As I was saying, I want proof. Before I started writing about my relationship I wanted proof that it was going to work. I didn’t want to feel humiliated again if this shit didn’t last, but as we all know I’d rather lose my dignity to writing than nothing at all. So here I go, watch me.
Back to truth #4. This may come as a surprise but I am the same person in this relationship as I have been in all others. What the fuck? I mean, I’m a better version of my bullshit, but I’m still bumping into some of the same problems, hmm.
You know, things like feeling alone and dissatisfied, and the worst, most unattractive offenders, jealous, suspicious, and unimportant. Damn, those who can’t love me enough; and damned are the ones who loved me the way I wanted to be loved. I didn’t want them.
But there’s a miracle in this, as Einstein says, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle,” I believe in the magic.
I marvel knowing and recognizing myself as the main contributor of my pain, which means suffering is optional. It also tells me that the people of my past who couldn’t love me enough like my mother and my ex, loved me in their own way, which is still love. And that the Texan loves me in her own way, which is also love. I can either accept it or reject it on the basis that it’s not the proof-based love I want.
So what is this proof-based love? Well, as stated above, when I get what I want I don’t want it. And unless I get what I want it doesn’t feel like love.(If you love me you will bring me chocolate cake, tell me exactly how and why you love me so much, fuck me when I say, and love my children like your own; and when you do all these things I will be done with you, but I will know it was love.) This tells me three things: 1. I am an asshole. 2. That proof-based love doesn’t exist, and 3. Love, for me, is a paradox.
(I mean I am a Gemini, of course love has to be something dualistic, dramatic, and complicated. Over the holiday season of Festivous, a fictional holiday from the sitcom, Seinfeld. We held a Festivous dinner, and an airing of our grievances–an open forum around the kitchen table to discuss what bugs you about other family members. My ten and a half year old daughter said, when airing her grievances about me,”Mother, You are so dramatic! You’re such a drama queen.”The Texan laughed hard at this assessment, one I proudly own.)
Actually, it’s not a paradox. My concept of a proof-based love is really just conditional love and that’s not love. And there it is, remember that miracle we talked about? I am finally learning about unconditional love.
It has been with me all along. I was searching everywhere-externally for it–when I needed to be looking closer. I had to love myself unconditionally first before I could recognize it or love others that way. It came to me naturally with my children, but not so much in romantic love and with my understanding of my mother’s love for me.
I learned how to love myself unconditionally by being honest.
This brings me back again to truth #4, since I am still the same person in this relationship as I have been in others, only a little better, I found myself in a familiar place. The Texan has been going through a transformation of sorts of her own. (In my previous post, “The Proof” I mentioned that she and I decided to try and be better versions of ourselves together.) And in her quest for self-improvement I started to feel left out, and jealous because she had to turn more inward, and suspicious because I didn’t understand what was going with her, and ugh, unloved. It wasn’t about me. The feelings were so familiar. It was the same story with a different face and subject matter but the hurt felt the same.
The pain grew. I wanted to escape. I would not be injured again. But I was already hurting. However, this time I didn’t trust it. I had to be honest with myself. If I knew it so well the pain had to come from within. Fuck.
No! No, fuck, scratch that. Knowing myself and accepting myself as is, wounded, and–at times–delusional, dramatic, scrappy and hard to love like a shelter dog is who I am, and are also the things that make me so lovable. Wounded means I’m vulnerable and interesting. Delusional means I’m heady and creative. Dramatic means I’m entertaining and passionate. Scrappy and hard to love like a shelter dog means I’m tenacious and well worth the time and effort put in to find my softness.
From within I found my ground. An honest glimpse inward helped me see outward. In the past I lived my life in reverse. A look outward was a dishonest view inward. There will be no more of that.
*Owning who I am releases my need for others to love me a certain way in order for me to feel ok; and it creates space within to love others free of restraints.*
Which brings me to #5,Ooh, truth #5 is a tough one for me. So my theory above* was put to a test, as with every new lesson I learn, there seems to be some sort of test. And to paraphrase, “Either everything is a miracle, or nothing is a miracle,” My handsome Texan drop-kicked my ass with some honesty of her own. I sensed what felt like a pulling away on her part. I was anxious and confused. I didn’t know what was going on but I waited for her to tell me. (Waiting was another great lesson for me in the areas of maturity and discernment. Some things can only be known when they are ready to be spoken, and heard. I had struggled with wanting to know but I didn’t find out until I let go of it and trusted that what I needed to know would come to me in time. This was an act of faith on my part.This was new behavior for me.) What she told me took courage. She knew she ran the risk of losing me over it but she owned her truth, which ultimately, is the best thing not only for her, but for me as well.
It was hard to hear. I don’t like what she said to say but I respect it and understand it to the core, even though it hurts. For me, part of growing up and learning about love is realizing that I don’t always get my way and that I may not always like the way someone else feels. But real life and real love can only be lived in truth, and sometimes not getting my way is actually getting my, I just have to remain vigilant to the magic.
Fuck, there’s no proof. There’s no proof that this relationship will work. There’s no evidence to prove that I won’t again be a humbled mess, broken at the knees, and there’s no promising that I won’t end up again in a depleted and battered state from a breakup.
But if that happens I will know that I was given another opportunity to love and be loved, and I will wait for the next miracle to appear.
With much love and humility,
Shannon, unapologetically me.
Unapologetic about the ways I am learning to love myself.
Thank you for reading.