This week I took a little break in writing because I was falling in love with someone special. I can’t believe it took me so long to realize how special, how much in need of my love, and how it’s the love I have been searching for my whole life. And it was right in front of me, waiting for me the entire time.
After the initial giddiness and thrill settle down, I’ll get back to writing more. Right now I am deep in the middle of discovery, of promise, of hope. Somehow I have a feeling that this one will work out.
I have always tried my best in relationships. But when they ended, I always placed the blame on myself. That’s a lot of guilt. Then I would take what I think I learned, and apply it to my next one, and on and on. And when I loved, I was all in. My whole life was about pleasing that person, taking care of that person, giving up my needs for that person, at least that’s what I thought. I would imagine they didn’t see it that way. But inside me I did.
They say that some people are givers and some are takers. They are both trying to fulfill a need of their own. I think it’s way too hard to categorize someone. People are just too complicated for labeling them as this or that. I have always labeled myself as a caregiver, but now I see that it’s more complicated than that, and it really only scratches the surface. I have always felt the need to place others cares, concerns, problems, shortcomings above my own. I think that makes me a good person. Unfortunately, I have only been fooling myself. I can see now that my need to care for someone is really trying to justify and outwardly express an unfulfilled need from my past or an empty hole in myself I’m trying to fill.
It’s inevitable that I ended up in the role I had in my 28-year career in the car business as a Sales Manager. To do that job, you have to care about everyone else’s livelihood more than your own, both your employer and the employees under your direct control. I can assure you it has cost me tens of thousands of dollars in those years doing that. The funny thing is, I was never thanked or appreciated because it was either an expectation, or it was an anonymous gesture that I never told anyone about. When you are locked in that mode for so long, there is no escape, and you become what you do. In all of that, I lost what it is to be me. It gave me a comfortable financial situation, but I suffered internally by my loss of identity and unfulfilled needs of my own. Maybe in some twisted way, I enjoyed making myself my own martyr.
When you love and are committed to another, whether it’s a spouse, a lover, a friend, kids, or a dog, you want to please them. That’s where I now know I have failed. I was doing things that didn’t please me sometimes, and just like my job, those feelings would fester and resentment would build up and eventually sabotage the relationship. Then, in a contradictory way, I blamed the other person for ruining my life. My, what complicated twists we concoct in our minds to protect our ego. Was I aware of this? No. I’m not sure I understand the whole thing now, but it feels that’s the way it was. For some people, they know what to do naturally to get their needs met, but not me.
I am working on forgiving myself for the guilt I have carried all these years. It doesn’t serve me anymore. The past is the past, can’t be changed, and by holding onto it, affects my future. In order for me to fall in love, I need to move on.
I still take part in my caregiving role with my kids, but there is no resentment attached to them. I truly love them with all my heart and soul. The time they are with me I take care of them. The days and nights they don’t, of course, I still worry, but the caregiving is gone for the moment. That’s when I try to search for me. Sometimes it gets lonely.
The thing about loneliness. If you don’t love yourself and don’t like your own company, then you are lonely. If you do love yourself, and you enjoy the person you are, then there is no way you can be lonely. My Mom lived another 16 years after my Dad passed away, and she was never lonely, even though she never had another relationship. She loved her kids, her home, her books, her pets, and most of all, she loved herself and her life. No one could take that away from her.
Some say we are our thoughts. Others say we are the observer of our thoughts. Either way, our thoughts are in this human body with all its wisdom and foolishness. The things that got me here right here and right now are gone. How I go forward is up to my thoughts, either the commentator or the observer.
Why would I not love the miraculous human being that I am? There’s only one of me, and why wouldn’t I put as much effort in loving me as I would someone else? Don’t I deserve all things I would want for another? I only have one life, and in it, isn’t the most important person in my life me? If I don’t truly love myself, then how can I expect anyone else to? Is it selfish to love my life, and do whatever is best for me? I don’t think so. Don’t you deserve to love you too?
This week I discovered someone who needed my love more than any other, and I’m starting to like their company.
This week I started falling in love……………..with me.