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Resolving the Struggle?

I was talking with a friend yesterday while hiking in the rain.  I didn’t plan on hiking in the fact, I was tired and didn’t really feel like hiking at all.  But having not moved my body in two days, I felt off so I knew walking, hiking or something was required to change my internal emotional structure.  I am not sure why I am like this, I just know I am.

So I was walking the meadow with the dog, the weather wild and weird.  I saw quickly after I was committed that a rain jacket would have probably been a good idea.  But living in So Cal all this time has made thinking about the possibility of rain something of an afterthought, although our weather lately would beg to differ with this being an idle consideration.  In short, I got wet.

The conversation turned on this status of being partnered or solitary.  It was a conversation that was more about the feelings that drive the desire to be either than it was the end result.  She and I both struggle with the concept and the feelings.  She is like me in the sense that we both want to have both, freedom to do whatever we want and also have a deep, meaningful and intimate connection with a man.  Both of us have tried repeatedly, and both of us have failed, also repeatedly.

She is still smarting from her last attempt, and attendant ending.  Me, I am beginning round 27 with mine.  And both of us hold the sentiment that we are quite dog like in this whole ordeal.  I seem to always want to be on the side of the door I am not. If I in a relation, all can think about is getting out, and if I am out of one, all I can think about is getting in.  I am being dramatic, this isn’t really all I think about but you get my drift.

In our meandering conversation about love and commitment and ourselves, we both agreed that what we really want is to find a person we can love, who loves us back and doesn’t drive us mad.  And as we talked about such things I realized, at least for myself, that I am really the problem.  Well, the stories I have bought and made into some sort of real but completely fictions reality.  When I meet someone commitment worthy and I make that commitment to them, I immediately begin to focus on what I lose.  I lose some freedom, I lose a chance to meet someone better or different or whatever.  And that begins to feel like a big ask of me.  Like too much.  And I erode all the positive things in the current relationship by believing the lie that there is someone out there better...or this magical creature that wants all the same things I do and will love in the manner I deserve finally!

But I am the architect of my own relational demise.  Because “he” is always a fiction.  He doesn’t really exist because there is no man alive that is not going to require work to be with.  He isn’t going to zig when all I care about is zagging.  There isn’t another human being alive that I could have any relationship with that will be problem, stress and worry free forever.  And the fact that I still believe there is at 54 gives you an up close look at just how delusional I am.

I mean there are a lot of things in play when relating:  attraction, chemistry, commitment, communication, love, friendship, tolerance, honesty, fidelity, compromising without capitulating.  It is a tenuous experiment for all concerned.  And it isn’t just me, I am sure every man I dated had the same feelings as I did, like she is great in so many ways but perhaps someone else would be way less work...

We all think it.  And then we make relational decisions about it.  And we suffer because of it.

So as we talked about the feelings that drove the behavior to always be heading for the door, I began to wonder what if I just stayed and was honest and truthful and let the relationship just go where it is supposed to.  What if I just gave up the delusion that there might be someone else?  I mean, likely there will always be the possibility of someone else.  I mean, there are like 9 billion people on the planet, you can always and forever find someone else.  But perhaps I have been focused, again, still, on what isn’t really all that important.  Perhaps what is important is that I commit and give this person right in front of me my all.  Trusting that if it doesn’t work out I can have a go with one of the other 8.999 billion other people roaming the earth.  I am not going to find someone who never vexes me, who never lets me down, who never zags when I am totally into zigging.  It just isn’t possible.

When you love someone, you aren’t really in charge of the why.  You just do.  And perhaps the best thing to keep in the forefront of your mind is that there are plenty of other fish in the sea but perhaps you will always have the same shit over and over again because it is not them that is the issue, it is you and your persistent delusion that when you find the “right” person it will be all better and you will get along perfectly with no struggle or strife.  I mean Shakespeare told us “the course of true love never did run smooth...” And yet we persistently and quite stubbornly refuse to believe when it is right for us, we should be granted not only smooth passage but also safe passage.

There are always going to be issues and hardship and conflict and strife.  No two humans remain on the same page for long.  We are diverse and in that diversity we change.  We want things differently at different times.  We need things that we cannot accept or talk about or ask for and so we stifle ourselves thereby hurting ourselves and the other person with whom we are trying to love.

So the struggle is our own.  And it isn’t about finding the right person, but more specifically being the right person.  I have never found a lasting loving partner because I have never been my whole self in the relationship.  I always seem to decide early on what parts of me I will commit to the endeavor and what parts I will keep for myself.  And I am becoming increasingly convinced that no love can really last when one or both parties is holding back, keeping stuff away from the other, saving that particular version of themselves for this mythical creature of the perfect mate.  

I think really in this life what we need to find is someone that is willing to do the work with you.  The constant and unending work to keep the love and relationship alive. Someone who will meet you in the trenches and continue to show up even when they would much rather be doing something else.  

I can see that I have misplaced this idea of isn’t to find the “right” person but to be the “right” person and by that I mean to just be who I am.  The complicated, fucked up, neurotic, loving, caring mass of me who is terrified that I will get it wrong again...which so far, has only increased the odds that I will get it wrong perpetually.

The struggle has never really been about the other person.  It has always been about me.  Me being who I really am, without all the fanfare and delusion.  I have to trust that whatever Divine intelligence has brought me this far, will take me further if I rely upon it.  I cannot really end up in the wrong relationship whether that is with some version of him or being alone.  I will always be led to that which is right for me.  And my only responsibility is to show up in the best, most honest form of me, working always to free myself from the delusion that I am supposed to be somewhere I am not.

Turns out the struggle was not whether this guy or that guy was the “right” one.  The struggle has always been whether or not I am willing to give myself enough to the one in front of me to make it work...and I guess this is where I have to own, I haven’t been willing.  I preferred instead to chase this fairytale in my head and heart that there is some magical version of man that never pisses me off, always shows up for me and provides me exactly what I need in that moment and loves me even when I present as pretty petty and unloveable.  

The truth, my truth today is that there will always be the possibility for something greater as long as I tell myself that lie and believe it.  So long as I believe the lie, the truth will always evade me.  And yet, I am the one believing the lie for decades now.  Shut off from the truth because I stubbornly and persistently refuse to accept the idea that there will always be a different, but perhaps not a better.  Because the only better that really matters in the grand scheme of things, is the better version of myself...that I seem to fail to actualize repeatedly.

Resolving this internal struggle between being alone and being partnered isn’t ever really about them...turns out it has always and will always be about me.  Who I am, how I show up, or don’t for the love that is present in front of me.  I am not better off alone, and I am not better off partnered off.  I am only made worse for the delusions that I perpetuate believing that there is something capable of being gained without sacrifice and compromise.

And I will admit fully that I am sure that a lasting love exists right on the other side of this particular delusion...the delusion that I have, at least so far, been so unwilling to give up. Content instead to just continue to vacillate back and forth between this idea that alone or coupled is the only question.  Turns out, the bigger and more important question is who am I in this whole endeavor.  Who exactly am I and what am I bringing to the individual and collective table?

So far the only thing I have been consistently able to be is a flight risk...I see that now.  And I have no idea whether I will ever be able to stop chasing the fantasy and delusion.  I just know that today I see the great missteps in critical thinking and judgment and I am willing to look at it.  I see new revelations contained there, so I must go explore it, delve into it and see who I become on the other side...



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