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Hard Conversations...

They are, well, hard, right?  Hard to have, hard to hear, they are just fucking awful.  But, I have learned, the hard way because apparently that is the only way I learn anything at all, that NOT having the hard conversation makes everything worse.


I cannot count high enough to number the amount of hard conversations I have avoided in my life.  Knowing things were not right, knowing they were off and not good and things needed to be said, asked, requested, borders drawn and boundaries held...but I didn’t.  I went inside, to my interior where the dark overlord of fear takes over and silences me.


I know I am not unique in this area, I mean, if I had a nickel for all the people in my life right now who are not having conversations they need to have with the people that matter most to them, I would have a fuck ton of nickels.


Why do we pull the hardest, most difficult conversations that are going to have the most lasting impact?  


Because they are hard, difficult, fear riddled and are going to have the most lasting impact...and so we accommodate, we change, we move, we alter, we obfuscate, we cover over truth, with what seems, at the time, harmless holdbacks, and sometimes just plain lies.


But what if we didn’t?  What if we just said the things that weigh heavy on our hearts and minds?  What if we just stopped all the socially approved filtering and just said, as nicely as possible given the very high stakes, our truth?


And if that is the relational end, then so be it?  


If there is one thing I have gotten wrong more than any other, it is not saying what I really think and feel and believe in the moment.  I hold back, I capitulate.  I ransack my own interior to keep, maintain and resurrect a relationship that was likely dead already.  It is like breathing life into an already dead body, filling a flat tire with a giant hole with more air, there is a lot being done but the ultimate effort is pointless.  All my efforts to the contrary are never, ever going to be ok or produce the result I want.


So why do I do it?


It is simple really...


I am not ready to let go.  I think being honest and able to have the hard conversations, one must be always willing to let go.  And I don’t know about you, I like to cling to things, and people and belongings, with a tight fisted grasp.  I like to hold on and instead of facing reality, I like to pretend that things are other than how they are...


Because in so doing, I get to keep the tiny embers of hope for a different outcome alive, if even for a moment...


And that my friends is often way more important than anything else.  My need to perpetuate my own delusion is greater than any truth I could ever tell.   Because that is the supreme truth - that I would rather stay quiet, muted, and fundamentally dishonest than lose you.  Even though I am wholly dissatisfied with the you that keeps showing up in our relationship.  I want to have something, a connection, tainted though it may be, rather than have just nothing at all.


It has taken me years to realize that all of this crap I have been pulling never really gets me where I would like to be.  I maintain the tenuous connection as much as I can, and ignore the truly important ones - the one with myself and whatever Divinity resides inside me.


I stay because I don’t want to be alone...because I feel like I am always perpetually alone.  But I fail to see that I am happier alone.  I am more prone to feeling satisfied and hopeful than when I am tethered to someone who is not right for me.  I think I came into this world feeling very alone and so I sought about attempting to fix what I saw to be the problem...my aloneness.  When in reality what was the actual problem was that I was not capable of really being partnered.  


I hid parts of myself away, made them unavailable for human consumption or even introduction.  I kept my private life, private and the thoughts and feelings that circled around in there, to myself.  Thus avoiding any real intimacy and a great number of hard conversations.


I see the error of my ways, but at this point, I am not sure I can change...even with a great desire to do so.  But I cannot resolve the conflict, so I have to do the work.  I sometimes so wish I could just resign myself to what appears to be my fate, but I can’t.  I am unable to just accept defeat and so I plod onward, toward what I have no idea.  But the goal, always, is for me to become more known and less guarded and deceitful.


It is like I decided as a child to have one life that I lived and another life that I thought.  And I decided that anyone, almost without exception, could have access to my actual life.  I have been a poor gatekeeper indeed...but my inner world, that is something that I locked away and kept separate and guarded with the whole of my being.  Oh sure, I can talk a mile a minute and dance around that which masquerades as intimacy, but rest assured there is a whole bunch more going on beneath my surfaces of which you will never be aware...ever.


I have reached a painful conclusion, that in order to ever solve this alone issue I have, I must be willing to engage with people in a manner that is more straightforward and honest.  I must become willing to have these hard conversations that leave me open and vulnerable to being left.  For me to say what I think and feel and believe and need and have you walk away...or stay.  Although I am always convinced you will leave...if I really let you in.


Just writing that gave me a mild panic attack.  A life long runner, attempting to find a place to rest, an alternative activity to bolting.  To remaining in the relationship but with openness and honesty and trust that all that is meant for me will come and go in some sort of other worldly timing I do not understand, get, or often, like.


I always think I want people around, until they are actually around and then I take great umbrage at their humanity, their selfishness, their audacity, their, well, being.  I am not sure how to resolve this within myself.  And in a world where the temporal and fleeting is the norm.  People today do not often want the real, the true or the honest, instead they settle for the very temporary flash, the quick fix that almost always leads to disappointment and letdown.  But it is safe, because neither party was all that invested to begin with...so starting over is just too easy...and staying is the thing that no one can do.


I will tell you that my years sitting desk side to love’s demise has taught me that most people cannot contemplate forever, and so when they say I do, what they are really saying is I do until I don’t...


The hardest divorces for me have always been where one person loved with their whole being. Where one person loved, and committed and loved with such ferocity and then is left behind by a partner who was either never really there to begin with or, less common, just changed into someone no longer recognizable to anyone, to include themselves.


At at the bottom of all this discussion is our societal need and perpetuation of avoidance.  We all want intimacy until we actually are presented with someone who is actually capable of doing the work with you, and then we bolt.  We pay lip service to the things we want, the people we aspire to be, when in day to day living we just keep doing the same thing over and over again until we die.


And in my ongoing analysis of myself and all the many pain ridden, grief stricken others, the place where it all goes wrong is where we refuse to have a hard conversation that might be the harbinger of the ending, but we don’t have that conversation for the exact reason that we are not ready for this particular affair to come to its natural conclusion...so we perpetuate the lie that becomes the foundational element in our relations and then we become besotted with angst and disappointment that we never, ever get what we so desperately desire.


So, if we want something different, myself included, we must become willing to have hard conversations, potentially relational ending conversations that own who we are, what we are and what we want.  This is where all relationships fail.  Be they business, love, friendship, or family.  We refuse to speak the truth of our own interiority in order to perpetuate a fraud that migrates into our future unhappiness...again, still.


Living a life that is filled with regret, pain and suffering mostly of our own making because we were not able or willing to wake every day and tell our inner truth.  To own the fact that things bug us and hurt us and walking forward as if they don’t is the biggest lie we ever tell.  And sure, telling our truth may lead those current relations away from us, but maybe just maybe, if we found the courage, we might be able to finally have the relationship we want, instead of all the ones that leave us alone and wanting.


I know for me, that feeling alone and being alone is hard.  But it is nothing compared to being attached and feeling alone.  That is a different kind of pain that I just can’t endure anymore.  So change I must, even if it feels like it will kill me.  I am dying either way...so I will endeavor to hold all my relationships in an open palm, so that those who wish may land, but can always leave, or it is easier for me to flick them away.  Because it is only when presented with the choice of freedom, that when one chooses to remain, that true intimacy unfurls, and wraps itself around you like a warm blanket on a cold night.





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