I have been processing the recent break up of a relationship. I really struggled to get this piece to capture that process without getting too analytical or wordy in the wrong sort of way. So, I settled on a collection of small pieces that weave through the different emotions and thoughts that I have been cycling through.
I Cry Into a Blue Darkness
I want to curl into a ball, turn into my soul, and retreat deep within. Deep within to that place where no one can harm me. I want to cry into a blue darkness. Tucked into that familiar aloneness. This is that place where I was left. All alone. One little girl abandoned. This pain touches that pain. This moment reflects that moment. That moment. That first time. Where I felt, that all I had was me.
It has been really hard to wrap my mind around why you would do this to me. It has been even harder to wrap my mind around why you would do this to yourself. That “why?” keeps surfacing even when I want to push it away. Not you again. Just leave me alone. I want to be over this. But the “why?” keeps twisting and turning in my thoughts. As I wonder where I went wrong and how it could have been different. It didn’t have to end. This way.
Into These Depths We Wander
We had only just begun to wander into the depths of what is yours and what is mine. It is here in relationship that we can find valuable insights and reflections about ourselves. Valuable insights that show us where we need to grow. Insights that may be harder to see on our own. I wanted this for you. I wanted this for me. And we had only just begun to get to those uncomfortable places. Those places where, I wanted to challenge you. And where, I wanted you, to challenge me. What a gift we had. To learn together.
Between Space and Closeness
There is this balance between space and closeness in a relationship that we had only just begun to touch upon. This pushing you away when it got too close. This pulling you back when it got too far. Story interrupted. Tale untold. We will never know. Was there a point of balance in between? Space for me to be me? And you to be you? And have an us in between?
Touch Me, Please, Don’t Touch Me
My pattern of touch has been complicated. I was told as a young girl that my body was something to be ashamed of. I was like fire and men were like butter. This is what they said. And I believed it. I believed it so much that my body became not my own. Theirs for the taking. My little girl body. My love used against me. I had only, just. Laid claim. To what was mine all along. My body. For my pleasure and enjoyment. For me to share or not share. For me to say yes or no. This was new territory. Boundaries and edges not fully explored. I wanted to be touched. I loved your touch. Your hands wandering all over me. Your arms enfolding me. Your touch was healing. And yet, there were times, when I needed to not be touched. Times when I needed a pause. To check in. How am I doing here? How does this feel to me? I needed that power to slow down. Or move forward. To explore this way of touching or that way of touching. I needed a sacred place. Of openness and safety. Of lightness and fun. To try new things. Or old things in new ways. No expectations. I really needed this.
Holding On, To Me
I had only just begun to get in touch with me. What I wanted. Being responsible for my life. Digging in to what I love. Being creative. Writing. The journey to get here was steep, and hard won. I have scars to prove it. I have been, just barely, holding on to this place. I sure as hell, wasn’t going to let myself lose ground. In fact, more than not lose ground, I was ready to climb the next mountain. Get to that next level of growth. Getting that voice to be stronger. Clearer. Articulating more fully. Not letting those fears of not-good-enough hold me down. I needed to be sure that any relationship was not going to be at a cost of this self I had worked so hard to claim.
You Mattered to Me
I wanted this for you too. I wanted this for you too, because you mattered to me. I recognized where you were at. Because I had just come from that place. I wanted you to find this love and respect for yourself. And while, I wasn’t going to do the work for you. I was willing to do the work with you. I wanted to. I wanted very much to give this gift to you. All I wanted in return was for you to give this gift back to me. I wanted us to both come out of our experience together, with something of value and contribution to our lives.
A Slow Blooming Flower
I am a slow blooming flower. If you try to pry open my blossom, I will close down tighter. Whereas, if you allow me to patiently unfold, you will learn about me. Layer by layer. Petal by petal. Intimacy upon intimacy. My trust is built with this patience. I learned early that if I was going to survive in this world, I had to hide deep within my own being. I have been unlearning that. But I won’t give you all of me, all at once. I wanted you to be patient. I wanted you to love being patient. For me. To let me unfold. Moment by moment. I wanted you to give me time to move towards you. To find that resistance to love and closeness within. To bump up against those edges. To find where I could soften that resistance. And let love in. Where I could give. Where I could receive. What I could learn from you. I was just beginning to touch upon that. This was my work. I wasn’t done yet. We weren’t done yet. There was so much more available. To you. And me.
Right Here, Right Now
Right here, right now we needed each other. I wanted you. I wanted to have this experience. Of going deeper. With you. You with that humble futon. Smallest room in fancy house. You with your beat up car. Decorated with child’s art. You with that old cracked phone. Dedicated father. It was this I loved. This that made me want know you more. I wanted to be right here in this moment getting to know you. The real you. Layer by layer. Conversation by conversation. Day by day. Night by night. I didn’t need or want nicer cars or bigger paychecks. There was no rush or need to define us. Who is to say whether our time together would be long or short. We had right now. We had right here. And right here, right now we needed each other. And that was enough. For me.
For some reason, possessing me, having me as a girlfriend, became your goal. This had you lose sight of the possibilities an open exploration offered to both of us. As soon as the game became to get me, you stopped just being yourself. You started trying to figure out what I wanted and tried to be that. Except, we weren’t having conversations about what I wanted. And you weren’t listening to what I was saying I wanted. I wanted this open exploration. This slowing down. This going deeper. With you. The more you fixated on winning me and having me, the more I would pull back. I kept trying. To get back to that fun and exploration. That getting to know each other. Authentically. As we really are. And yet. You kept rushing forward. Your focus so narrow. You inadvertently created a zero-sum game. In this zero-sum game, it was accept or reject you. And here, I kept finding myself rejecting you. I didn’t want this. I wasn’t playing a zero-sum game. I wasn’t deciding whether or not to have you in my life. I was deciding how to have you in my life. We shared a connection and I enjoyed that connection. You see, there were a whole range of possibilities for our relationship to take form: friends, lovers, two parents supporting one another, committed partners, advocates, yogis, teachers…. Whatever we wanted to create between us, really.
In your zero sum game somebody had to lose, and it wasn’t going to be you. Afraid. You bailed ship. Leaving me before I could leave you. I had said. Repeatedly. Numerous times. That the only way to break off a relationship with me completely was to lie to me, cheat on me, or manipulate me. And that is exactly what you did.
But we both lost. Each other.
It breaks my heart. To be with that.
I reach for The Prophet and open to the section “On Love.” This book is sitting out because I lent it to you. I am not exactly sure why. It was one of those impulsive moments, that one just follows, without thinking. I don’t believe you ever even picked it up. But here it is back with me. These words on love, chocolate to my soul. I eat them and they nourish me. They show me what is possible as a human being. I live into them. I realize that, yes. This is what I want. To be in relationship. To love and be loved.
Kahlil Gibran on Love
When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams
as the north wind lays waste the garden.
For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.
Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.
He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.
All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life’s heart.
But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing-floor,
Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears…