I was in the passenger seat riding back from a quick road trip to Charlottesville.
We went to a drive-through to get some food.
Typically I would have grabbed a fry or two out of the bag but my mind was swirling.
He just told me his family was coming into town for his birthday. A family that I had met, I knew, but there was no invitation to join him.
I was replaying the past few months in my head. The good days, the okay days and the really sucky days.
He told me a couple weeks earlier that he didn’t want to get married or have children. I knew this wasn’t true.
He didn’t want this with ME.
Yet we kept seeing each other.
The tangled web I had woven together that tied me to him for years was so strong and sticky.
It wasn’t because I thought we were so good together, that I was so happy when I was with him.
Nope, it turned into an addiction.
It hit me right there with the fast food smells penetrating my clothes.
I deserve better than this. This addiction needed to stop.
For years, I would tolerate the back and forth, the cat and mouse game we played but finally a higher voice was kicking in.
A voice that was stronger than any I have ever heard before. It was a calm, powerful knowing that I was done of the yo-yoing.
He dropped me off at my house. We hugged goodbye. I think we both knew it was goodbye forever but we didn’t say a word.
I got off the emotional roller coaster ride I knowingly put myself on for years.
I never saw him again. And I was okay with that.
Most people would think this was another cliché story of a girl meets guy, girl gets hurt by guy, girl thinks all men are jerks but this isn’t that story.
This man gave me the most beautiful gift.
He was the catalyst in my journey to start discovering more about love, communication, emotions, and most importantly MYSELF.
For that, I’m so thankful.
I recently met a man while out with girlfriends one night who felt the need to apologize to me for all the crappy things men do to women.
I immediately told him that he didn’t need to apologize.
He was confused and almost a bit defensive. He just wanted me to accept his apology for his entire gender even though I just met him.
I explained to him that I alone decide if I’m going to allow someone permission to hurt me.
He again was confused and defensive.
I told him again, “No one can hurt me without my consent.”
I explained the story I just told you. How I knowingly put myself on a crazy amusement ride with a man.
Yeah, I got hurt emotionally but I take responsibility for it. (BTW, I’m in no way making light of situations where someone truly is a victim of emotional or physical abusive.)
I didn’t have the emotional maturity back then to see the red flags as deal breakers. Instead, I choose to ignore then.
I wasn’t a victim to this man. We were both unemotionally available.
If I was so emotionally available then why would I be attracted to someone unavailable?
I didn’t condone his behavior at all times but he wasn’t a bad person. I know deeply that he has a good soul in him. I honestly believe he was doing the best he could with where he was at in his emotional development.
And you know what, I also know I hurt men in the past with my emotional patterns.
Was I so bad, wrong and horrible for doing the best I could do in the past too?
The same for you.
So I explained to this man who so badly wanted to apologize that every disappointment, hurt, crying our eyes out experience is an opportunity.
Yet most of the time, it is so easier to blame the other person. To say how unavailable they are, that they are a weirdo, they are crazy but we miss the beautifully wrapped present that is right in front of our face.
The gift to look within ourselves to see what this hurt is about.
Instead of asking for a relationship, ask for how you can prepare to be in that soulful relationship you desire.
If you had a goal of running a half-marathon, you would practice, buy a good pair of running shoes, possibly join a running group. You would readjust if you weren’t seeing progress or you had an injury but you would keep on going as long as your body was capable.
The same with relationships.
Learn, practice (going out on dates, meeting new people), receive feedback, work with a coach and readjust as necessary.
A relationship is like training for a sport, or learning how to cook or any other hobby you pick up.
You need to learn about it and practice.
As a society we think we need to immediately know how to do relationships well.
But you know what, most of us never learned how to.
How many of us took classes in high school or college on how to create and maintain a healthy relationship be it with a romantic partner, friends, coworkers, ourselves or family members?
My number is a big fat 0!
Dr. Carl Jung once said that the best time to work on a relationship is before you get in one.
What he means is that you can only work on your side of the street. When you get in a relationship, you are working with both your side and someone else’s.
Isn’t it a whole lot easier to work on tidying up your side before you start integrating with someone else’s stuff?
And let me tell you, the relationship goes smoother after you tidy up your side too.
If your heart is broken, if you feel you keep meeting guys who won’t commit, or you don’t meet any guys at all then please know you are in a very beautiful place.
Your soul is guiding you to learn more about yourself and love if you are willing to take that leap.
It takes great moral courage to look within yourself but darling, love is so worth it on the other end.
What are you waiting for? Take the leap and start the journey!
P.S. If you would like some additional inspiration then listen to this song and remember you are exactly where you need to be. BTW, this song is one of my favorites and it has helped me threw some dark nights of the soul.