Sometimes you rub me raw.
Like sand paper,
You tantalize me
With the promise of a smooth future
I am scratched by reality.
You are not part of the dream.
I feel the sands of your abrasiveness.
And I know
You are just
an in between.
Archives For Relationship Asylum
I can only go deep.
It seems that there is a current trend of forgoing deep meaningful relationships in an effort to protect myself from the pain of a possibly tragic break up. Maybe it’s because I am in my mid 30’s, still single and this new collective vibe has caught my attention.
Whatever the case may be I am not a fan of this retreat to what appears to be safer waters in relationships. I hate to break it to you friends, but you can drown in two inches of water.
I have taken note of those in my sphere who have tried the shallow end of the dating pool, only to find that the pickings are slim, with small fish that end up becoming nothing more than a snack or small meal that has left them starving after empty hearted consumption.
For me, love is an issue of great depth and importance.
It is not something I can enter into lightly. I am well aware of the risks and the rewards and am still willing to live among the waves if its absence and presence as I wait. I have learned to love the still of this ocean as its currant supports me along with the sound of the quiet and the roar of the water.
A few years ago I was introduced to the song Cool Change by the Little River Band. It became an intricate part of my life. One of my favorite verses is:
“Well, I was born in the sign of water
and it is there that I feel my best.
the whale and the albatross are my brother. It’s kind of a special thing
When your out on the sea alone, staring at the moon, like a lover.”
It’s true that a life of solitude takes some getting used to, but the rewards have been exponential. I am comfortable in my own skin. I am happy even when alone with my own thoughts. I am no longer haunted by the storms of yesterday and the nights that made me question if I would see the light of day again.
I have found peace with myself and the ocean. The evening sky has truly become intricate part of my existence. It’s in these moments of quiet solitude that I have discovered the ability to be my own best friend. Encouraging, uplifting, and simply enjoying my own company has been a reward for all of the effort. It’s not easy to fall in love with yourself. You have to get used to looking beyond the flaws to see the jewel that is the real you. If what I seek never appears, my years of the oceanic journey will not be in vain, I am not empty. I am filled with my own joy, self confidence, and peaceful happiness. These things are worth their weight in gold.
There may be a person in your life that you just can’t shake – a person that is missed so much that whatever drove you apart sits on your back like a bag of bricks. Perhaps you’ve tried to set that bag down and leave it without unpacking the contents but it’s still attached to your weight slumped shoulders from the burden of things left unsaid.
How do you go from no contact to tentative conversation? It can be done with time, patience, compassion, and forgiveness.
- Admit you started the fire to burn the bridge: One of the hardest things is to admit to yourself when you’ve done somebody wrong. It’s easy to lay the blame at their feet because after all, they’re the ones that caused your anger and your release of the relationship in the first place. But sometimes that’s a lie we tell ourselves to keep from being responsible for our own actions. It’s a reflection of our not so shining moments.
- Build a new bridge: Reach out to the person via text, email, phone call, sky-writing, blog post or any other way to let them know you’re willing to speak with them. If the person is receptive, apologize for what you did or said wrong. Leave expectations on the floor because sometimes the wound you’ve caused can run so deeply that there may be rejection or disbelief of your intentions. Remember to not just speak the words but take action. You’re asking for a new relationship which means you’re approaching this not as the former person, but as you are right now.
- Compassion for yourself and the new relationship: The old wounds will be there. They may be scabbed over or even scarred, but they will be there. Realize that when you look at the other person with compassion in your heart, the scars fade after time. It is as falling in love with that person’s current self and from this point you’ve come to in the realization that this relationship is worth it. History can’t be changed, only the here and now is important.
- Dissolve anger, pride, and resentment: Holding on to anger is that bag of bricks that weighs your spirit down. Realize that you reacted or acted in a very human manner. Your feelings of resentment have no place in the new relationship you’re attempting to re-establish. The pride that kept you from making the reconnection before needs to find the humbleness of release. Feel the emotions, but don’t hold them. Allow them to dissipate.
- Evolve your view of the person: Are you the same person you were when you cut the relationship from your life? The other person isn’t either. Meet her as if for the first time, because technically, you are. Get to know their current self because what you remember may (or truthfully, may not) be accurate. Anger changes the color of memories to murky depths instead of embracing the current vibrancy of now. This is a new day and a new relationship based on time passing. Let her be who she is now, not how you remember them.
