Monday, October 12, 2009

why would you choose to be with someone who doesn't

encourage you and want you to be all who you are???

Some time ago, Terri, at her blog Honor Yourself posed this question and sent me into a veritable storm of thought and musings (quoted with her permission).  Her entire discussion is WELL worth the read and I urge you to go there and learn.  Truth be told, I actually wrote a passionate diatribe about this very thing, then decided in the end that I wasn’t comfortable posting it.

However, both Sir J mouse and  JZ  have all approached this same question from similar but slightly different perspectives quite recently.

What resonates most with Sir J’s musings are his comments:
And inside the box of this relationship, when you look in the mirror at yourself, what do you see? How do you look? Do you look good . . . or no? Do you feel good? Does this relationship enhance your well-being? Does this relationship offer you opportunities to enhance the well-being of another? Does this relationship encourage you to become your Highest Self? How would you like for this relationship to stay the same? How would you like for this relationship to change? Are there steps you need to take to change who you are in this relationship?

Mouse’s words also had import to me:
Of course, our relationship "box" isn't really a box, to me it's an old house built long ago.  The foundation is solid, and the bones of the house are in great shape.  It has magnificent flow.  Yes, it creaks and sometimes groans, it expands and contracts with the weather.   It must be maintained.

Now JZ’s comments, while not directed towards the exact same subject so aptly covered by Sir J and mouse still address the same basic concept.  In her case, she realized that being with someone who did not accept ALL the complicated, myriad aspects of self was not worth the price.

Why do so many people not value themselves?

How does one assess self-worth?

WHY would someone stay in a relationship with an individual who neither supports nor encourages you and in fact does not wish you to be everything you CAN be?

So I sit here wondering WHY is it so difficult for so many of us to figure out something so utterly true? 

Youth is wasted on the young” (Geroge Bernard Shaw)

Not that I truly believe that but certainly while there are sometimes wise youth, I think experience if accompanied by commensurate insight and a willingness to change brings with it its own rewards.  One of them is the wisdom to grasp to your heart, to feel to your soul, the truth of those words.

are you living your life as you?

or are you living your life as your partner's perception of you?

The past several years have revealed some hard truths to me; truths which undermined the very foundation of my trust, beliefs and heartfelt convictions.  Truths which forced me to reconsider memories I thought real and instead learned were delusion. 

And the lessons were harsh.

I learned my faith was illusionary, insubstantial and unable to be sustained in the glaring light of reality, the veil parted and the light implacable.  I was taught I could not rely on my very recollections and memories, that they were flawed and delusional.  I learned that trust, once broken, is incredibly difficult to regain and that what I perceived to be my strengths were in truth fundamental weaknesses in character.

I learned I was a fool.

I internalized the total stupidity of my own perceptions and was disgusted and appalled at my wilful ignorance.

But together with the crumbling of the foundations of self, came insight, hard won, painful and real.  Insight into my own willingness to sustain fabrication and coat unpalatable reality with a patina of romance.   I was also given the insight to weigh the cost of my misplaced beliefs and see, at least partially, the price of such lack of perception.

And when all was said and done, the pain was hardly just mine and mine alone. 

When you pull apart the roots of two entwined plants, both suffer, both falter, both must fight to regain strength and health and beauty.

For every action there is a reaction ….

Only recently, have I been able to see beyond the chaos of my own emotions and internalize the absolute truth that I do not exist in a vacuum.  The very act of inflicting pain engenders an agony of heart and mind that rivalled the extent of my own confusion and despair. 

And, when I look at the question again – I see clearly that my own disfunctions, insecurities and wilfulness had their part in perhaps pushing another individual to live your life as your partner's perception of you?

Et tu, Brutus? Indeed.

Because the reality is that when one survives tsnami, then your life priorities, your knowledge of self and perceptions of your reality are irrevocably changed. And though we demonize change a lot and make it negative, it can also be positive (though truth be told, it is neither good nor bad, it just IS).

I am a stronger person today.

I am a more self-aware person today.

My ego, which I thought utterly fragile, has somehow survived, battered, bruised and scarred, but still me (I think - truth be told sometimes I find myself perplexed at this new me, unrecognizable as she is in some ways). 

And my will is slowly re-establishing its determination and strength to move forward, to mend the broken parts of me and forge new, stronger ties and to foster a deeper understanding of what I need in life to make me content.

Some goals are long-term and will require a great deal of work, others, more short-term and simpler are straightforward and there are even a few that I feel  have already been mastered to a greater or lesser degree.

The truth is that the future remains opaque; my path obscured, but I have mustered the strength to keep forging ahead, to place one foot in front of another and just keep moving … and in that sense that is a huge victory as a year ago, I was mired in a despair so overwhelming I questioned my ability to survive.

Today I find a measure of peace (at times).

Today I find a measure of understanding (at time).

Today I know I will see tomorrow.

Today I am sadder.

Today, I find it more difficult to find joy.

Today, I’m trying to figure out who “me” is.

The reality is that no matter the type of dynamic, every single one of us should periodically step outside our current realities and try our best to look, with an unbiased eye (or as close as we can to being removed from the emotion of the situation) at the reality of our lives.  We need to pragmatically figure out what is working for us, what is not. We need to honestly admit to ourselves the positives of the dynamic and the inevitable negatives and then weigh one against the other.

If the balance is weighted towards the negative side of the equation, THEN we need to look inside and figure out why we are allowing ourselves to maintain a status quo that in the end, provides very little positive spiritual energy to our lives.

Insights granted me at a sometimes painful cost are nonetheless illuminating.  I realized that my quietly social nature has been very much suppressed – to a degree that horrified me when I saw the extent of my withdrawal from human interaction.  I realized too that my writing, always an integral, crucial part of who I am can no longer be a bargaining chip; it is and will remain something that is as important to me as breathing and I will never again allow pressure – whether overt or subtle - to dissuade me from practicing my passion.

More esoteric insights were also granted me; for instance, I learned to recognize how susceptible I am at creating demons when sometimes there are none.  I learned I am far too sensitive and prone to create drama when none is intended.

And I learned too how MY actions, whether deliberate or careless, provoking or ignorant, have in turn THEIR impact on those close to me – and that as I expect others to take responsibility, so too must I stand up and accept the role I have had in causing agony of mind.

In the end, self-awareness is crucial to a balanced life.  A continuing and honest appraisal of our personal goals, needs and wants should and must be a part of maintaining a healthy mind and spirit.  The fallibility of human nature is inarguable; but so too is our capacity to seek wisdom and balance and to gain illumination and 
self-awareness is infinite and in its own way, inspiring.

Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.  (Marie Curie)


Gillette said...

Great, great post, Selkie. As often happens with us, we seem to be thinking much the same things, finding our way within them.

Thinking... :)

Jz said...

oof. I feel this one, indeed.
(Particularly the catastrophizing part. I'm VERY good at that.)

Any ripping, untangling experience is ghastly and leaves you absolutely adrift. But you are absolutely right that there are great lessons to be learned from the resulting anguish. Unfortunately, it takes time and distance before you can even see them, much less begin to internalize them.
I'm so glad that you've turned the corner and are starting to see your way out of the morass. For me, that was the biggest and hardest step. Hopefully your worst is behind you now, too.

{big ol' hug}

Liras said...

You might have been foolish in some things, but never a fool.

Louise said...

What a beautiful post Selkie... so much to related to and to think about... thank you... and that last quote is one that is here above my desk... *smiles*
Wish you well.