Day 329 - Touching In...
Rarely in my life have I felt truly connected to others. There has always been this base desire to connect but I have, admittedly, often gone about it all wrong. It is like I had this idea that someday the right person would just walk into my life. And then I mistook every single passerby for more than what they were. I had some painful lessons. I hurt and then way more successfully than I knew at the time, grew hardened by my experiences of near misses. I could have spent the rest of my life there. There are times still when I sort of wish I still could.
When I left my marriage, I said that I wanted to feel passion, love, excitement and the dangerous rush of love without boundary or limit. I got exactly what I asked for (thank you universe) but like with most fiery love stories, it fizzled out, dampened by both of our insecurities and issues that remained unaddressed. Sad, but true.
It took me a long time (especially for me when I usually spent about ten minutes getting over something) to get over that one. I won’t lie, there are times that I still think that I had my one chance, and it has passed me by.
However, through this process, I have come to love and know myself better. I can be present in my skin and own the ground I stand on. Despite all the missed connections and failed starts, I still believe that there is someone out there that could ignite my soul on fire...but I have kind of given up the search. He will come, or not. I do not know and I am mostly content if he doesn’t. I have found a way to live a comfortable life with the one that is present in my life right now: writing, working, parenting, friending, daughtering, Rving, reading, loving whomever might show up in my life. It has been such a gift to be released from the demanding hope that pretty much ruined everything all the time.
Cheryl Strayed said this:
Can I convince the person I am crazy about to be crazy about me?
The short answer is no.
The long answer is no.
There are so many things to be tortured about. So many tortuous things in this life.
Don’t let someone who doesn’t love you be one of them.
Dear Cheryl, I really needed to know this like 40 years ago.
Regardless of my lateness in fully developing this knowledge, I do get it now. And not in an asshole kind of way. I see lots of people who get this idea but then punish every one that comes their way for not loving them hard enough, or true enough or right enough.
For me, there has been this great opening in my life. I stopped on insisting that the universe deliver me the life that I demanded and just started living the life that appeared in front of me. Every day. And the resulting life is that I have loved more, not less. I am more in love with the people in my life today than I ever have been. I love the people that alight my path, no matter how briefly or superficially they may touch in. My only task is to keep the door unlocked so that anyone who has something to teach me can just walk right on in.
Touching in is something that I have learned to develop. I can touch in with anyone and meet them where they are. I can accept what they offer and see the limits of their arrival in my life. I have learned to stop demanding that they be whatever I want and instead meet them where they are and do my best to love them, even if they let me down. Or are unable to meet me where I am.
My experience with love is that, ironically, I have learned to love better and harder and truer while I have been alone. I have learned to give to myself all the things I used to expect a man to give me. So much so that I have almost obliterated the need for anyone to show up at all. But not in a hostile or defensive way. I am just ok, in this skin, living this life, and if it never gets any better than this...well, ok.
Touching in with myself has enabled me to free all of you from the limits of my expectations. I stopped demanding that you (men, mostly) show up and take the script I handed you and then read your lines like a good boy. You, instead, now, should you so choose, get to show up in my life and show me who you are. I do not need to make you into someone else, something greater that you are, or lesser than who you are. I have learned, that I am ok, right here on my own. Which allows you to be whomever you are...
Perhaps one day I will find someone who likewise is willing to risk, to dare, to dream. To be willing to risk it all, put forth the equal effort, to match capacity for connection, exchange of mind, body and spirit. My most prevalent and amazing lesson this last year has been that no matter if it shows up or not, I am still in love with my life. And I love the crazy, ramshackle people who show up and I am grateful for all I have learned along the way.
Touching in has taken some work. It is hard to walk yourself down the emotional rope and not fall into the well. But it is possible to lower yourself just enough to look around and see whether there is anything this person has to offer and most importantly, whether they want what I can and will bring to the table. Touching in has given me a way to descend into the space of another and grant them access without getting lost in the expectation and need and desire to achieve a certain outcome. Walk into my life and I am going to do my best to see you for who you are and love you anyway. You can stay and you can leave. I honor your journey and will do my best to walk along side you for so long as I can be helpful and remain teachable.
This process of touching in has allowed me to finally be free of demanding that I get my way. To have it scripted and tethered to a particular outcome. The life, my life, is open and I am practicing allowing by opening my heart and loving you in whatever form you currently inhabit. I trust that the universe knows what it is doing and will let us both know when it is your time to go or change or morph or stay. My only job is to keep touching in and loving anyway regardless of what my head tells me. Lay bare the access to my heart and grant dominion to the crazy beautiful light that guides us through the collection of days, and nights...
Touching in...it is how to continue to love while holding your own seat and not getting lost on a path that doesn’t belong to you.