- Forgive yourself and the other person: This one can prove difficult depending on the circumstances of the separation. By setting down your feelings from the past and allowing things to be as they are, forgiveness is not far behind. Forgiveness helps us to see things clearly again. It wipes the slate clean even if the faint outline of the transgression can still be seen, it’s no longer the focus of the relationship. The focus shifts to rebuilding instead of rehashing.
- Give love willingly: What if the person you’re reaching out to rejects your attempt at reconciliation? What if they don’t want anything to do with you or your efforts to rebuild? Love her anyway. Just because you’re ready to re-establish a relationship doesn’t mean she will be. If she is willing, then don’t be afraid to let her get to know you as you are now. Your personal growth has brought you to a point where you realize the value of what you’ve been missing. Allow the vulnerability of love to fill in those parts, whether rejected or accepted. Love the other person. Love yourself. Let it be organically grown from your heart no matter their response.
- Healthy Communication: Be honest with yourself and the person you’re re-establishing a relationship with. Speak from your heart while listening to spirit. There is nothing more satisfying than accepting one another exactly as you are. You don’t have to be a allow yourself to communicate your own wants and needs. you’re establishing grounds of mutual respect. It builds trust, balance, and reinforces your sincerity.
Great things can take time to build or rebuild. Although there is no guarantee that the other person will be receptive to your outreach, discovering that you can set down that bag of bricks is totally worth it.
How far down the road are you willing to go before you realize that you have gone the wrong direction? It is human nature to believe that we have it all under control, that we know what we are doing but let’s face it, even the best of us have stayed our welcome in our comfort zones a little too long. Look at The Buddha. It took him seven years to realize he was on the wrong path with starvation, neglect, and self-abuse as a pathway to enlightenment.
It’s really okay to say I don’t want this anymore. In fact if it wasn’t said, how could we ever evolve? We would be putrid with the stench of murky stagnation, and no one would ever want to be near us.
When it comes to friendships, this is a truth that is so essential that our very life force depends on it.
When a friendship has overstayed its welcome, both parties know. It is like having a corpse lying on the floor in the middle of a vibrant garden party. You can smell its decay over honeysuckles, sweet pea, tea and chocolate truffles. And if you are not careful, you end up tripping over its remains and landing face first in the grass where a dog has just marked her territory, mussing up your fine attire while everyone calls you the fool.
There are just some moments when you know there can be no more compromises, when you realize your friend has not taken your best interests to heart and you must let said person go.
Relationships are a pathway to your best self. The very best of those you choose to relationship with will hold a key that was always yours, given to them before either of you touched your feet on the planet’s surface. They know your best and worst without you having to say a word and are willing to spar you until you get your shit right and take you into their arms with the greatness of their love. The deliciousness continues when there is a mutual desire established to make the other person smile, laugh, and grow.
We teach people how to treat us. If we are silent because of mistreatment that is clearly evident to both parties, it becomes Palestine level hostile territory. You both will begin to count the things that you have done for each other. You will hold the remaining power you possess over the other person. Resentment will hold you both at gunpoint, and then you will toxify each other with your darkness. Suddenly you will awaken to the realizations that all of those little snide jokes, subtle insults and the blow-offs were hostage negotiations for your soul.
But I need my friends, you will think, as your dignity trickles down your leg.
It doesn’t matter how long you have known someone, if it isn’t healthy, you are a hostage and captor as is your counterpart. Your sick game continues with each of you playing either role until someone is strong enough to squeeze her sweat-stung eyes shut and pull the trigger before the last tear falls.
Let it be you.
Spotting a Toxic Relationship
If you are afraid to tell the truth in any relationship, there is no relationship at all. We need to give ourselves permission to speak the truth when we are hurt at the very moment our heart has been pierced. If a friendship is ever going to get past the first flush and get real, admissions of mistakes and exposure of our worst selves is inevitable. If you have difficulty allowing this to happen, you are participating in the creation of a toxic environment.
