Pain, Reflection and Acceptance

One of the positive experiences that happen post-breakup and disappointment, is you have time to reflect. In the pain, there is an opportunity to evaluate what it was that attracted you, why you behaved as you did, and what, ultimately, drove you to the conclusion that you made.

If I have learned anything during the past couple of years, it is that you must grieve and reflect after heartache. I realize that I have been going through a breakup and rebirth for over a year now. Even through my lover and I only separated for the final time in June, things had been going wrong for much longer. Ultimately, I realized that we were never a good match anyway. Our relationship was deeply flawed from the very beginning.

Where I must reflect is that I was ok with him not being a good match for me. We had nearly seven years together, and many of those were good. He brought fun and adventure into my life. My problem is that I have found that I value the experiences far more than the desire for a long-term relationship with one person. I have found that I love and savor the highs and lows. I love to dissect the emotional minutiae like a detective. I suppose it is because I am a writer. What is there to discover, uncover and reveal, if life is blissful and numb?

I think about this, because I am on the other side of yet another failed romance. I am reflecting on the similarities he had to my previous partner, but also the differences. I have been comparing him to others in my life and past, to see what was so attractive about him, and why, ultimately, we failed. I think what I am discovering is that I am deeply afraid of long-term commitment, so I chose partners that allow me freedom. In choosing inappropriate partners, I know that if it doesn't work out, at least I had a wonderful time. Perhaps, I was most attracted to the broken parts of him, because I recognized those same things in me, and I was trying to fix me in helping to heal him. I certainly recognize that I behaved differently with him than I have before. I knew as I was doing it, that I was driving him away.

I also know that I was still dealing with the pain of my last breakup. I knew when I began dating again, that I would have some bumps on the road. The worst part is that my last long term lover came into my life as my previous marriage was falling apart. I took no time to heal from that marriage. I was not even aware of what damage I may have, and I have not given myself the chance to evaluate that alone. Perhaps, my latest failed relationship showed me that, ultimately, what I need is to spend time alone. I need to find the love within myself before I can be a good partner to someone else.

I also have a lover that has been there through the past few months. He has been a constant, steady presence. He slipped in quietly, and has been watching and waiting for me. I suppose, that is why he has not triggered my flight reaction. He has been so consistent, that I did not even realize we had a "relationship" for almost 6 weeks! At this point, it has been some 3 months. He has watched my emotional meltdowns, my wild and passionate romance with another, and even patiently accepted, then ignored my attempts to end things with him. He is so composed and self-sufficient, that I don't know what to do with him. I know that I feel at peace and comforted with him. I love the adventure and experiences he offers me. I know that we are good together. I feel tenderness, safety and love for him. I also know that, until this moment, I have not given him the attention that he deserves. I am changing that now.

Yesterday, I spent the day in willful, masochistic emotional meltdown mode. I wanted to lance the pent up pain and disappointment of my flawed and failed romance. I took the time to purge myself emotionally, so that I could come to a place where I could finally see clearly. Last night, I was able to sit down and reflect on my life goals. I am learning to enjoy my solitude and do the inner work that is necessary to change my circumstances. I woke this morning with renewed energy and goals. I am tired of spinning my wheels and living an emotional rollercoaster.

This move back home to heal was an escape from my last lover. I realize that I ran from him to another version of him. I also realize that you cannot go home. This place is not my final destination by any means. How long I shall linger here remains to be seen. One of the major life lessons that I learned over the past year is that, in time, all things will be revealed. I cannot control what happens. I can only control my reactions. I am finally taking time to work on my goals and create my path again. 

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