I gave myself a gift this year that I’ve been wanting for a long time, but never really thought I deserved. I gave myself…me.
I know I’m the only one with the ability to unwrap such a gift, and I know there are many layers that will take time and courage to pull away and discard. Like one of those gifts you get, and open and absolutely know it’s of great significance, but you find yourself wondering “what the hell is this?”, or “what the hell am I supposed to do with it?”.
I can tell you that for me, marriage (or even living together) is a killer of intimacy, a long and painful death of love by paper cuts. Negligence, a familiarity that breeds contempt as the saying goes, a not so benign devaluing of self that is both inflicted and allowed. Both parties have to accept their part in the demise of something that should have been held precious.
Usually both parties don’t, and that’s why healing cannot happen. The one to first accept responsibility for their part in it is usually the one who walks away. I know that I tried so hard to become the catalyst for change that I lost myself along the way. I played so many parts, read so many self-help books, tried to put life into something that was continuously gasping its last breath, that I truly lost any hold on who I thought I was in reality.
That’s nobody’s fault but my own. I claim that one.
Now please don’t think I’m not a believer in love and lasting relationships. I carry way too much love inside me to deny the existence and necessity of it. It’s what life is all about. It’s the point of breathing. To love, and be loved and add color and dimension to life as opposed to merely existing day to day.
But I have learned it must be protected with relentless truth, honest communication and the courage to face and fix anything that threatens the Garden of Eden.
I know I’m going to love. I won’t be able to help it, and I don’t want to. That’s something I know for sure. But I promise you the closest I’ll get to living with my beloved will be living on the opposite sides of the same block. We can share all we want and then one or the other of us can walk to our haven, giving both the ability to restore themselves, appreciate the other and miss each other. We’ll have fresh and interesting things to talk about.
We won’t take each other for granted. We’ll preserve a little space and mystery. We’ll each actively seek spending time with the other because it’s not set up to be taken for granted. We may hang together for days because we want to, then retire into our personal space to regroup. The conversation, company and sex will be new and interesting.
But all this is future speak. I have promised myself I will not become part of anything again until I’m whole myself. Until I realize I’m more than enough for anyone I choose to be with, and what I have to bring to the table is me, unplugged with no filters or apologies. Until I’m setting the standards for how I’m treated by how I treat myself.
And I will not accept less from anyone else.
I’m becoming real. I like it, even though it’s scary and frustrating sometimes. I’m beginning to hear my own voice instead of the chatter of others. If I peel back a layer as I go, and I don’t like what I see…I’ll get rid of it, or change it to be of value in some way. I get to decide that.
So at the beginning of this beautiful new year I raise my glass to self-love, honesty and fierce courageousness. To reality reborn…
And those who are not afraid to walk with me through the fire.