I awoke to the darkness of the morning moon
and my first thoughts were not of you
Beautiful apathetic amnesia
soothes my soul and has removed your heinous sore
Each day I grow stronger
Each day I am farther
Each day you fade away
In this suffering that is life
many options are apparent
but only one resides in truth and love
enlightenment originates in struggle
Each day I am learning
Each day I am creating
Each day I am released from your destruction
I rest my head tonight listening to the sound of stars
my body exhausted from training
my mind fatigued by inquiring
and my soul challenged by searching
As I sat in the Zen den last night playing guitar and listening to the invigorating sounds of rain drops pattering my tin roof, a familiar yet unwelcome wave of ambivalence pounded me. They say that there are 7 steps in the grieving process and acceptance being the final but I am either some alien anomaly or this process has no apodictic conclusion. This is to say that while I have come to accept the circumstances and the actions at their origin, I am still emotionally undulatory. I suppose what is really plaguing me is that several months ago, I conjured and delivered quite possibly the most venomous email ever, well for me anyway. I had finally reached my breaking point and I felt that not only were the feelings expressed honest but also necessary. Prior to this, throughout the saga I had remained the heroine. I was understanding, forgiving, loving, compassionate even sympathetic. All those around me found this most disturbing given the circuitous nature of the situation but I maintained that I would not lower myself to the level on which he was operating. Unfortunately, that email was the swift and certain end of that.
It is not that I did not mean every word of it, I did. How could I maintain loving someone who showed me such apathy and disrespect? I could not. I had to make a stand, or so I believed. I had to tell him that I never wanted to speak to him again, didn’t I? To say that my words were rooted in pride would be a fallacy, they were rooted in pain. In those moments of fingers racing irresponsibly across the keyboard, I recall the sensation of a blatant and brusque realization. Every action suddenly and ceremoniously slapped me in the face. All those 7 stages in one volcanic, apocalyptic explosion but unfortunately the only emotions conveyed were anger and hate. At first, I was highly satisfied with myself. I had taken back my power. I was no longer lending my heart to someone’s immature and erratic whims. I was taking a stand.
Then came the waves of shame. And now they are waves of regret. Ambivalence, the mother of all conundrums. And this is precisely the reason that I acted out of love for those first several months because that is who I am. My ex-fiance told me this morning when I confessed that I was having a delayed reaction to all of this that I am just not capable of not caring. He said that I never should have written all those things because I am not that person. that I will always care. I consistently struggle with whether or not that is a negative attribute. When does forgiving become tolerating? And when does tolerating become egregious? And when does that egregiousness become abuse?
Buddhism is founded on compassion and forgiveness but when is enough, enough? Is it ever ok to condemn someone for horrendous and hurtful actions? Or should we constantly forgive and forget? My intellect tells me that the actions of this man were unforgivable but my heart tells me that I will always love him and that I am better than the things that I said. I just wish I knew how to protect myself while also being the big-hearted person that apparently, I am. I used to imagine myself as a statue with cracks, perhaps one of those Greek goddesses missing an appendage or something. Beautiful and flawed. Now I realize that I am still a wobbly ball of clay striving to take form. I suppose there is freedom in that.
Maybe the real forgiving that is necessary is that of myself.
All of us have been in some sort of relationship scenario in which we were left brokenhearted. Someone abandoned us, someone cheated on us, someone misrepresented themselves and so forth. What I have begun to observe and question is how we respond to these circumstances. Having recently survived several of the aforementioned scenarios, I have noticed the many mechanisms that we employ to protect ourselves from experiencing the same pain and heartache time and time again. While I subscribe to the philosophy that making the same mistake over and over is the truest form of stupidity, I also question how far to the other end of the spectrum is just as ridiculous. Is being jaded our protective friend or another means of self sabotage?
For my part, I have certainly noticed that my level of trust for other human beings as a whole and especially in interpersonal relationships has dwindled dramatically. I now have the propensity to believe that compliments are tools of manipulation rather than sincere expressions. I also seem to have a difficult time meeting someone and not automatically thinking that they are like my ex and I should be cautious. But am I seeing legitimate red flags or the ghosts of relationships past? I think that is a difficult question that people such as myself that are newly single struggle with frequently. But after many conversations with others and merely observing other people’s reactions to situations, I am starting to think that whether it is a fresh wound or a scarred over injury, we are still allowing our pasts to interfere with our present. Do we honestly believe that being cynical and pessimistic is the only way to abolish any chance of reliving past mistakes and suffering?
I have tried to my detriment in some ways, to remain open and loving regardless of what has happened in my love life. I made a conscious effort to check the baggage and enter into new relationships unencumbered but after this break up, I suddenly feel like the American Airlines lost luggage department. Where did all this stuff come from and what the hell do I do with it? As I peruse all the forgotten and ignored emotions of abandonment, I have come to realize that even I have become weighed down and a little bitter. I have misplaced my ability to believe that some things are just good. There is no evil lurking in the corner, no hidden agenda meandering in the hallway, just something new and good and worth my understanding. I am now faced with an opportunity that could be simply that, good. So why am I more comfortable second guessing and assuming than allowing myself to give it the benefit of the doubt? It is an easy answer, I am jaded and that sucks! I suppose that along the way, I bought into the idea that being overly apprehensive and assuming the worst in people is safer than putting myself out there and taking the chance that I feel this way again. I am starting to find though that when I am internalizing all these negative assumptions that I am missing out on any genuine happiness that may be present.
The other complexity is that even if I get over my own relationship related neuroses, they is always someone else’s to deal with. But it can not be fair for me to judge someone for their difficulty in trusting when I am in the same place but it also makes the situation much harder to navigate. Suddenly you have two seemingly good and loving individuals complicating a connection for no other reason than at some point they were respectively scorned by someone else. It is hard enough getting to know someone as it is but when you exacerbate the issue with preconceived notions it becomes almost impossible. So I have been left contemplating if there is a middle to this pendulum. I want to learn the lessons that are necessary for my growth and emotional protection while remaining true to my real self. I am not bitter, resentful, pessimistic and jaded. Or at least I was not before. I do not think that any of our origins are rooted in these aspects, so how do we get back and stay sane and intelligent about it? I would hate to see anyone sabotage a perfectly lovely opportunity, especially me. I think that the answer is, knowing that we have all been hurt but that not every relationship has an inevitably destructive end. And also knowing when to calm down, take a step back and allow ourselves to be happy instead of over analyzing every detail to death. I hope that I will find the best way to follow my heart and my mind and that combined they will lead me to the right person and the right relationship. Until then, I know it is important to ease up on the assumption that every guy is him or like him because hopefully and it is a big hope, they are not.