As you can tell from several of my posts, I am still far from having male-female relationships figured out. In fact, I seem to still make a lot of dumb mistakes. I’ve confessed before that I’m a late bloomer, that my brain-to-mouth filter is under-functioning at best, and that I’ve never really had any good relationship examples. But then, who among us have? Healthy, loving relationships among our parents’ generation seem pretty rare…in fact, I can think of just a few couples in my parents’ group who have found genuine long-term happiness together.
Thankfully, in talking with friends, I’m not alone in not having all the answers. I have friends nearly two decades into marriage who haven’t figured it out. In fact, I was surprised to learn that one married couple I know are both reading relationship self-help books. (His is entitled How to Save Your Marriage in 5 Minutes a Day or similar…So of course I asked the obvious: Does that five minutes include the sex? He said that yes, it was supposed to, but he didn’t elaborate. Not sure I’ll be buying that book any time soon.)
Who are these people who find life-long happiness? Who are these lovely older couples who still walk side-by-side on the beach and hold hands and talk after decades of marriage? And how do I get to be among their ranks?
Well…I’m going to have to figure that one out as I go along.
As I take this pause in my life to reflect, reconsider, re-configure and re-focus, I’ve devoted a significant amount of time to thinking, creating, writing, meditating, yoga, healing, expanding — in a word, growth.
So, while I’ve had several coffees and networking meetings and informational or other interviews during which I’ve projected my energy outward and, all told, hours of meditation directing my energy inward, I’ve recently been given some feedback that’s helping me grow and change where the rubber hits the road:
- First, a colleague pointed out that having an anonymous blog is really contrary to the whole online paradigm. The world is moving toward authenticity, transparency and accountability. I’ve discussed my reasons for anonymity, but there may come a time when I need to reconsider. Besides, it would sure make publicizing and marketing it easier!
- Chi-guy pointed out that I lied to him when he asked me if I’d shown anyone his risqué photo(s). Um, yeah, I wasn’t really sure how he’d respond if I confessed that practically every woman in the city had seen the hammer (or at least every woman I know). This small untruth was meant to shield him from harm, yet I suspect I might have caused some — perhaps he thinks less of me for this, or has now used this information to confirm a belief that women are dishonest with him. Of course when I asked him about it, he said that’s why he didn’t include his face — he was expecting that I’d share (and probably proud of it)!
- This insight reminded me of something I recalled my therapist saying a long time ago: I need to stop trying to protect others from myself, from seeing the full, real me. I need to stop hanging up the phone and thinking, “OMG, did I really say that?!” and just allow that I am who I am. I mean, what I’m writing here is all authentic and full-on me, but this blog is anonymous…(except that many of the readers are friends of mine with whom I’ve shared the link).
- Add a hard look in the mirror to these blind spots, and what I’ve begun to see is that I have a habit of telling myself little white lies. I tell myself that I’m not really sure what I want, that I’m not ready to commit to a specific choice when, in fact, I know damned well what I want. Sometimes the truth is simply obscured by the daily tasks and work and parenting and life…and that’s why taking this “career break” has been so incredibly empowering. I have the time and the space to really figure out what feels true to me and reveal it not only to myself, but to others.
- I was chatting with a colleague about goal-setting a few days ago and about some (unattributable) statistic that illustrates how powerful it is to write your goals down. My colleague suggested that one should go a step further and tell as many people as humanly possible. I agree. You can’t do it all alone. And, until recently, I was hiding my truth, afraid of exposing my deepest desires in fear that others may ridicule them or I might fail. Maybe so, but it seems even less likely that I’ll manifest those same dreams while hiding in my proverbial closet!
Just as I finished this draft, I checked out Rob Brezny’s Free Will Astrology horoscope for Libra for the week, an excerpt of which reads:
“…Inner truths that have been hidden from you are ready to be plucked by your penetrating probes…”
So here’s to revealing — and then sharing — my inner truths!