It’s 3 a.m., and I’ve awakened alone in bed.
A far too familiar experience from a past relationship I spent years trying to change.
It triggers me and I start thinking about my ex-husband. Twelve years creates a lot of little memories. It’s true, I miss aspects of him, how much he “got me,” how much fun we had when we weren’t trying to be something we weren’t, how safe I felt with him.
He was/is physically strong. He knew how to fix things, build things with his bare hands, and his presence alone was intimidating to other men. He was/is brilliant, fierce, intense—and I liked that.
So I’m wondering how did I get here? Why is this context the same?
Is it really true that you can change every aspect of your situation and yet no matter what, there you are still?
Was leaving him just a way to highlight this?
Did I change everything only to change nothing at all?
Am I somehow recreating this?
Should I have stayed the course, spared the pain if, in the end, this lesson was just going to be repeated?
How is this different, or is it?
Am I clearing the karma of those who came before me, who traded their happiness in for the pride of staying the course?
I wonder, is this “missing him” just nostalgia?
These little details that inspire desire/longing, are they only distorted and selective memories stored in the back of my mind, creating this feeling to generate cortisol, serotonin or dopamine? I know that of the 12 years we were together (seven as husband and wife), I spent the majority of time trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.
Isn’t that what I’ve been doing my whole life?
Ouch! That new thought strikes me very hard in the face. Cutting corners, shaping myself to fit to perceived expectations of the world so that I would fit in. Hiding the sharp edges, the deep dark corners hoping that no one would notice them. Because fitting in is/was everything.
The thought stings with truth. It screams of taking responsibility for my part in the entire relationship. For wanting so much to fit into the round hole that I forgot I wasn’t round to begin with. For the hatred of being a square peg, so strong that I forgot it was why we were attracted in the first place.
Duh! We were both square pegs and we really had something to move forward with—fuck the round hole.
Looking back in this moment, it’s my opinion that we hated our square peg selves with such fervor, that the hatred became a vacuum and sucked up any hope of a possible future together. Obviously, two square pegs together can’t fit into a round hole, no matter how hard they try. And believe me, we tried hard.
And then here I am in the middle of the jungle, in the middle of the adventure of a lifetime, in a relationship with an amazing partner—and I’m alone in bed at 3 a.m.
What am I repeating? What am I repeating? What am I repeating?
Well, I know what I’m not repeating, so I suppose that is a start.
My partner knows who he is and truly loves himself. He has a passion for life that is unmatched by anyone I’ve ever known. He is fearless and unrelenting in his drive for expansion. He shares a love of exploring consciousness and ascension.
We are focused together on health, fun, adventure and following the flow. We have no holds barred communication, and he talks me down from the ledge in the most difficult of times with calm clear logic and a solid stance.
No matter what I do, how irrational or hurtful I am, he is always kind first. He easily forgets the past and always holds the possibility of a better future. He builds trust, friendships and community where ever he goes. He is sweet and loving.
So I lay here now and ask myself again… what am I repeating? What have I carried with me?
This feels like the moment when you are on a roller coaster, right before the big drop. You know it’s coming—it’s the reason you got on the ride in the first place. But all you can do in that moment is scream, “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!”
Over the edge, I am heavy. Gravity pulls me deep into the turn of awareness, aliveness and recognition. I know what it is, but I don’t want to look at it. I’m afraid to expose it, afraid to tell you about it. Maybe you already know what I’m going to say.
Don’t look at me when I tell you…
I’m repeating self-hatred and shame. I’ve tied the fact that he can’t sleep to not wanting to be in bed with me, and there must be a reason for this. I must have done something, said something…
With pure disgust, I realize that in this new relationship I’m still punishing myself. I’m still hating on myself, and every day I spend with this partner sheds more light on all the dark places that I have been hiding and hating.
I’ve consistently pushed him away and squirmed out of tender moments, afraid that he would feel my sharp edges or uncover something that wasn’t perfect. Moreover, I would have to feel that I wasn’t perfect.
I’ve been pushing him away. This is what I’ve been repeating and this thought makes me dizzy. It’s been here all along, I just didn’t want to accept it, or acknowledge it in anyway.
And… none of that has anything to do with the fact that he can’t sleep.
What do I do now? Looking at my iPhone lock screen and the affirmation photo that I recently saved there. I know what to do. Be here now, one day at a time.
Breathe in, breathe out. Repeat often:
Punishing myself with every step, I made this path not only harder but also steeper. I’ve carried so much doubt, shame, regret, remorse, and unbearable sadness.
I’m aware now that learning to couple means healing the individual wounds and embracing self-love. Often, we humans couple to cover up the lack of self love, and as intimacy deepens, the self loathing drives a huge wedge in the relationship and the couple goes their separate ways… on a repeat path, at least until awareness that self love must be established and maintained.
For all those in the wake, with whom I loved so hard and so deep, yet out of self hatred unknowingly refused your love… I share the Hoʻoponopono prayer:
I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you.
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Assistant Ed: Ben Neal/Ed: Brianna Bemel