he didn’t start out ahead of the pack. If a horse like that can come from behind and win the race…well, let’s just say that gives me hope, too.
When he first met me, my former guy thought I was proper, “prissy” and materialistic. While he recently mentioned that he still thinks I’m prissy (what on earth does that even mean, prissy? and are there girls who aren’t?), I think he ultimately saw beyond his other misperceptions to a woman whose heart and values are in the right place.
A work colleague recently confessed that her now husband thought she was repulsive and obnoxious the first time they met…and now look!
One guy I dated pressed me about my first impressions about him until I finally confessed, “man boobs.” I said this while we were in bed. We both had a good laugh and, the next day, he started doing push ups.
My point is that perceptions are regularly skewed, our snap judgements are often just plain wrong, and it’s often more rewarding to keep our hearts and minds open and allow the magic of the universe to unfold.
I mean, what if it was all part of the cosmic plan for the hung-over ball player to be so put off by the gregarious, fun-loving woman from work, just so that he noticed her? Where would life have led them if he hadn’t?
What have you missed out on because you judged too quickly or harshly?
What beauty or bliss have you experienced because you led with your heart?
There are three things I adore about the guy I’m seeing:
- He’s constantly affectionate and loving. He’s usually touching me or telling me how wonderful I am or both at the same time.
- He’s remarkably adult. He brings up and wants to talk about everything, from difficult topics to trivia. He doesn’t shy away from controversial conversations.
- We laugh together a lot!
Yet we are not immune to relationship hiccups. As two people get to know one another, there are always going to be moments when feelings are hurt or boundaries challenged.
We had our first such issue several days ago: I cried; he cried. Later he apologized via voicemail (I didn’t answer his calls) and text.
I texted back: “I hope you know a good florist.”
Sure enough, I arrived home to fresh flowers within 48 hours.
A few days later, we’d talked it over, snuggled a bit, made up and were ready to laugh about things. I teased, “It all goes downhill from here, you know. A couple of years down the road, it’s ‘I hope you know a good jeweler.'”
“Damn! And then a few years after that, I suppose it’s ‘I hope you know a good Audi dealer,'” he played along.
“I like the way you think!” I said. And we giggled together.
There will undoubtedly be more difficult discussions and challenging times ahead, but the way we handled this hiccup gives me hope that we can navigate even the bigger ones.
“I always feel like somebody’s watching me, and I have no privacy.” — Rockwell
I couldn’t resist bringing up the 80s synth pop in light of having learned that my beau has found my blog. This nugget was made self-evident as we were having our exclusivity conversation. He said things like:
It was too great a coincidence that he would mirror back to me my own language, yet I didn’t put it together fully until I’d arrived home. I texted him, “When did you start reading my blog?” and went to bed.
I knew it was inevitable that he’d stumble on it or be curious enough to seek it out, and I was willing to share after we’d gotten to know each other a bit better…
He seemed almost apologetic for having stumbled upon it — and quickly swore that he wasn’t creepy or anything. He told me that he respects me more for having a deeper understanding of what I’ve been through and an intimate window into what probably amounts to excessive introspection. And he even handled my last post fluidly. He understands that I’m writing about me and not about him.
I suppose the lesson in this, if there is one, is that I’m worthy of being appreciated for being myself, even when I let it all hang out, and regardless of what relationship drivel du jour I publish here.
p.s. Hi, Sweetie!
I don’t know whether I know how to be truly vulnerable or how to be okay with being vulnerable.
There. I said it. The “v” word seems a little frightening to me.
I don’t know how to confess all my past sins and be completely open and be loved in spite of and for all the baggage and reality of me. What I know how to do is move on, power through, push forward, sometimes as though a bull in a China shop…a bull with a smile on my face.
But I’m learning: I’m learning how to be soft on the outside and strong on the inside. I’m learning to speak my truth and trust that I won’t be judged for the worst of it, but instead as a complete, whole and sometimes complicated woman. And I’m learning how to slowly step backward and allow a man to move toward me, and to let him think he’s leading this dance.
The theme for the past week or so is keeping my eyes on the prize. It’s popped up in dialogue with friends, in horoscopes, on the radio…
So what is the prize?
Well…it’s not any of the men I’ve written about here, regardless of how much I’m intrigued by or adore them. It’s not my current day job.
The prize is enjoying life now.
The prize is spending quality time with my children.
The prize is good health.
The prize is a healthy, loving relationship.
The prize is fulfilling work that shares something positive with the world.