"Relationships that have never existed, require behaviors that have never existed."
I saved this gem some time ago. Knowing immediately when I read it, that it was true for me. And also being somewhat lost on exactly what those new behaviors would be...
And I am still not sure. I just know that if I want something different than I have always gotten, I have to show up and do it differently from the word go.
And while sitting in the comfort of my bed this morning, all things are possible. But then I get up...and the day begins and the fear seeps in and all those lofty ideas of who and what I can be seem to fade like a dream state vanishes upon waking.
And yet, the above sentence rings true regardless of the fear, regardless of my lack of progress, regardless. Every single relationship I have had has demanded something new from me, and I have brought it, until I couldn’t. And if that is true for me, it is likely true for everyone else as well.
We all have pasts: traumas, disappointments, abuse, neglect, leavings (which I think is a better word than abandonment because not all of us are truly abandoned, but all of us are left), events that have left indelible marks upon our body, souls and psyches. And we are still here to show up and try again.
I think that will be on my tombstone one day, “she just kept trying...” And so I do. I cannot seem to stop and while I know that I am making progress, I still have so much doubt about who I am, how I show up and whether or not I will ever be good enough for my ideas about who I am supposed to be.
It is not God or even any of you that I feel like I fail on the daily, it is me. This incessant drive to live up to morals, ideals, philosophy and principles that try as I might, I seem to fuck up way more often than I would like. It is just my life...and perhaps it will never be any different.
And yet it is. Each day I bring something new to each relationship I have. I show up and do my best to leave the past in the past, and bring something new to the day. Perhaps today it is a willingness to sit with fear. Or perhaps it is a willingness to stay instead of run. Or perhaps a honesty where a lie would have been my past behavior. One more attempt to create safety through a false narrative.
I try each day to create a life that is safe for me to be me. To tell the truth, to show up in the most authentic skin I can and show you the good, the bad, the ugly. Because if nothing else, it is real. It is me. And claiming the realness of myself, seems more important than anything else. Because if I lack this commitment to authenticity, all other principles fail. Honesty about who and what I am are the foundation for a life well lived. I can’t hide and feed you bullshit, and then expect life to all go smoothly.
So sometimes, something new is just a daily commitment to the same thing - honesty. A willingness, supported by a continued returning to a truth telling, even when the truth is unflattering, embarrassing, likely to cause judgment and perhaps even suffering. For me, anyway, the something new always begins on the cusp of my commitment to be honest about myself. And to challenge myself to be better in this regard than I have before. To delve deeper into who I am and why I do things. And then do my best to share that with those close enough to me for it to matter.
My life looks completely different than it did one year ago. And while there are a lot of outward circumstances that have changed, it is really my interior that is different. And that has produced most, if not all, of the outward changes. My inner life has been rearranged and that has caused a new thing to be possible. New relationships to form, deepen and grow. I am different. So my relations are different.
Life is going to give me countless opportunities to grow towards the light, to move out of the shadows and into the sunlight of the spirit. It is always my choice. To retreat into the abyss of my disease, or to walk boldly into the light that bathes me and soothes me and heals me.
Something new isn’t always new, sometimes it is just a renewed commitment to return to the one principle in this life that changed everything...being honest, to myself, about myself and then finding the courage and the willingness to begin to change what I can in each day. It isn’t always life sweeping changes that produce change, sometimes, it is little minute changes that happen slowly over time, that allow for something new to occur. To grant passage of new skills, ideas and willingness to show up in the same life, differently.
And it is this path, that has changed me. Tiny erosive alterations of my character that grant me a renewed ability to show up the same, but different so that something new can take place. I am today a person I have never been before, altered, changed and reshaped from the events of yesterday, born of new thoughts and ideas about the world, myself and why I am here. And what the hell I am supposed to do with this one amazing life.