While I feel somewhat ridiculous about reflecting in this manner when I am only 11 days in, I am going to claim progress anyway. I feel like something within me is breaking my habitual and compulsive dating pattern. I have taken time off from dating before, but that was really grieving and exasperation. This is different. This is for me. Just for me. Time to find out what I want. Who I am without the compulsive filling of men. I want to be. Just spend time getting to know what I want and doing what I want.
I am grateful for this time. I am also capable of acknowledging that I do not really want to be a partner. I can’t really see myself in a partnership. At least not now. Maybe some other day. I am not closing the door. I am just moving forward and allowing myself a year to heal. Time for me that I have never taken before. Or at least, haven't honored in a very long time.
I do not completely understand the forces at work here. I am trying to though. I want to write, hike and spend time with my kids. I want to invest in them. I want to be around and not off trying to make some man happy. I want to really address the deep wound that kept me stuck for the better part of four decades: needing to be picked.
I think we all have a deep wound (some of us have more than one for sure) that injured us in some way that quickly found a coping strategy that, ironically, guaranteed us that we would be perpetually miserable. The wound however was so deep and shameful that I could never really examine it. I just had this loose idea that it was there. I could always tell that there was this compulsive nature to my behavior. Occasionally, I could slow down to begin to unpack it but just when I began making progress, my mind would distract me with well worn patterns dressed up in new ideas that would have me quickly abandoning the line of inquiry for the promise of fulfillment in yet another flashy thought that this time it would be different. I claimed progress for the time spent in introspection, not realizing that I had only scratched the surface. The work was painful and arduous. I saw my friends acting out their own issues and seem to gain ground. I found the whole self examination process as lacking. I wanted, or rather the deep wound required, that I be satisfied now...not later.
I told myself all sorts of shit. I made up things, invented, wholly fabricated ideas about what, in reality, was just doing the same thing again and expecting something different. I changed, but really just enough so that I didn't have to change. I convinced myself that this time, this guy, this fill-in-the-blank, I would be redeemed.
The unseasoned idea that perhaps I already was redeemed started to sprout. If I wasn't any longer seeking redemption, what exactly was I doing? This time off from engaging in the compulsive next thing, opened the door so that some sunlight could get in. And there in an empty room, all alone was this very deep wound who somehow claimed the right to be at the epicenter of my life. Short-circuiting all of my decisions, demanding to be satisfied. At first, I was afraid to enter. The room itself was not dark, but austere and light. The wound sat there in the center, pulsating, breathing almost. It felt ominous to walk toward this fleshy dictator. I felt pulled, however, and decided that surrender was probably easier than resistance. I had all sorts of thoughts that all vied to crowd each other out, however, there was this feeling at my core that I should ignore all of their clamor for attention. I crept forward until I was upon it.
As I looked down, the wound was transformed. It was as if my mere glance, accelerated its healing. What had been gaping and gushing, began to cauterize. As if by magic surgical hands, the wound began to heal. The harsh unforgiving emptiness of the room began to fill with life, greenery and light. The wound's angry pulses waned and became a softer throb from its relentless beating. The room was also transformed as I stood there staring at it. I realized that this was a place that I could and would return to. There was no need to run away from it anymore. And in that thought, I knew that while this angry tyrant had ruled supreme for a very long time, my simple willingness to walk in to its lair, forever changed it and in turn me. Redemption was mine for the taking. I bent down, picked up the resultant tatters of flesh and claimed them as my own. I allowed the wound to take its rightful place deep within my chest. I got up and walked out the door, leaving it open to air out in the sparkling sunlight.