In healthy relationships, respect and understanding to the commitment of cultivating a relationship is present. In unhealthy relationships, boundaries are blurred through the most vulnerable moments. As you pour your heart out, the information may be reserved for another moment when among friends, it is used to weaken you. Gift giving and other heart-felt moments will be used to keep you hanging on in a tiresome dance of besting. You may hear your bestie say terrible things, and you excuse it thinking she would never say anything like that about me until the day comes when you meet your confidences face to face in the form of an invasive, sensational question being asked from someone you don’t know.
What makes toxic people?
Toxic people make toxic people. When we are silent to our own needs and put the needs of others above all else, we are creating a toxic environment for ourselves that will naturally permeate all other relationships. In the silencing of our true nature, we lose our uniqueness and our psyche, heart, and soul become diseased.
When we ignore our intuition screaming in our head – run, yet we step closer, we have a real problem on our hands. Our own judgment cannot be trusted. We will therefore attract untrustworthy people. They can spot us a mile away. We are the ones wearing the graphic tee that says “naïve prey.”
We need to first make sure we are the happiest we can be in the present moment with ourselves. We need to make sure we enjoy solitude, our inner wildness, our assertive attitude, and our flaws before we go outside ourselves to make solid relationships. It is essential to get to know and fall in love with ourselves. We need to have a healthy dose of selfishness. We require individuality, our own identity. There must be a reason for wanting to share our moments with another person that comes from the core of who we authentically are. That takes serious integrity.
Integrity is a balm for toxic people. It is a force of energy that commands respect and straightens the spine. It tells us that we are worth the very best of life through its unconditional sustainment in all that lives. Those that do not possess or understand it are easily detected – they are the same as our underdeveloped selves and because of that, we may fall hard for their potential. While such a person may appear to be kindred to our own days of being a demi-goddess, it is not up to us to take them under our wings and create them. Who created us? Our excruciating pain of learning the hard way did. So, when they walk into our sacred space in short shorts, fuck-me pumps, a whole lot of smooth talk and zero substance, it is okay to gracefully decline engagement in favor of your heard-earned life wisdom.
Letting go of unhealthy friendships is the very best gift you could give yourself. Sometimes, friendships that have no anchor just dissolve, but others have such a deep rooted spur in the heart that they need life-changing truth spoken with fire before a quick goodbye. Follow your heart. Love yourself first.
Know limits, boundaries and choose friends wisely with your intuition as your guide.
Call me a hopeless romantic or an endless fool, but I never imagined myself without a partner which unfortunately has caused me to make several very poor choices. I am on my fourth marriage. I met my current and last husband in 2004 and married him in 2007. He’s taught me more about my wrong view of marriage by being the kind of husband I need, more than what I learned from the bookshelves of the many self-help books on how to make a marriage work. I’ve found several differences between my current relationship and my previous marriages.
Just because someone says “I love you” doesn’t mean they love you the way you need to be loved, or know how to love you in a sustaining way. Love doesn’t take away from who you are, it’s an addition to your very being. It allows you to bloom in the fertile soil of the heart that gets watered with tears, shined on by laughter, and nurtured into a fully bloomed you. That applies not only to having a partner, but also in loving yourself.
The little things aren’t so little. My spouse likes to make me coffee on Sunday morning. I like to make him dinner when he comes home from work. He likes to bring me my hard to find favorite beverage. I like to make sure he has plenty of his required alone time. Reminding each other regularly that we’re thinking of one another prevents us from taking each other for granted. It’s like mini-dates throughout our busy (and sometimes not so busy) days.
Forgiveness goes a long way. Your partner is human just like you. They have their own quirks and idiosyncrasies that make life with them interesting. If either of you make a mistake, genuinely apologize then respect one another enough not to do it again. Don’t be afraid to admit when you’ve erred. Laugh out loud at the crazy world. Laugh often. Be ridiculous and silly without fear. Humor goes a long way in smoothing out some of the bumpy spots.
Communicate your wants, needs, and expectations to your partner. If they don’t know it’s broken, they can’t fix it. If they are unaware of your needs, how likely are you to get your needs met? Each couple communicates in different ways. Explore, then do what works for each of you in a healthy and productive way.
Accept them for everything they are, but also know that they will probably change and grow.
Your partner is your best friend. Treat them with compassion. If your partner is dealing with a tremendous loss or stress and they ask for your support, don’t reject them by fearfully running away. Take time to see what you both need in times of distress. It could be just listening to them while they talk through what’s bothering them.